When you’re an introvert on a road trip with others, it’s important to mix up your itinerary so you get the alone time you need.
As an Introvert, indulging your love of road trips is not always an easy ride. (No pun intended.) It can be stressful and exhausting when you’re constantly on the go and surrounded by new people, especially when you’re moving from unfamiliar place to unfamiliar place. That’s because your level of introversion determines your energy levels, and how much space and downtime you’re going to need away from people, excitement, and crowds.
You may be feeling pressure to squeeze every last drop of adventure from your road trip. But as Truity’s “What’s Your Roadtrip Personality?” test shows, introverts are much more likely to be culture hounds who love exploring low-key museums, food, and experiences, or zen travelers who prefer to keep their travel itineraries flexible and light.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to build little oases of calm and quiet into your road trip adventure, while still having an epic experience! Here are some tips for releasing your inner wanderlust… and doing it on your own terms.
5 Rules of the Road (Trip) for Introverts
1. Go solo or in very small groups.
If you know you’re an introvert who prefers solo travel, then go for it! Going alone saves the stress of trying to fit in with a group, and you have complete control over when, and where, you go and when you take rest breaks. You’re literally the captain of your own ship, which is very appealing to the independent Introvert.
If you’re the type of person who likes to pack every must-see attraction into one epic road trip, then staying as chill as you can while traveling may be the only way to preserve your sanity (and solitude).
If the idea of doing all the driving makes you anxious, don’t worry. Group trips can be fun, too. One way to make sure you’re taken care of is to include a fellow introvert on your trip who’s willing to part ways from the group with you if you feel too drained.
2. Pick your time and pace.
Have you ever fought the crowds at a tourist hotspot during peak season? It’s intense.
Instead of putting yourself through the stress of crowd overwhelm, you should prioritize your list of “must-dos” and “must-sees” and figure out when the best time is to see them. That might be when a museum first opens, or late at night when the crowds have gone home.
Express these introvert-friendly wishes before you head on a trip with friends. If some people have divided opinions, go on outings with people who are happy to do it your way. Or have fun exploring by yourself. (You often can’t talk much in a quiet ambience, like a museum, anyway!)
Pacing yourself is another part of timing. Some road trippers may jump from activity to activity and be all about “seizing the day,” but for you it’s probably better if you don’t travel at a breakneck pace. This way, you can also relish the sights more, as you can take your time.
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3. Mix up your itinerary to create breathing room (literally).
While soaking up the culture is important, don’t feel bad when you pencil in time to wander the quiet streets alone, head out into nature, or even meditate, take a bath, or read a book in your hotel room once you’ve broken off from the group.
Don’t be afraid to take an entire day off the trip to focus on yourself, away from your travel buddies, if that’s what you need. Getting away from the crowds is necessary for clearing your head and bringing yourself back into balance. You’ll have plenty of time to plan out what to do before you start your trip, so be sure to schedule some downtime or prioritize activities that are more relaxing to you.
4. Travel with headphones and a journal.
You’ll spend a lot of time sitting in the car during a road trip. While your extraverted friends might engage in constant chitchat and travel car games, at some point you probably will want to remove yourself from all the overstimulation.
An easy way to do this without being rude is to pop in some headphones and zone out to some music, a podcast, or an audiobook.
If you’re able to write in the car without getting carsick, whip out a journal and tell your companions that you’re recording the memories of a lifetime. Of course, you can always sit and stare out the window, enjoying the scenery. In any case, make sure your companions know you want to be in your head for a while and don’t feel like joining in on the conversation. That way, no feelings will be hurt in the process.
5. Know before you go — and know when to say “no.”
The common denominator for introverted road trippers is their need for calming alone time. So you’ll want to set aside plenty of time to unwind after a long day of energy expenditure. Pick and choose what you can handle so you save your energy for what you find are the most valuable aspects of your trip.
If you’re a big people-pleaser, you may feel bad skipping out on all the activities your friends have planned. So take a step back and ask yourself whether you really want to do something before you say “yes” to an activity. (Here’s where boundary-setting comes into play!)
It’s also worth reminding your friends that you don’t always want every outing to be spontaneous. A good balance of planned and impromptu itinerary options will provide you with the best choices. Plus, this will allow you to take care of your needs while experiencing the best, most thrilling things the road trip has to offer.
And now, get out there and explore!