17 Aug 8 Good Tips to Drive on a Long Trip
When it comes to long road trips, there are many questions you may have about the best way to prepare yourself and your vehicle for the trip. Most people commute with their cars to work or school on a daily basis, but they are not as likely to embark on long road trips.
There are several precautions you should take before going on a long road trip, whether you are traveling alone or with someone else. The most important priority is to take your car to a mechanic for a thorough inspection and to make sure you and other drivers get enough sleep the night before.
Whether you are traveling alone or with family members, long trips can be a great time to relax on the road and explore new locations and sceneries. You can also make stops and try new foods on the way to your destination. Keep reading to learn eight good tips to drive on a long trip.
So You’ve Got a Long Trip Coming up, Now What?
If you have a long road trip coming up, there are certain things you should be aware of to prepare yourself for the journey. You want to plan several days ahead to make sure you and your vehicle are ready for the long trip.
The most important thing to do initially is to examine the route that you will be taking and identify any potentially dangerous parts of the journey. For example, some roads may be mountain roads where roadside assistance is not easily accessible, and no businesses or people are living nearby.
In addition, you should plan to see your mechanic at least several days before the journey. This is perhaps the most important thing to do because your car will need to be in great condition for the trip.
What Are Good Tips to Drive on a Long Trip?
If you have a long trip coming up, there are some precautions you should take that will prepare you for the trip. Too many people do not adequately prepare for the trip and end up having problems. To avoid this, there are many measures you can take to avoid any hiccups on the road.
The first set of recommendations is to carefully plan your route ahead so that you can account for all the rest stops. This will allow you to plan for adequate sleep and rest time along the way. Ideally, you should identify rest stops, hotels, or motels along the way that will allow you to take a shower, rest, and refuel your car.
The second set of recommendations is to prepare your car properly. You should ideally take your car to a mechanic so all the proper servicing is done and your car is ready for a long trip.
The last set of recommendations depends on if you are driving alone or with someone else. If there is more than one adult with a driver’s license, this will make the trip easier as you can alternate between one another. This will also likely make the trip faster because you will not have to spend as much time on rest.
If you’re planning to travel with your furry friend, don’t forget to check out our guide on “Traveling with Pets: Safety and Comfort Tips” for valuable advice on making the journey safe and enjoyable for both you and your pet.
Trip Inspection from Mach1 Services
The first and most important recommendation is to get your car ready for the road trip. Even if you have recently purchased a vehicle and it has relatively low mileage, you should still have it properly inspected by a mechanic. Mechanics will inspect your car’s fluid levels, tire pressure, wipers, or gas levels.
For example, Mach1 Roadside Assistance offers a network of experienced mechanics who offer on-demand service and can come to your home. You can download Mach1 for free and it is extremely useful for roadside assistance as well in case something goes wrong on your trip. The app will find the nearest mechanic and dispatch them to you.
Preparing your vehicle also involves packing an emergency kit in case an accident happens. An emergency kit should include a first-aid kit, roadside safety kit, water, a flashlight, and similar items in case an accident happens or something happens to your car.
Finally, you should also clean your car inside and out. Your vehicle will likely get dirty and washing it beforehand is always recommended. You will likely drive through areas with bugs and other insects and these may damage your car’s paint. In addition, cleaning the car on the inside will make it a more pleasant experience to drive.
Eat the Right Food and Plan Your Stops
You should avoid eating excessive amounts of unhealthy food, such as processed food, processed sugars, and unhealthy snacks. While these may give you a temporary boost of energy, you will likely feel bloated and feel tired in the medium to long term. You should eat healthy fruits and salad and drink lots of water.
Depending on how long the road trip is, you will need to make stops every couple of hours for a proper meal. You should plan this ahead of time and find restaurants on the way that serve healthy food that will not cause you to crash down. This is also a good time to get some rest and inspect your car.
Another important consideration is to make sure you always have enough gas for at least 100 miles. In some cases, you may have to travel for up to 100 miles or more without a gas station or a store nearby. It is essential that you account for this as you plan for the trip and make sure you have enough gas and water.
Finally, if you are traveling for more than 24 hours, you should identify motels or hotels where you can sleep and shower. This, of course, will depend on your financial situation. If you are willing and able to spend more, you can identify nice hotels. If you want to travel on a budget, there are cheaper motels and rest stops.
Know Who You Are Traveling With
If you are traveling alone, you may ignore this tip. However, if you are traveling with someone, and if that person also has a driver’s license, this will make the trip easier as both of you can drive. In addition, if there are children traveling with you, you will likely need to plan for more rest stops.
