Should I Let My 18-Year-Old go on a Road Trip

Many parents have asked the question should I let my 18-year-old go on a road trip?

The answer to that question varies on many different aspects that need to be looked at before ever giving them the green light. Road trips are a great experience to go through with your friends when you are young and energetic.

For anyone wondering what a road trip is, it is usually when you go to a far destination with your car instead of taking a plane or another faster transport. The whole point is to enjoy the car ride there and create memories on the way.

If your 18-year-old child asks you if they can go on a road trip, it is a good sign that they are adventurous and like to experience new things so if you are wondering how to approach this, you should first determine some factors first.

Should I Let My 18-Year-Old go on a Road Trip.


1. Are They Mature

The first aspect that you should look at would be if they are mature enough to go on this trip without your presence.

This is important because going on a road trip requires you to be mature enough to handle situations on your own. Since the 18-year-old will be out in the middle of nowhere driving, there needs to be a level of independence that they must have.

Whether they are with their cousin or a car full of friends, you need to make sure that they are mature enough to be out on this adventure.

2. Who Are They Going With?

The second factor to determine if you should let your 18-year-old go on a road trip would be who they are going with.

This is an important factor because the people that the 18-year-old is going with need to be also mature and responsible. If the friend group that they are going with doesn’t seem like a good group that you can trust your child to go with, there can be potential issues that can happen.

You always want the people that are going on the trip with your child to be a good group.

3. Do they know the simple mechanics of a Car?

This might seem like a new one to many parents but if they are going on a road trip, they should understand the basic mechanics of the car. What I mean by that is understanding how to change a tire or knowing if the tire pressure is safe enough for this trip.

The last thing we want as parents is for the car to break down from a simple problem and them not knowing how to fix it.

Before letting your 18-year-old go on a road trip, you should educate them on how to change a tire and how much pressure it should have to sustain a long journey. It is important to also have them take the car they will be using for an inspection because it is important to make sure the car can run fine for hundreds of miles.

4. Planning

Another important aspect is planning. They need to know where they will be driving to, what stops they will make in the middle and what sites they want to visit during this road trip. They also need to be on board with everyone that is going on the road trip so they understand the plan and no one gets a surprise when hey are in the middle of their journey.

The planning aspect should be imposed but at the same time, going with the flow is also important when going on road trips so it can flow smoothly without having too much stress.

Why you Should Let Them Go on a Road Trip

If all the factors above are checked, then you should allow your 18-year-old to go on a road trip.

1. Great Memories

The first reason why you should let them go on road trips would be because the memories they create will always be with them through life. It’s an adventure that everyone should be able to experience and once they do, they begin to fall in love with the idea of being around nature more often and visiting new places.

The joy and excitement you feel when you are in a whole different area are always going to resonate with you. If you ask anyone that has gone on a road trip how it was, they will tell you how fun the activity can be.

2. Cost Efficient

Another reason why you should let your 18-year-old go on a road trip would be because it is a very fun activity that is cost-efficient. The only costs you will have is gas and food.

To determine how much you will need to spend on gas, you first need to:

  1. Find how many miles you will be driving round trip.
  2. See how much gas prices are by the gallon and multiply it by the miles.
  3. Find total and divide with everyone going

For example:

Trip Distance: 500 miles

Fuel Efficiency: 20

Gas Price: $3

People Going: 4

The total amount will be $75 which will be divided by the 4 people which means everyone will individually pay $18.75.

To determine how much you will need to spend on food, you first need to:

  1. Determine if you will pack lunch or buy food from a restaurant.
  2. If going to a restaurant, determine the price of the food item you will be buying.
  3. See how many people are going.
  4. Divide the total between each person

For example:

Burgers for each person: 2

Burger price: $2.50

People going: 4

the total price for the burgers is $20 which will be divided by the 4 people and every one individually pay $5.

For this example, the whole trip will cost a total of $23.75 for each person, and if you ask me, it’s amazing that something this fun can cost so little.

Road trips are very fun.

3. Day Getaway

Another great reason why letting your 18 go on a road trip is that it only requires a day to do this. The trip doesn’t need that much planning compared to many other vacations and it is a great form of a getaway that your 18-year-old can experience.

Since your 18-year-old has just graduated high school and is now considered a young adult, they should experience something more then what they’ve been going through.

Their whole life, they have been restricted from doing many things and their focus was mainly on school but with a step into adulthood, they should go through that experience of making a decision like this and actually following through with it.

Final Thought

Going on road trips is one of the best things you can do with your friends.

It offers great memories and it can be a very cost-efficient trip. Before giving the green light to your 18-year-old, you should first consider some factors because this isn’t something that can be overlooked.

You are essentially letting your 18-year-old take a trip far from home hundreds of miles a day. This decision isn’t a light one and you need to understand that the 18-year-old has to be mature enough to do this.

With them turning 18 and having some sort of freedom, they are going to want to explore the world outside of the city they live in. There are many great road trips that they will be able to go on with the proper research so with that being said if your 18-year-old has asked if they can go on a road trip, make sure they are responsible enough and prepared to partake in this activity.