Driving a long distance in your car brings a unique set of hurdles, but as long as you prepare you shouldn’t run into any problems. Let’s take a closer look at our 12 tips for going on a long road trip…
1) Check Tire Pressure and Other Basics
Before going anywhere, it is wise to give your vehicle the once over and check things like your tire pressure and oil, but this is even more important when travelling a long distance. It’s easier to fix small issues before you leave than big issues when you’re on the road.
2) Bring Your Spare Tire and Tools
It is also wise to bring some basic tools with you in case you break down—at least ensure you have a spare tire, so you can quickly change a flat without paying and waiting for help.
3) Plan Your Route
As exciting as it is to ‘go where the wind blows,’ it is wise to choose your destination and plan your route ahead of time. This has never been easier with Google Maps and other apps. Remember to look out for the quickest or scenic routes, closed roads, accident spots etc.
4) Fuel Up and Plan Stops
Before getting on your main route, filling up with a full tank will ensure you get some distance in before needing to fill up again. Depending on how ‘off the beaten track’ you’re going, you might also want to make a note of where the gas stations are located on your journey.
Several mobile apps can show you the nearest gas station and prices, based on your location.
5) Be Well Rested and Take Breaks
Driving long distances can be very tiring and failing to pay attention for just a few seconds can result in tragedy. That’s why it is so important to get a good night’s sleep before going on a road trip. You should also pull over and take rest breaks throughout your journey to recuperate. Chances are, your passengers will want food, drink or a toilet break anyway.
6) Stay Hydrated
It is important to stay hydrated when driving—it will keep you alert and prevent tiredness.
Don’t fall into the trap of only drinking coffee or energy drinks because these can contribute to dehydration in the long-run.
7) Use Gum for Alertness
Another simple method for staying alert is to chew gum. This helps increase blood flow and it’s much harder to nod-off if you’re conscious of something in your mouth. It can also increase your focus on the road.
8) Sat-Navs and Apps
Gone are the days of getting lost and using a map. Sat-navs and smartphone apps can guide you on your journey, warn you of traffic and hold-ups, tell you where the nearest gas station and rest stops are, and much more.
If you want a hassle-free and safe journey, technology is here to help.
Tip: If you don’t have a sat-nav or other road-trip essentials, you can always take out an instant loan online so your trip doesn’t have to be postponed.
9) Sweets and Games for Children
If you’re travelling with children they can easily become tired and grouchy, adding to the driver’s stress levels. As well as making regular stops, you can keep them occupied with sweets and travel games. Having a backseat entertainment system is also a plus, but don’t have too much going on that it distracts you from the road.
10) Music and Podcasts for Adults
Drivers and older passengers can also get bored, so be sure to have options for your favourite music or podcasts. Audiobooks are now also popular.
Of course, the trusty old radio can deliver music, news and politics, and entertainment at the press of a button.
11) Roadside Cover
Driving long distances increases the chances of your car breaking down or experiencing an accident. You’ll want this dealt with as fast and as cheaply as possible, so make sure you have roadside cover. They will fix your car there, or if it needs towing you will be provided alternative transport.
12) Don’t Overpack
If you pack too much stuff you can increase the weight of your vehicle to a dangerous level. This will make handling harder and put additional stress on the tires, especially if you have multiple passengers as well. Only pack what you really need and keep your car light.
Hitting the open road is always fun and by following the above tips, your journey should be a smooth one.
Do you regularly take road trips? Let us know how you prepare in the comments below!