Play agreed-upon music only
This goes without saying. If your passenger hates country music and you hate rap, try some rock! Both of you are stuck in the car for the same amount of time... don't make it worse for each other.
2. Warn the others at least 30 minutes before you pee your pants
Timing your bathroom trips isn't something that we've all mastered. And sometimes, it comes completely out of the blue and you have to go immediately - I get it. But at least try to warn the others that you're going to have to go as soon as you feel it coming. This allows for the other passengers to prepare to stop (put on shoes, wake up if needed, etc.) and for the driver to start scoping out the next rest stop.
3. The driver should never be the only one awake
Driving long distances is hard- your eyes ache, you get bored, etc. If you're the only passenger, do whatever you can to stay awake. Dance, sing, drink an energy drink, tell a story... whatever you need to do. Doing so will help keep your driver awake and alert.
4. Play your role
If you're the passenger, you're working navigation and playing D.J. If you're in the back, you're on snacks. These are the usual roles but they change depending on how many people you're roadtripping with. Be sure to dish out roles at the beginning so everyone knows what they're in charge of.
5. Pack lightly
There's never as much room in the car as you think there is. Bring your necessities only. For example, you only need one pair of jean shorts... not four. Also, you want to be respectful of everyone else in the car. You don't want to be the reason that Little Suzie has to curl up into a ball just to fit in the car.
6. Go with the flow
Roadtrips are so fun because most of the time, they're spontaneous. Even if there's a lot of planning done, if you pass something cool enough, you're bound to stop. Be ready for it and be excited for it.
Also, a lot of things can go wrong during roadtrips. You might run out of gas, show up at the wrong hotel, not get to your destination fast enough, etc. Instead of pointing fingers, find solutions. It'll make it more fun for everyone and add to your story for when you get home!
7. Be down for fun- even if you’re tired
This goes hand-in-hand with #6. Being in the car for long periods of time is going to make you really tired and probably pretty crabby. BUT, suck it up, buttercup! There's fun to be had! Especially towards the end of your road trip, you'll be running on fumes. Do your best to put your attitude aside and experience each moment as it happens.
Be ready to miss some things that you want to see or do. For example, if I'm on a roadtrip with my friend who hates heights and we come across an amusement park, I'm not going to force her to go with me. Just put it on your list for the future and keep going. Understand that everyone on the trip will probably have to sacrifice a thing or two along the way.
9. Communicate effectively
If you desperately want to go somewhere, just say so. Try to avoid catching attitudes or getting into petty fights. You're going to be stuck with your passengers for days in a very small environment. Be as kind and as direct as possible. Look for solutions and compromises instead of being stubborn. It'll make the trip a lot easier.
10. Put your phone away- unless you’re the navigator
This doesn't apply to the navigator because chances are, they're using Maps on their phone. But for the rest of the car, (especially the driver), stay off your phone. Talk to each other, sing too loud, tell jokes and stories! Twitter and Instagram will be there for you when you reach your destination. The car is more fun when everyone is engaged!