If you will be sharing the driving with someone else, make sure your or their insurance will cover them in case of an accident. Accidents can happen at any point and you want to make sure that the insurance covers the person who may be driving.
Finally, if there is someone with medical conditions who are joining you on the trip, make sure they bring their medicine and other things they may need. You should also identify any hospitals or emergency health providers along the way in case the person requires medical attention.
Get Enough Sleep
If you will be driving for a prolonged period of time, it is essential that you get enough sleep. This starts with the night before you start the trip. If you are leaving early in the morning, you should go to bed early in the evening and try to get at least 10 hours of sleep. This will prepare you well for the first day of driving.
If you do not get enough sleep, you are likely to temporarily lose focus, which can be disastrous on the road. Studies have shown that people who are awake for more than 20 hours can be just as impaired as a legally drunk person.
If someone else is coming with you and they can also drive, you can rest in the car. However, this is not necessarily recommended as the person who is driving might also be tempted to sleep by seeing the other person rest. This is where you should plan for stops every 10 hours or so to get proper rest.
Take a Detour and Visit Locations along the Way
Before starting your trip, you should examine if there are any locations or natural sights along the way that are worth visiting. If you are traveling coast to coast, for example, there are many locations along the way that you should check out. This will also allow you to get some rest and break up the monotony of highway driving.
There are some websites that will allow you to plan for the most scenic route possible and discover some amazing stops along the way. If you are traveling with your family, this is a great experience to bond together while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
However, you should be careful not to veer away too much from the main roads. You will most likely be relying on navigation and internet access may be spotty if you go off the road. The last thing you want is to get lost and lose internet connection. Make sure that the location you plan to visit along the way is not too far off from the main road.
Pack the Essential Items
Responsible drivers planning for a long road trip should make sure that they pack all the essential items. In addition, you should also pack items that will allow you to travel in a more comfortable manner. You should especially pay attention to the following items:
- Travel and car documents
- First aid kit
Each of these items will ensure that you have access to important hygienic and medical supplies that you will need during a long trip.
Travel and Car Documents
You absolutely need to bring your driver’s license, car insurance details, and any special permits that you may require. If you will be crossing state borders, make sure you bring your passport or other necessary documents.
Of course, this applies to other passengers as well, if you are not traveling alone. The last thing you need is to get pulled over and you or whoever else is driving does not have a driver’s license or car registration and insurance details.
First Aid Kit
Some jurisdictions require you to carry a first aid kit whenever you are driving. Even if this is not a requirement, it is extremely important that you pack the essential first aid kit, which will include a number of items.
If you or someone you are traveling with has medical problems, make sure that you are stocked up on the necessary medicines and supplies. Pharmacies may not always be available on the road, especially once you reach more secluded areas.
Finally, you should bring tissues, hand sanitizer, deodorant, toothpaste, and other toiletries in case you want to freshen up during your trip. These items are inexpensive and will come in handy if you spill anything on yourself or inside the car.
In some cases, you may need to use the bathroom and there are no bathroom stops along the way. These toiletries are especially useful in this case and will make the traveling experience immensely more enjoyable.
Create a Budget and Stick to It
If you want to be careful and minimize your expenses, you should create a budget before your trip and try your best to stick to it. There are certain things that you will inevitably spend money on, such as gas, food, accommodation, and miscellaneous expenses.
For travelers who want to save money and plan to travel for days, you should look for cheap accommodation along your route. The best way to prepare for this is to examine your route carefully and look for the cheapest option that will satisfy your needs. If you plan in advance, you will know exactly how long it will take before you reach the place.
In addition, different states or countries have different gas prices. If you are traveling in the United States, certain states, such as Texas or Louisiana have cheaper gas prices compared to other states. Make sure that you plan accordingly and your car has enough gas so you can drive until the cheapest gas is available.
Be Alert While Driving
You should always make sure to be alert while you are driving and scan the road for any hazards, be cautious of aggressive drivers, and do not stop on the side of the road at night unless absolutely necessary. You will drive to most locations for the first time and you will not be as familiar with the local roads and drives.
Of course, to be alert you need to be properly rested. That is why it is important to stop for breaks as soon as you feel fatigued. Taking a short nap in the car or just resting will allow you to focus on the road and reach your destination safely.
Road trips can be a great way to explore new destinations and visit new locations. If you are traveling alone, the monotony of driving for long stretches can be broken by frequent stops to visit new places. If you are traveling with friends or family, it is a great way to spend time with them.
Prior to the trip, you should visit a mechanic and make sure your vehicle is in the right condition. In addition, there are certain items, such as essential items, travel and car documents, and toiletries that you should have with you in case of emergency or unforeseen circumstances.