Should I Let My 18-Year-Old Go On A Road Trip?

Should You Let Your 18-Year-Old Go on a Road Trip? Considerations and Benefits

Should you let your 18-year-old go on a road trip? The answer to that question varies depending on many aspects that should be considered before giving your 18-year-old the green light. Road trips are a fantastic experience to go with your friends while you’re young and energetic.

So, if your 18-year-old kid asks if they can go on a road trip, it’s a good sign as it shows they are adventurous and like experiencing new things. And in case you’re wondering how you should approach this situation, you are in the right place. Read on!

What To Consider Before Letting Your 18-Year-Old Go On A Road Trip

Are They Mature?

The first and most crucial aspect is whether your 18-year-old is mature enough to go on this trip alone without you.

Why is this important? Going on a road trip requires being mature enough to handle situations independently. And since your 18-year-old will be out in the middle of nowhere driving, there needs to be a level of independence that they should have.

So, whether your child goes alone with their cousin or friends, you need to ensure they are mature enough to be out on this adventure.

Who Is Accompanying Them?

The second most crucial aspect is who is accompanying your child. Besides ensuring your child is mature, you’d want to ensure whoever is accompanying them is also mature and responsible.

If the friends accompanying your kid don’t seem to be a good group that you can trust your teen to go with, there could be potential issues. And it’s best to do away with them. You always want friends going on the trip with your child to be a good group.

Does Your Child And Their Friends Know Simple Car Mechanics?

I know this may sound like a new one to many parents, but if your child and their friends embark on a road trip, they should at least understand the basic car mechanics. Simple car mechanics may include knowing how to change a tire or knowing if the pressure is safe enough for the trip.

The last thing you want as a parent is for the car to break down from a simple issue, and your child doesn’t know how to fix it. So, before letting your 18-year-old on a road trip, educate them on how to change a tire and how much pressure the tire should have to sustain a long journey. It’s also crucial to take the car they’ll be traveling on inspection to ensure it can run for hundreds of miles.


Planning is another critical aspect. Your child needs to know where they’ll be driving to, what stops they’ll take in the middle, and what areas they’d like to visit on this road trip. They also need to be on board with everyone going on the trip so everyone understands the plan and nobody gets a surprise when in the middle of the journey.

The planning aspect should be respected, but going with the flow is also essential when going on road trips. Doing so ensures the trip flows smoothly without too much stress.

Why Should You Let Your 18-Year-Old Go On A Road Trip?

If you’ve checked all the above factors, you should allow your 18-year-old to go on a road trip. Going on a road trip will let your child:

Create Great Memories

The number one reason why you should allow your child to go on a road trip is for them to create memories that will always be with them through life. It’s an adventure that everyone should experience, and once they do, they’ll love and appreciate the idea of being around nature more often and going to new places.

The joy and excitement you feel when you are in a different area will always resonate with you. And everyone on a road trip explains how fun it is.

Cost Efficient

Going on a road trip is an enjoyable activity that is cost-efficient. For this reason, consider allowing your child to go on one. The only costs you will have to incur are gas and food.

To establish how much you’ll need to spend on gas, you need to:

  • Find how many miles the road trip will cover.
  • Determine how much gas prices are by the gallon and multiply by the miles.
  • Get the total and divide amongst everyone going.

For instance:

  • Total distance to be covered: 500 miles
  • Fuel efficiency: 20
  • Gas price: $3
  • People Going: 5

The total cost of gas will be $75. when you divide this by the number of people going (5), everyone will pay $15.

To establish the cost of food, you’ll need to:

  • Determine if the group will pack food or buy it.
  • If they’ll buy, establish the price of the food they will buy.
  • See how many people are going.
  • Divide the total among everyone.

Day Getaway

Another reason you should let your 18-year-old go on a road trip is that it will only take a day. The trip doesn’t need lots of planning as opposed to other vacations. It’s also an excellent form of a getaway that your 18-year-old can experience.

Since your kid has graduated from high school and is considered an adult, they should experience something more than what they’ve been all along. Their whole life, their focus has been on school, and they have been restricted from doing many things. Thus, they should go through the experience of making such a decision and following through.


Road trips are one of the best things your 18-year-old can do. It creates memories, is cost-efficient, and is a fun getaway.

However, before letting your kid go on a road trip, there are some things you’ll need to consider. How mature are they, who are they going with, do they know basic car mechanics, and what’s their plan?

Once you’ve ruled out all these, you can be confident in allowing your child to go on a road trip. Doing so wil let them have fun, create memories, and have one of the best days of their lives.