Road travel during the holiday season is always popular, but this year’s low gas prices are expected to encourage even more than usual. Ford Motor Company and the Emily Post Institute – the United States’ foremost source for etiquette tips and advice – have teamed up to offer a guide to pleasant, stress-free holiday travel this year.
The Driver Is A Host
If you are playing the role of driver during your family’s holiday travel this season, it’s important to remember that you are the host – the same as you might be were you inviting family and friends into your home. As such, be chivalrous; you don’t necessarily have to open doors for passengers, but be ready to remotely unlock them before anyone tries the handle, and warm the car (and seats, if applicable) prior to your guests’ entry. Consider giving guests a tour of your vehicle, including where commonly used utilities are (12-volt plugs, USB charge ports, infotainment controls, etc.), and pre-compile a nice, suitable playlist long before the journey ever starts.
Communication Is Key
As with any relationship, communication is key to a pleasant holiday travel experience. Drivers might consider laying out a full travel itinerary, along with regular updates, so as to head-off the usual questions of “are we there yet?” before it is asked. It’s equally important for front seat passengers to communicate clearly and helpfully to drivers, serving as an extra pair of eyes on the road, while avoiding the sort of “backseat driving” which can make stressful holiday travel even worse. And, since inclimate weather might mean a loss of cellular data and GPS navigation, have plenty of real, paper maps on backup, and (passengers) know that you may be called upon to fill-in for an out-of-service electronic device.
Above all, be sure not to fight over entertainment, or crank the movies and music up too loud; a distracted driver is an unsafe driver!
Get With The Spirit Of Giving
Ford and the Emily Post Institute point out that while tensions often arise in tight spaces and stressful situations such as those encountered during holiday travel, many can be diffused simply and easily by in-car features like massaging seats, or a quick change of tune on the radio. And finally, if you are driving, be especially sure to stay between the lines during your holiday travel; no one likes the person who takes up two parking spots, and that goes double during the season of giving.
Remember: when in doubt, you can always leave the parking to your Ford vehicle’s Active Park Assist.