Spending hours in a car with anyone — even your BFF — can wear thin.
If you’re taking a road trip this fall, make sure that good feelings are packed right alongside the snacks and soda.
To keep your trip on track and fuel the fun factor, mind your road trip etiquette by following a few fairly easy travel tips.
Road trip do’s
DO pack light. Nobody wants to be wedged in between a guitar and a sleeping bag for 5 days. Seriously.
DO bring something to share. Building a road trip friendship is essential to getting along, and sharing always helps create a connection. This could be as simple as bringing some snacks, magazines or an extra tube of your favorite lip gloss.
DO offer to drive or navigate. When you travel with friends, you need to practice a little give and take. Offer to take the wheel for a while or manage the maps. Don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help if you are getting tired, frustrated or just need a break for an hour. When you balance the workload, you’ll enjoy the trip much more.
DO take turns being the guide. Remember, this is an exciting journey for everyone in the car. Share the responsibility of looking for rest stops, picking out restaurants and lodging, choosing roadside attractions and most importantly, playing DJ. If it’s too hard to divvy out chores on the fly, draw names or assign each person a different job every hour or so.
Need travel guide advice? Get it from these road trip pros.
DO play games. You might be the kind of road trip pals who have plenty of fun swapping stories and singing along to the radio. But if you get bored or just want to mix things up, try these road trip games for grown-ups!
DO keep it clean. This means cleaning any trash out of the car at every stop.
Road trip don’ts
DON’T stink up the joint. This includes avoiding heavy perfumes, deodorants, lotions, cigarettes or anything that might offend your road trippers’ sensitive noses. (You might avoid certain foods, too!)
DON’T chew gum, slurp your smoothie or make disgusting noises. Listen to yourself. If you gross yourself out, quit making whatever noise you are making. This is one of the easiest ways to avoid annoying your road trip buddies.
DON’T hog the radio. No one likes a music czar. Or listening to one type of music for 18 hours straight. Give up control of the radio or iPod every hour or so. Even better, build a playlist with music that the entire car crew likes – you can pick your friends’ favorite songs or go with theme songs about driving, vacation and having fun together.
DON’T talk all the time. Listening to a chatty co-pilot can get exhausting, so take a break for some quiet time. If you don’t like silence, crank up the radio — but don’t sing along to every song. That can get old, too.
DON’T be a backseat driver. If you want to navigate or give driving suggestions, you should at least ride shotgun. Better yet, just chill out and enjoy the scenery.
DON’T talk on the phone or text during drive. Talking on your cell phone in confined spaces is rude just about anywhere, but especially in a car where your neighbors can’t escape. Though texting is quiet, too much can make you seem distant and unengaged. Try to focus on the people you’re actually with in person!
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Dmitry Morgan