The 10 Worst Things to Do on a Road Trip
Few things are more relaxing than the open road, unless there's a needy passenger constantly vying for your attention.
William Warby / Flickr
"Let's take a road trip!"
It always sounds like a good idea when you say it, but a couple hours into the drive, you inevitably end up hating at least one of the people you're in the car with.
The truth is, whether it's 10 minutes in the car or 10 hours, there are certain things that are really going to frustrate whoever is driving (and probably other people in the car with you). You might not hear about them during the trip for the sake of keeping the peace, but when you're suddenly in an argument when you finally get out of the car, it was probably something you did.
Here are 10 of the most annoying things you can possibly do in the car.
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10. Expect a deep, involved conversation
One of the best parts of a road trip is the peacefulness of the open highway and the ability to lose yourself in your thoughts. You know when you can't do that? When there's someone in the passenger seat waiting for your response every few seconds. Sometimes, it's great to have a meaningful conversation with your fellow travelers, but the fourth hour of a day-long trip through the desert of New Mexico might not be exactly the time for it. If we want to drift off into our own little Dean Moriarty worlds in our heads, let us. It's nothing on you, we're just enjoying the ride.
9. Ask "How long until we get there?"
When a little kid asks "Are we there yet?", it's annoying. When a full-grown adult asks some version of "Are we there yet?", it's the kind of thing that makes you consider your life decisions that brought you to this road trip in the first place. Unless you literally have no idea about where we're going, there's no excuse not to know approximately how much of the drive is left. If you know it's a five-hour drive and we left at noon, then just do the math. Also, there's this thing called Maps on your phone, and it'll answer all your questions.
Go ahead and wear your sunglasses at night. We draw the line at turning the air conditioning off and singing over Beyonce.
Ben Seidelman / Flickr
Who sings this song? Is it Beyonce? Is it Eminem? Is it the Beatles? It doesn't matter who it is, because it isn't you, so let them sing it. If we're singing along too, that's one thing, but assuming we're not, we have little to no desire to hear you belt it out. We know you put together a really awesome heartfelt interpretive dance to the new Taylor Swift song, but save it for your Monday morning commute to work, not when we're trapped in a confined space with you for hours on end.
7. Eat loudly
We all know that one person who eats a bag of Doritos so loudly that you can't hear anything else, even though they're on the other side of that room. You don't want to be that person, and you definitely don't want to be that person while stuck in the tight space of a car. It's cool to crunch away on some chips or something, but just keep the gum-smacking to a minimum and don't make it excessively noisy. This counts for messy eaters too, because no one wants to find some rotting fries under their passenger seat a month after the trip.
6. Turn off the air conditioning
This one is particularly for ladies. We get it, you're cold. You're always cold. But, if we're the one driving, then you can put on a sweater or something. When we get too warm in a car, two things could happen: 1) We start to sweat; 2) We start getting sleepy. If it comes down to the two of those, a little sweat never hurt anybody. But for everyone's enjoyment, let us keep the car a little cooler than you'd like it to avoid any unwanted body odors or passing out at the wheel. Keep an extra layer in the backseat, it'll be better for everyone.
Seriously, it's perfectly fine to fall asleep on a long car trip, just don't start snoring so loud we can't hear ourselves think.
Sam DeLong / Flickr
It's totally acceptable to fall asleep in the car (as long as you're not driving), and we know you can't control your congestion and breathing patterns while asleep, but the sound of snoring can really take the joy out of a road trip in a hurry. Sometimes, when a person fall asleep, we think "Look at how peaceful and pleasant that person looks," other times, it's "How in the world is all of that noise coming out of such a small person? Can that person breathe? That person can't possibly be breathing if he/she is dealing with that much mucus." And then we're thinking about the snot buildup inside your nose and sinuses causing you to snore, and that doesn't make anyone look better.
4. Read every sign
We may not be able to see every street sign, highway marker, billboard advertisement, and vanity license plate that we pass (we are the ones driving, after all) but that doesn't mean we need or want you to read them to us. Really, we'd be totally alright with not knowing how many miles from Tuba City we are or what the phone number for that mortuary service was. Unless there's a specific reason you think we need to know what a sign says, just assume that we would've read it if we really cared that much about it.
3. Backseat driving
Regardless of whether you're actually seated behind us, backseat (or passenger seat) driving is one of our major pet peeves. It's one thing if we ask for your help navigating (see: typing the address into Google Maps for us) or something along those lines, but we're never going to ask for you to criticize our driving or make "polite suggestions" about what we're doing wrong. Generally speaking, we're fully aware of what we're doing wrong, we just don't care enough to change it. If we're driving, let us drive, and when you're driving, we'll return the favor.
Honestly, in what world is this possibly acceptable? Feet-on-the-dashboard types are monsters.
Alisha Vargas / Flickr
2. Switch the music
When you're driving, by all means, listen to whatever you want. When we're driving, let us listen to what we want. There are plenty of times when it's totally cool for you to pick the soundtrack, but when we're in a close-quartered mildly uncomfortable automobile isn't one of them. You might not be the biggest fan of our music, but, believe it or not, listening to several hours of Rihanna isn't going to put us in a better mood.
1. Put your feet on the dashboard
One of the most puzzling things that people do on road trips is put their feet up on the dashboard of the car. It seems like age, socioeconomic background, race, and every other classifying attribute play little to no factor in whether people partake in this atrocious habit or not, there are simply some who do it, and some who aren't disgusting weirdos who put their bare feet on the front of automobile interiors. We're not sure what piece of your brain says that you should do it, or who ever told you that it was acceptable to subject everyone else in the car to being eye-level with your toes, but unless your fellow travelers are into that kind of thing, just don't do it.
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