Whether it’s a cross-country road trip in your mom’s minivan or a Saturday drive to the beach, there always comes the time when the group must select a driver.
Being the road trip driver can be an incredibly good time, but can also turn disastrous very quickly.and a guarantee that you will be asked to drive (and paid with interest for gas) again and again.
1. Know where you’re going
There’s nothing worse than a driver who gets in the vehicle and has absolutely no idea where he/she is going, then proceeds to yell at everyone else in the car for “getting them lost”. It’s totally acceptable to put someone on navigation or a map for guidance, but at least take a look at the route before you get behind the wheel.
2. Choose your passengers carefully
You know those two friends who constantly argue about absolutely everything? Probably not the best two people to throw in the backseat together for six hours. Other passengers to avoid: constant whiners, those who like to talk about politics, those who sing along to the radio, messy eaters, those who snore loudly, backseat drivers, those who get motion sickness, claustrophobics, and anyone who likes Nickleback.
3. Provide snacks and drinks
This one isn’t so much of a necessity, but definitely earns you brownie points (no pun intended). I have personally never had a problem that Cheez-its couldn’t fix.
4. Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition before you leave
Speaking from experience, you do not want to end up pulled over in a service station off the highway in northern Maine trying to figure out how to put air in your tires. If your car has a hard time getting over sixty miles per hour, it’s probably not the best one for the job. Furthermore, please do everyone a favor and clean out your vehicle ahead of time. It’s bad enough being stuck in that hunk of metal for numerous hours without it smelling like McDonalds fries and dirty socks.
5. Actually be a safe driver
Following up on that, we all know how fun it is to slam on the breaks and throw your buddies around or to do donuts in vacant parking lots, but it’s not so fun when your car is in a ditch and you’re being sued. Don’t give your passengers any reason to worry. And it’s perfectly acceptable to tell everyone to shut up if you need to focus.
6. Play music that everyone can jam to
This is a huge one. I don’t care if you’re a closet Paramore fan and that’s all you ever listen to when driving – playing music for you is the most selfish thing a driver can do. Instead, go around to everyone in the car and play a song for each of them, then play general tunes that you know everyone likes and can enjoy. As fun as it may look on How I Met Your Mother, no one wants to listen to “I’m Gonna Be” for days on end.
7. Keep everyone under control, but don’t be a jerk
While it’s totally acceptable to tell everyone to settle down, don’t make it excessive. The closer you resemble your friends’ moms from childhood road trips, the less they are going to like you. Chill out and let the kids be kids (even though they are most likely all adults).