The Unwritten Rules of Every Road Trip

Consider the Road Trip: an open highway, a group of friends and the sun setting over some majestic landscape (in the movies it’s always the desert leading into or out of Las Vegas). A road trip represents freedom, the chance to break away from daily norms and structure. But that doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all.

All road trips are governed by a certain set of unwritten, albeit time-honored, rules that everyone must follow to ensure that their journey doesn’t dissolve into a scene from National Lampoon’s Vacation. Follow these and you just might avert the two biggest disasters of any road trip—a break up and an empty tank of gas.

Designate one navigator: In our time of electronic GPS tracking it is almost impossible to get lost in a vehicle, and yet it still happens. Put the responsibility to get the car from point A to point Z on one person (and not the driver). The navigator should possess a fully-charged phone, a loud enough voice to be heard over the music and the ability to act confident even when they have no idea where the next exit is.

Let the person sitting shotgun control the tunes: This policy has been in place since the days dinosaurs roamed the Earth—everyone should know it by now. And, since you’re abiding by road trip rules, it’s okay to listen to all of those rock stars you only listen to in the privacy of your own home. Fellas, this means you have our blessing crank all the Taylor Swift your heart desires. Better yet, roll down the windows and sing your heart out alongside Taylor.

Stay entertained: Let’s be honest, for those of us who aren’t driving, the endless highway can sometimes turn mind-numbing. Stay entertained via the HopperGo. The HopperGo device allows you to download up to 100 hours of movies and shows, and then play them on your smart phone or tablet. Even better, you can connect your HopperGo to up to five devices, ensuring that even if you got the group lost and didn’t pack enough clean clothes, you will still be the car’s MVP.

Pack enough clean clothes: While this sounds very, very standard, we all know that at least one person in every group doesn’t adhere to it. He is the guy who wears his Sunday underwear on Wednesday—and it was already a little shifty then. Don’t be this guy—pack clean socks, drawers, and shirts for every day. What about your super sweet going-out jeans? Fine, you can recycle them throughout the trip.

Don’t say goodbye to your favorite teams: The worst time to travel is during a big game—and there always seems to be a hot match up on these days. Don’t miss a minute of the action with the DISH Anywhere app, which allows you to watch live TV on your mobile device from, you guessed it, anywhere.

Always have plenty of snacks: The road trip is the ideal time to invest in all of the MSG-spiked, sugar-filled, salty treats that you would not otherwise consume during the course of a normal week. Think cheese balls, Spree candies, and those honey buns that look like they have been sitting there for the better part of a century—but still seem so appealing. Don’t even bother coming prepared with a full cooler. Anything and everything should be bought from gas stations along the way.