Adventures. They’re highly prized and for good reason. They’re awesome and different and they sound especially appealing when you’re bored on your couch watching Amish Mafia. That said, however, you need to follow a few basic rules to make sure they go well.

1. Escape Clause

The most important thing you need in any plan or adventure is a way out of it. This may sound paradoxical; you’re out to be doing stuff, not to not do stuff, but an escape clause makes everything work smoother. With an escape plan you’re safe to push your boundaries and pursue your adventure to the fullest. If you don’t have an escape, however, you can’t do that effectively: sure, you can take risks, but if they fail, you’re going to be miserable. That’ll either keep you from pursuing the best and riskiest adventures or it’ll set you up for failure if you do. Play it safe and have a way out; have a couch to sleep on or a car to drive or a snack in your bag.

2. Flexibility

Let’s say you have a great plan; you’re going to go to a great party, then sleep late, then get brunch, then go on a hike, then go home. It’s a good plan but there needs flexibility. What if the party isn’t great? Do you have another party or option to merit the trip? What about the hike? If you’re hungover is the crew willing to see Django Unchained? You don’t need to have concrete back-up plans but you need to be ready to move away from your adventure-plan as you see fit. That’s what makes it an adventure.

3. Supplies

Sure, you don’t need pajamas or a razor or a towel for your friends shower. But bring them anyway. It’s an advantage and an edge to feel comfortable and ready even from afar and just because you could get by on less doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be ready and excited to get by with more. Those extra supplies could give you more options and flexibility for later; if you brought a nice shirt who knows what options open up for you later?

4. People

Everyone’s got a role to play, and the best people can play more of them. Roll with a crew of people who have ambitious goals but are happy to lounge around and drink while, again, watching Amish Mafia and you’re set for the trip. If you’re with people who have specific needs or goals (one girl, one place, one activity) then you’re tied to that plan. That can work out well (structure is always good) but at the same time you have to know if those people want the same things as you. New people are all well and good, but only seek adventures with a posse you trust.

5. An Appreciation For Non-Adventures

The Hobbit is coming out soon, and we can take a lesson from Bilbo. Adventures are great, but there’s something to be said for second breakfast. If you can be happy without adventures too, you’re less likely to jump for mediocre adventures and instead only spend your time on the better ones. A road trip to a gas-station isn’t worth your time.

Image credit: philakilla