Road Trip Etiquette: Everything You Need To Know For Your Road Trip

Road trips are part and parcel to the festival goer’s life. It seems, however, that not a lot of people are in tune with the unspoken rules of the road when it comes to long road trips to festivals with friends. So the staff at DMNW have taken the time to discuss the most important things for you to know about road trip etiquette!

Know Your Role in the Vehicle:

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Believe it or not, there are some very important rules to follow depending on where you are sitting in the car. The driver must remain completely un-distracted while getting to the final destination. As for “shotgun” (front seat passenger), you are to be in control of navigation and tunes. Really, no road trip is complete with out a good playlist, but we have you covered with our daily Elevation Playlist that you can download by following this link ;).

Shameless plugs aside, there are still (normally) two or more compatriots in the back seat. The back seat passengers have just one role: assist the front of the car. (And no kicking the back of the driver’s seat.) This involves, but is not limited to: providing snacks, drinks, enlightening conversation, etc.

Potty Breaks:

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Bathroom breaks are determined by those with the strongest bladders. We have been in cars where we have gone for hundreds of miles before anyone relinquished their pride and asked for a bathroom break. However, the driver of the vehicle may choose to pull over at anytime without condemnation from the rest of the vehicle. Think of the driver of the car as a president with veto powers. However, don’t push it; wetting your pants is a serious road trip buzzkill.

Drive Accordingly:

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Safety is always our top priority at DMNW, so we can’t stress enough how important it is to drive safely. If the driver gets a text, the navigator can handle it. If the driver wants to take a Snapchat, the navigator can handle it. If the driver needs to catch a Pokemon, that’s where the backseat comrades shine. Point is, if you are driving, that should be the only thing you should be concentrated on.

As far as speeding goes, it’s dangerous, and pointless. Look at it this way, if you’re traveling 300 miles and the speed limit is 70 MPH, then you’ll be there in 4.29 hours. If you are traveling 5 miles per hour over the speed limit (which is where most people feel comfortable speeding without getting pulled over), you will only save 17.5 minutes. So there is really no point in doing it. And if you’re going faster than that, you’ll get pulled over, have to pay for a ticket, and your insurance rates will increase. Oh, and you are creating an unsafe environment for the rest of your festival crew, so yea, don’t do it. Also, buckle up; it could save your life.

Painting Your Vehicle:

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We have seen some extremely awesome decorations on vehicles out on the road. We have also seen some horrendous ones. But we guess that’s all in the “eye of the beholder.” So we totally encourage you to do so. But speaking of “eye of the beholder,” the police really like to see those cars. Their immediate thought is “they are going to a festival and likely have illicit materials in that vehicle.” So refer to the previous tip: Drive Accordingly.

And make sure to do some research on the materials you’re using to paint your cars. We’ve seen some … not so great … decor make a more lasting impression that expected due to the use of things like shoe polish and materials that can damage car paint.

Pack Healthy Smart Snacks and Drinks:

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Having food on a road trip is not only a good way to cut down on the amount of pit stops through out the trip, it’s also a huge life saver. If your vehicle breaks down, you have no idea how long it will take to get a service vehicle to where you are. Eating smart can also help you stay awake on the road. You might think “I am going to pack a bunch of energy drinks so that I can pull through this leg of the trip.” The truth is, they only work for so long and are incredibly unhealthy.

A pro-tip we got from the father of a DMNWer who is a long-haul truck driver by trade is to eat an apple instead of chugging a Redbull. Most of us have tried it and can attest that it is far more effective at warding off drowsiness. If that is ineffective, then just pull over and take a nap. Nothing is more important then your (and others) health and safety.

Make Sure Your Vehicle is Good-To-Go:

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Yes, we actually have to point this out. We have had too many friends head out on the road without getting a check up on their vehicle or being properly prepared. So with that, get your vehicle to a shop for an oil change and basic maintenance. Make sure your tires have the proper tread and air. Double check to see if you have your safety equipment: jack, spare tire, flags, water, kitty litter, windshield wiping fluid, etc. These are just some basic things you can do to avoid getting stranded or worse. From a completely unsolicited position, get AAA.

Don’t Forget Your Passport:

Yeah, we’ve done it. Even the most solid crew of festival veterans have forgotten their passports or IDs. So it’s really important to keep reminding yourself to pack those. We like to put a sticky note on the steering wheel to remind us to grab these before we head out. You could also pack them in your actual bag the night before. It’s honestly best to have it with you even if you are traveling domestically. You could lose you drivers licence and be unable to go to an “ID Required” event. It’s just a nice back up and a piece of mind while your having fun.

We hope these tips have been helpful in planning your next festival road trip. Let us know any additional tips you use to make your experience awesome in the comments below. Finally, we can’t stress enough how much we value you as a reader, and we want to have you read more great content from us in the future. So please buckle up and be safe out there.

Watch for our follow-up article on “knowing your rights,” in regards to road trips and the law.

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