Recommendations for Long Road Trips

Prevention is essential when embarking on long road trips. Take note of the following suggestions to avoid inconvenience, travel safely, and make your vacation journey a great one!
Recommendations for Long Road Trips

Last update: 02 July, 2021

Do long road trips appeal to you?

Contrary to what some people think, you don’t have to get tired of being behind the wheel when traveling. This alternative is full of advantages, and the main one is that you can control everything from start to finish.

No matter the distance, driving is often cheaper and expands the possibilities of getting to know different routes. Although it’s best to leave with a plan, you can improvise if any inconvenience arises or you just feel like it.

Other benefits of traveling by car are the possibility of carrying as much luggage as you want, avoiding lines at train stations or airports, stopping whenever you want, enjoying the scenery, and having more freedom.

Tips for a long road trip

To make long road trips enjoyable, keep the following considerations in mind.

1. Plan your route

When you plan ahead, you reduce the chances of something going wrong. Once you’ve chosen your destination, pinpoint distances and stops to draw up a road map.

Include how the roads you’ll be driving on, fuel stations, hostels, and restaurants are located.

2. Learn about the laws

Support yourself with a road safety app. They’re useful programs with digital maps and information about local regulations and traffic laws. Some even have translators.

The good thing is that you can download them to a smartphone or tablet, so you always have assistance.

3. Inspect the vehicle

Make sure the tires are in optimal condition (carry a spare), check the oil level, and schedule a visit to the mechanic in advance to examine the engine and brakes. It’s also important to pay attention to the lights and windshield wipers.

Just like a first aid kit, on long road trips, you should have a box with tools to replace tires, traffic cones, a fire extinguisher, a reflective vest, a flashlight, a hydraulic jack, and everything you need to ride with confidence.

A pile of antique suitcases.
Don’t forget to take space for your suitcases into consideration, especially taking into account the length of the trip.

4. Have a co-pilot

You can undertake long trips alone, but it’s best to have a replacement at the wheel when you need it. By taking turns, both of you can rest and drive attentively when it’s your turn.

5. Know the tips for preparing and warning others of your departure

Be careful with this! To avoid theft in your home, don’t tell everyone that you will be traveling. It’ll be enough to notify someone close to you who can watch your home, your pet, and pick up the mail.

Let them know about your departure and, before leaving, if there are any particular instructions. Go over them with this person so you won’t be distracted by calls on the way.

6. Have the essentials on hand

There are more exceptions with luggage, but it’s not good to take up too much space in the vehicle. What you shouldn’t forget are medicines, food, hygiene items, and weather-appropriate clothing.

7. Don’t leave without resting

Extensive and demanding routes should never be traveled without rest. This recommendation applies to both the pilot and the co-pilot. Sleep at least 8 hours the night before so that physical exhaustion doesn’t weigh so much and you’ll be able to react in case of an unforeseen event.

If you’re traveling in a group, those who accompany you in the car have the task of helping to minimize stress.

8. Stop at certain points

The route is more bearable if you approach it in sections. A publication by the European Automobile Commission states that fatigue caused by driving so many hours in a row makes you sleepy, alters your perception of the environment, worsens psychomotor coordination, changes your behavior, and affects your response capacity, which could lead to an accident.

9. Carry chargers and extra phones

Don’t use your cell phone on the road. Opt for it in emergencies, for example, to communicate with a tow truck. Whenever you call or send a message, pull over.

You may also be interested in: Fear Factor: Why Am I Scared of Driving?

Tips for the long-distance driver

As repetitive as it may seem, the importance of rest is essential for the driver. Take the opportunity to stretch your legs and relax your muscles every 2 or 3 hours.

Likewise, you should drink plenty of water before beginning your journey and throughout the duration of your travels. Other suggestions are as follows:

  • Make sure to bring your car’s papers, the insurance policy, your driver’s license, etc.
  • Consider alternative routes, in case you need them.
  • Avoid traveling at night or at times when the weather’s hot.
  • Don’t drink alcohol, since it goes without saying that it represents a danger for you and others on the road.
  • If you take any medication, even if it’s a prescription, you should be aware of the side effects.
  • Wear light clothing and comfortable shoes; no high heels or stiff soles because they make urgent braking difficult.
  • Try not to eat large meals, otherwise, you may experience heavy digestion.
  • Distribute the luggage in such a way that it doesn’t disturb the dynamic behavior of the car. Don’t leave loose packages in the back of the car, as they may cause damage in the event of an accident.
A child resting in the back of a parked car with her legs on the suitcases.
Stopping to rest and taking advantage of the scenery are advantages of using the car on long road trips.

The key to long trips is foresight

Excitement and adventure are part of what you experience during long road trips. Don’t let them be tarnished by lack of foresight. Set aside time to work out a tentative route.

As soon as the idea’s in your head, keep in mind that safety is the most important factor in having a peaceful vacation.

Now that you know the tips for getting to your destination, all that’s left is to pack your bags and make the experience an unforgettable one!

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