One of the great things about going on a road trip with family or friends is the opportunity to really communicate with each other. But you want to return home with your relationship intact – or even stronger.
Spending long hours on the road allows for some great conversations, but controversial topics that can cause strong emotional reactions should be avoided until you’re back home.
Here are a few topics to avoid.
1. Don’t Discuss Religion or Politics.
People often advise never discussing religion or politics under any circumstances, but even those who give this advice don’t follow it 100%. And you might love discussing these two topics. But when you and your traveling partner are in a position of no escape, you should probably stick to topics that make you both happy.
This is especially true if there are three of you in the car because two people will probably agree and the third person could end up feeling isolated.
Even if your travel mate is the same religion as you, he may not be as fervent as you are – or vice versa. And neither one of you will want to hear the other pontificate for hours on end about religious or political beliefs.
2. Don’t Tell Stories About Homes That Were Broken Into While The Owners Were on Vacation.
Road trips should be fun and carefree. When going on a road trip, you want to leave your worries behind in order to enjoy the adventure you’re taking.
One way to break the good mood is to tell stories about people you know that had their homes broken into while they were on vacation. That kind of story is sure to dampen the mood and cause you or your traveling companion to worry about things you have no control over while gone.
3. Don’t Regale Your Travel Companions About People Who Disappeared on Road Trips – Never to Be Seen Again.
Just like stories about home break-ins, sharing stories from crime shows you have seen where people were traveling and disappeared only to be found dead or never to be seen again is a sure way to put people on edge.
Creating ill ease in your travel mate and making him reluctant to stop at rest areas or stay at remote hotels will only throw a damper on the enjoyment of the open road.
4. Don’t Harp on Little Things Your Travel Mate Does that Annoy You.
Everyone has little habits that annoy other people – taking too much time putting on make-up, spending too long in the shower, gargling too loudly or snoring. You can probably think of many more.
Giving someone a hard time about these little annoyances will make that person feel self-conscious and uncomfortable around you. As long as your travel companion is not doing something that puts you in jeopardy, you can find ways to ignore most of those annoying habits and enjoy everything else on your road trip.
5. Don’t Talk On and On About Your Failed Relationships.
Being locked in a car with someone who spends hours on end talking about their most recent failed relationship, recounting everything that caused them hurt and pain, is just going to alienate traveling companions who have no way to escape.
Just about everyone has felt the pain of a failed relationship at one time or another. They have hopefully put the ordeal behind them and don’t want to listen to other people’s tales of woe, especially when the purpose of the road trip is to relax and have fun.
6. Don’t Ask Every Two Minutes How Long Is Left Before Reaching the Destination.
A huge part of the fun of a road trip is living in the moment. Having someone who constantly insists on counting down the number of days or hours before you reach the destination can kill the joy of living in the moment. In addition, it is extremely annoying to anyone listening.
Your travel partner doesn’t want to spend the last several hours each day gritting his teeth every time you ask how much further you have to go before reaching the destination.
And if your traveling companion is the guilty party, try to change the topic to something you can both enjoy.
While road trips are perfect for sharing some meaningful conversations, those conversations should be interesting, upbeat, fun, and enjoyable for everyone in the car. Creating fear, nervousness, or hard feelings will only make the trip unsuccessful and spoil the fun for everyone.