Long drives can be some of the best times we spend in the car. You might be heading off on a long road trip with family, or perhaps you just want to explore more of what your country has to offer – by car. Here is a list of tips from our team to make the long drive better.
While you likely have your car booked in for regular checks already and any other mandatory yearly inspections, the long haul puts a strain on your vehicle. If you know when you will be heading out on your long drive, you can book your car a week or so before. That usually gives enough time to have all of the maintenance done, and if you need some repairs, they can often be fit in before you’re due to leave. Depending on the model of your car, you might need to take it to a specialist to have it tuned up correctly. Other makes and models will need particular parts, but they can usually be ordered online from specialists, similar to Beaver County DCJR – you can find what you need online.
The drive can be made more enjoyable for most people by knowing where your end destination is. For others, having no end destination is what makes them the happiest. However, having some type of plan is beneficial from planning gas stops and rest stops. Planning your route is easier than ever with Google Maps, Waze, and other route planning apps and services.
If you don’t want to take the fastest route but rather the most scenic, you can use a combination. If you’re feeling retro, you can mark your desired route on a paper map (and use your phone as backup). Decent planning will make sure that you have enough water and snacks for those in the car. It is also wise to plan specific stopping areas to text or call someone to update them on your progress.
During your planning, mark several stops that will be designated rest stops. It is usually recommended that after driving for two hours, you take a rest. If you have a co-driver, you can simply swap at this point; if not, then search for recommended and safe stops along the route. Use Google to search the name of the stop you want to go to, and read any reviews. You can usually find an image of the location online and decide if it looks like somewhere you would be comfortable stopping. When you stop, rather than rest in the car, take a few minutes to walk around and stretch.
Giving extra driving time allows for traffic jams and some last-minute exploration of new places. You can opt to leave a few hours ahead of when you need to, or even days. Engaging in your holiday mode before you leave might give you the relaxation that you need to slow down a little. Don’t rush, give yourself extra time, and if you arrive too early? You’ve got some bonus hours!
A good snooze
Trying to function on a normal day with little sleep can leave us feeling sluggish, clumsy, and a little bit sleepy. Those are awful conditions to make long trips in. While one night’s sleep might feel like it’s enough, you need to feel rested within yourself too. In the run-up to the long journey, try to sleep and rest as much as possible. This will mean that you have a better shot at being alert and ready to tackle the long drive and handle changes in the road or traffic with ease.
Fatigue is a leading cause of crashes. Equally, if you begin to feel tired while you are driving, even after a rest, it is safer to pull over and sleep some more. Swapping with a driving partner is ideal.
Cruise control can be incredible on long journeys, but it doesn’t take long before getting a bit lazy can kick in. Knowing you have a cruise control set can lead you to become a little bit too relaxed on some roads. And while that often is fine for long stretches of empty roads, one busier road, it is essential that you take control. Use your cruise control sparingly for the best results.
Driving for long hours in fitted clothing or tight jeans can cause circulation issues and lead you to be uncomfortable and fidget as you go. Sneakers or comfortable flat shoes are usually best, along with loose-fitting breathable fabrics. We love these driving loafers from MGemi.
Before taking off, ensure that the driver’s seat gives you the lower back support you need for a long trip. The bottom of your back, the lumbar area, can begin to ache. A small, supportive pillow or chair cover with back support can keep you comfortable for many hours.
An important point that many people forget is that during long drives, the sun will be beating down on your skin. Using sun protection lotion will help avoid getting sunburn where you least expect it. We often don’t feel how much the sun affects us until the damage is done, and we can be left with nasty burns.
Even if you have air conditioning and the cabin is cooled and relaxed, it is a good idea to open the windows once in a while. The fresh air can help to wake you up, as well as you being able to enjoy the smell of the countryside or other great outdoor scents. And finally, a critical point to enjoying your road trip, or long haul drive to the fullest, is always to obey the laws of the road.
If you are driving in a new country, you will need to be aware of the difference in road structures, traffic flow, and more. It’s never sensible to use your mobile phone for anything other than navigation within the car, either. Be mindful and courteous of other drivers at all times, and stick to the speed limits, and you will have an enjoyable and safe drive.