Road Trip Etiquette

  1. Clean clothes, clean body, clean breath, and clean bill of health. If you don’t have the four C’s, you nasty. Get out of the car.
  2. Minimize the music. This is a good chance for some bonding time. Turning on the radio says, “I am betting that whatever random song or commercial that plays next is going to be more interesting than the company I have in the car.” And please don’t be the person who decides a 9 hour car ride is the perfect time to educate your friends on some new indie band that no one but you has ever heard.
  3. Be ever conscious of the digestive consequences concerning your food and drink choices. While you may really want to get the double deep fried chili dog for lunch, it’s a safe bet that no one in the car wants to suffer the pungent repercussions of this choice.
  4. If you stop for someone to use the bathroom, don’t be that person who tells everyone to get out and try even if they don’t have to go. Try? Are you serious? No one has ever gone to the bathroom and thought, “Man if I had only tried to go 2 hours ago when my bladder was drier than the Sahara I could have saved this unnecessary trip.”
  5. If someone’s phone rings you owe them 59 seconds of silence. If they can’t wrap up the call in 59 seconds the other passengers are fully within their road tripping rights to make farting noises in the background as well making fun of pet names you have for your significant other.
  6. Pack lite. You know who you are. A 3 day weekend doesn’t require 11 pairs of shoes, 16 board games and your sewing machine. A back pack should suffice for 3 days of necessities with plenty of room for that extra pair of underwear, just in case. And if you just can’t figure out how it’s all gonna fit, don’t worry; I hear Wal-Mart is still selling deodorant and toothbrushes these days.
  7. Don’t torture your travel companions by forcing them to listen to you to sing. They don’t want to listen to you, but their only alternative is jumping out of a moving car. Believe me, this alternative has crossed their minds.
  8. If you and your companions happen to get lost, do not say, “I think I have been here before” unless you have in fact been there before. If you so much as utter a whisper that you might be the slightest bit familiar with your surroundings, be prepared to prove your knowledge by reciting the name of the town’s mayor, sheriff and watermelon queen.
  9. Leave your shoes on. No exceptions. Even the cleanest feet stink in a car.
  10. In person, face to face conversations always trump a text message. Don’t be that person who stops speaking mid-sentence to look and chuckle at their clever new text message. Don’t be the person who holds their index finger up as the international “hold on while I finish this text” sign to your trip companion. Texting was invented to fill the much needed dissemination gap of information that was too time sensitive for the mail, but not quite important enough to call someone on the phone about. Show a little respect to the person who is looking you in the face and speaking.  People generally understand if you don’t respond to their text for a few minutes.
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