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Just because you’re not behind the wheel of a hire car or campervan doesn’t mean you don’t have a key role to play in the journey. Passengers, especially the one sitting in the co-pilot seat, are vital ingredients for a successful and safe road trip. 

Here are five rules to stick by to keep your driver happy and ensure you’re invited back on the next road trip.

Stay calm

 We’ve all been there; in charge of giving directions and seeing instructions either forgotten or just plain ignored. Is taking the next exit on the left so hard? Sometimes it is. Between sketchy road conditions, unfamiliar surroundings and locals not letting you over, sometimes turns are just going to be missed. 

Instead of freaking out, just breathe. Just give directions that will get you to where you need to go; take the next turn, or pull over to check the GPS for a suitable alternate route. If you’re doing it right, the driver won’t even know that he/she missed a trick. 

Bring snacks and drinks

While petrol is an obvious key to keeping your hire car or campervan motoring along, what you pack to eat and drink is almost as essential.

A competent co-pilot needs to have this on lockdown. Make sure snack stocks are high at all times, drinks are chilled, and that it’s all kept organised so as to not hinder the driver.  

Perhaps most important is your role as a vital conduit in the snacking process. Offer drinks, unwrap food, and put them where it’s easiest for the driver. This includes everything from delivering hot chips one by one to holding up a drink straw within mouth’s reach.  

Stay Awake

With few exceptions, sleeping during the ride is a no-no for several reasons. One is safety; multiple sets of eyes on the road is better than one pair, and having an energised companion can keep the driver’s eyelids open and head on the straight and narrow. Another is that you need to uphold your sacred snack and drink delivery duties as discussed above (and your DJ duties discussed below). 

Sometimes the driver will generously give you express permission to catch a bit of shuteye, which you are well within in your rights to take. Otherwise, stay with it to not only enjoy the ride, but also to keep your wheelman or woman engaged. 


When you and your friends and family are road tripping through multiple cities, states, or even countries, you’ll need a free set of hands to handle audio duties.  

Whether it’s finding a new radio station when the signal fades, controlling the ever-important road trip playlist or lining up the next podcast in the queue, the co-pilot has to play a bit of DJ along the way to earn his or her keep. 

Keep in comms

In Australia, it’s against the law to be on your mobile phone while behind the wheel. And even in countries where it’s not illegal, fumbling around on any device while driving is a bad idea. That’s why the co-pilot needs to be the one paying attention to the GPS, calling ahead to book campsites or make other reservations, and handling all other general communications. 


There are no free rides when it comes to road tripping with mates or family, especially when you’re the co-pilot! Take heed of these commandments and put you and your drive on the path to holiday heaven. 

Ready to hire a campervan or rent a car for your journey? Check out how easy is it to compare and reserve a vehicle with DriveNow today.

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