Road Rules: Driving on a Group Voyage
One of the most nerve-racking aspects of leading a group trip is the necessity of driving a van or large vehicle. All groups Wonder Voyage leads are required to provide their own ground transportation within the continental United States. There are a handful of things you should keep in mind when planning a pilgrimage in which you are in the driver’s seat.
Don’t wait to book your vehicle(s). Generally, the longer you wait, the higher the price and the fewer the choices. After your initial booking, you can always check for better prices in the months ahead and rebook with another company.
Don’t be cheap.
Use reputable companies. They may cost a bit more but those cheap deals may come back to bite you. You also want the most trustworthy vehicles when carrying your precious cargo.
Insurance is essential.
The card that the vehicle is booked under has taken on the financial and legal responsibility for the vehicle and those within the vehicle. Unless it’s covered under your credit card, spend the extra money to cover any damage that may come to the vehicle, or God forbid, those within the vehicle. Do not skimp on insurance.
Connect between vehicles.
Make sure you know the phone numbers of the people driving other vehicles and the contact information for your Guide.
Utilize navigation assistance.
There is no excuse for getting lost on the road. If your vehicle doesn’t have GPS, use a map app such as Google Maps. Know the address of your destination, and input that information before you start to drive. I strongly suggest you have a co-pilot that can make calls or follow the map so you can keep your eyes on the road.
Drop the “follow me” mindset.
When every driver knows the destination, there is no need to caravan together. Everyone can drive at their own speed knowing that they will all meet at the final destination. Trying to stay in formation on the road is distracting. Trust your directions.
Stop only when safe.
If you do have to stop for another vehicle, pull off the road. The greatest potential for accidents happens when a driver tries to wait for another vehicle in a dangerous place on the road. It’s not worth the risk. Another thought is park together in parking lots. There is safety in numbers.
Choose your drivers wisely.
If at all possible, avoid using nervous, distracted or just plain bad drivers. Bad drivers don’t generally consider themselves bad drivers. Choose safety over diplomacy.
When vehicles are a part of your pilgrimage, there is no need for road warriors. Opt for wisdom and safety so your voyage hits the road with the confidence that all is well.
After a decade working in parish youth ministry Shawn started Wonder Voyage Missions. Over the last 15 years, WVM has led thousands of pilgrims to over forty countries. Shawn is a storyteller and an award winning filmmaker. He is an author who brings the gift of engaging narrative to our journeys. Shawn is dedicated to creating voyages that give people abundant opportunities to encounter God.