When you’re traveling with your team–whether you are heading to a competition, an away game, or any other team function–you may be brimming with excitement. And let’s admit it, cheerleading is supposed to be exciting! But while you’re on the bus, you have to remember that safety is the number one thing to accomplish in order to get to where you’re going without any unfortunate or unexpected delays. Your coach or chaperone is responsible for the transport of your team, so cut them a break and listen to their rules once you board the bus. More than that, to ensure that everything goes according to plan, there are just some things to avoid altogether after the bus driver pulls away from the starting parking lot.

Don’t continue switching seats. Moving while any vehicle is in motion is not the best idea in the first place. If you have to talk to your coach about something urgent and they are sitting many aisles down, of course you can get up if you do so at an appropriate time. However, it’s a completely different story if you keep walking around the bus to talk to teammate after teammate–it’s just plain dangerous! Accidents happen, and because of that, you should remain in your chosen seat the entire bus ride, at least if you can help it. Therefore, make sure to choose your ‘bus buddy’ wisely when you board, especially if your team is headed to a far off destination.

Never wander off during pit stops. Competitions can be several states away, so your bus might have to make a lot of pit stops for gas and bathroom breaks–not to mention for food! During the shorter travel breaks, wandering too far from the bus is the easiest way to get accidentally left behind. If you truly have to trudge far to find a bathroom, let your coach or bus chaperone know before you go, and use the buddy system! Two cheerleaders absent from the headcount before the bus moves on is much more noticeable than one person missing. Another concern at random rest stops is 'stranger danger': when you’re on the road, you might encounter some odd people since you’re away from home. Try not to talk to anyone you don't know and report to your coach if someone is being super suspicious or harassing you in any way.

Never forget to have a little fun. So, you’re stuck on a bus… but you’re stuck on a bus with your team! That means, it’s bonding time! Make the most of being together for hours at a time without having to practice or perform. Travel time is a great opportunity to learn about each other: find out each team member's personal goals, background, and views on life. There are many activities to do while traveling on the road too, so play a team-bonding game while you’re at it! By the time you get to where you’re headed, you’ll have not only have traveled a great distance, but also furthered your relationships with your teammates. Isn’t that the best way to get around?

Do you think there are other things that cheerleaders should never do while on a travel bus? What was a travel faux pas that happened to you? Let us know in the comments!