How to be a Great Road Trip Copilot
There’s a lot of traveling to do this time of year, that’s for sure and many of us will be looking to share rides home or to other destinations over the holiday season. If you’re one of these people, there are certain rules you should follow when getting into someone else’s car—especially for long drives. Here are some tips to make the journey easier and more enjoyable for you and the driver.
Be Punctual and Know Where You’re Going If you’re getting picked up, make sure you’re ready by the agreed upon time. Don’t waste the driver’s time—especially when they’re trying to stick to a schedule. Conversely, don’t rush the driver if they’re running late. You’re on their time, not the other way around. In the age of GPS, this shouldn’t be too big of a problem, but it’s still important to know exactly where to meet your driver and where you’re getting dropped off. Don’t guess or assume—know! It’s not the driver’s problem if you don’t know where you’re going.
Respect the Rules of the Car Don’t take for granted that the things you might do in your or someone else’s car are welcome behaviors. Things like putting your feet on the dash, eating and drinking, smoking, or any other behavior is all subject to the driver’s code of conduct.
Pay Your Fair Share This one is super important. Ideally, you should communicate with the driver before leaving regarding how you’ll split things like gas and tolls. Depending on the length of the trip, it’s a good idea to pay for at least one gas fill-up each way. It’s also appropriate to split tolls or offer reimbursement. Another idea is offering to pay for the driver’s meal, snacks, and/or coffee if and when you stop.
When It Comes to Music, Know Your Place Having a copilot can be great on long trips because it means there’s someone to manage the music. However, with great power comes great responsibility. While finding music you and the driver can both agree on is ideal, whoever owns the car has the final say. So, even though you really love that new remix that dropped last week, your driver is within his or her full rights to veto anything you put on.
Respect the Driver This might seem like a no-brainer, but respecting the driver is always of the utmost importance. This includes everything covered above as well as knowing when to keep quiet, turn down the music, and let the driver concentrate on the task at hand. Whatever you do, always avoid back-seat driving. Remember, they’re doing all the hard work on this trip. You’re just along for the ride.
Following these tips will go a long way the next time you find yourself co-piloting a long car trip. Again, someone is doing you a major favor by taking you where you need to go. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or acquaintance, respecting and helping the driver will ensure you have a much happier and safer journey! For more traveling tips, check out the rest of our blog!