Road rules: 5 tips for your holiday road trip
There are all kinds of social behavior rules, even when it comes to sharing a vehicle, whether you're taking a long road trip or just visiting somewhere for the holidays.
National Etiquette expert, Thomas P. Farley, A.K.A. Mister Manners, said it's a great opportunity for everybody to connect in an environment that is enclosed, but pointed out there are ups and downs.
"We can start to get on one another's nerves after too long of a ride, but it's also a wonderful opportunity for all of us to connect and have good conversation," Farley said.
Knowing your role in the vehicle can make the ride smoother.
1. If you're the driver, make sure the passengers are comfortable
The responsibility of the driver is to make sure everyone in the vehicle is comfortable, that includes making sure the temperature isn't too hot or too cold, varying the music selection for everyone's enjoyment, and stopping occasionally, as some people are set on driving straight through to get to their destination, according to Farley.
"You need to be careful about that and allow people the opportunity to get out and stretch their legs and use the facilities when necessary," Farley said.
2. Riding shotgun? Be a second pair of eyes and ears
The shotgun passenger, or the person sitting in the front seat, has a special responsibility to be the second pair of eyes and ears for the driver, which involves staying awake and alert, Farley said.
"So, that means helping with navigation, if you're going somewhere that you've never been, that means looking out for road signs and traffic signals that perhaps the driver might miss," Farley said.
3. Riding in the back? Don't disconnect completely
As far as back seat passengers, Farley said it's unrealistic to expect that there's going to be lively conversation non-stop for five or six hours.
"So, I don't have an issue with people looking down at their phones and engaging with social media, periodically throughout the ride, so long as they're not completely disconnecting with the rest of the people in that space with them by putting on headphones and watching a movie or listening to music and being really an absentee person who is present in physical form, but not present in any other way. I think that is rude and inconsiderate," said Farley.
4. What should you watch during the trip?
When it comes to deciding which movie or movies to watch during the road trip, and there's one screen for the back seat, with multiple individuals with different tastes, Farley advises making sure the kids in the vehicle are the first priority.
"For starters, you want to pick something that is appropriate, age-appropriate for everybody in the car. I would also air on the side of making sure the kids are happy with what's playing and not the adults, so perhaps, the adults are going to be bored with a cartoon, but that's going to keep the children happy and occupied," Farley said. "I'd far rather that, than the rear passenger adults be happy and the kids be bored out of their minds."
5. Say "thank you" by chipping in
As far as expenses for the trip, Farley said for those traveling with friends or non-relatives on lengthy road trips, it's everyone's responsibility to show their gratitude by chipping in for gas and tolls.