You’re hitting the road with your best buds and undertaking a journey that will test your friendship, challenge your social skills and perhaps offend your musical taste. Whenever you spend an extended amount of time in a small, car-size space with anyone, issues are bound to arise.
Like party fouls, road trip fouls can damage the experience of fun and freedom, and possibly ruin your mental health. Make sure that all the members of your fantastic voyage are made aware of the road trip rules, and discover how you can combat the fetid missteps should they arise.
THOU SHALT NOT
Thou shalt not play music that other people in the car despise for an extended period of time.
Solution: Everyone who wants to should bring their own music, CDs or MP3 hookups. Going in rotation starting with the driver, each person in the car gets to play any two songs off an album that they want (or 10 minutes of a mix). Then the car votes democratically to either listen to the rest of the album/mix OR continue on to the next person’s two songs.
Thou shalt not let everyone in the car fall asleep if the driver is also sleepy, it is late at night, or the driver has been at the wheel for over 4 hours.
Solution: The front-seat passenger is required to stay awake and talk to the driver at the aforementioned occasions. Sleepy people are consigned to the back seats. If the passengers can’t hang despite an influx of coffee, the driver is allowed at any moment to pull into a safe, public area for a power nap lasting no more than 30 minutes.
Thou shalt not stay let the passengers stay on your mobile phones for hours on end, ignoring the driver and acting like spoiled 20-year old hipsters.
Solution: Phones may be used for GPS at any time, and each passenger can use his/her phone for a maximum of 10 minutes per hour. If a passenger exceeds the allotted time repeatedly, the phone may be taken away and placed in the trunk.
Thou shalt not spill a beverage or messy food item and fail to clean it up. Even if the driver does not see the spillage, the passenger still must make an effort to clean up the mess.
Solution: Spills will happen, so be prepared. Stock the vehicle with a roll of paper towels and/or wet naps before you leave, or go the cheap route and just pick up a stack of free napkins every time you stop for gas.
Thou shalt not skip the restrooms at a stop and then announce your need to pee thirty minutes after you’re back on the road.
Solution: Take advantage of every bathroom to drain the lizard and empty the tank. If a passenger routinely breaks the rule, all liquids shall be banned unless the vehicle is stopped at a restaurant, roadside stop or gas station.
Thou shalt remove your trash from the vehicle at least once per day, keeping the environment clean and free from drippy soda spills, crushed chips and chocolate smears.
Thou shalt give clear, concise directions to the driver if seated in the front passenger position. Directions should be given in a timely manner, allowing the driver enough time to react.
Thou shalt only call “shotgun” if the car is in your field of vision. You most certainly cannot “pre-call” future legs of the journey. The shortest, smallest person should not be made to ride “bitch” (back seat middle) for the entire duration of the trip.
Thou shalt appoint one person to oversee the trip member’s shared finances, such as gasoline and parking. This person must keep an accurate account of expenses and ensure each member of the party pays their fair share.
Thou shalt always roll down the window when you fart. Hopefully before.