Traveling by car has become the way to go, especially for trips of less than 20 hours. Car etiquette makes the ride more comfortable for everyone, both driver and passengers. One thing to keep in mind is to make the best effort to make the experience pleasant enough to plan to repeat it again in the near future.
Here are some etiquette guidelines to follow:
1) If you are traveling with friends, have a meeting before the trip to agree on the following:
a. Amount of money each passenger will contribute for the trip, including car expenses, meals, and lodging.
b. The person who will manage the money.
c. Turns at the wheel: how many hours each person can drive before becoming drowsy. Each person is different and has different levels of tolerance on the road.
e. The person in charge of the maps and directions.
f. Absolutely NO alcohol on the road, both driver and passengers. A passenger who has had alcohol can be very distracting and, therefore, dangerous. Safety is always first, especially in the middle of nowhere.
g. Activities in each city you are visiting.
h. Return date.
2) If you are traveling with your family, have this ready:
a. Small and soft toys, just in case the children start a small fight.
b. Story books, coloring books and crayons.
c. Plenty of healthy snacks and liquids. Excessive sugar causes hyperactivity in kids.
d. Several clothes changes for the road. You never know…
e. Loads of patience and good mood. Kids are very receptive and catch the parents’ mood and make it their own. Careful with that.
f. Clear directions, so you don’t have to consult your map very often and you can keep an eye on your children.
g. Be ready to stop at the rest areas often. Children need a mental break and a sense that they are closer to their destination.
3) Carry a cell phone with you with a car battery charger. Let everybody know where you are going and your cell phone number.
4) Bring with you emergency numbers and insurance numbers.
5) Always, always, always be considerate to your traveling companions. Offer them your best smile and do not lose your temper, no matter what.
Traveling by car is exciting and a great experience, but it can be difficult sometimes. It is said that if you want to really know someone you should travel with that person.
So, don’t forget what car etiquette is all about: respect and consideration towards others. These little two things will make your road trip a great experience for you and your traveling companions.
Oh, and take pictures!
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