Imagine waking up on one Sunday and seeing a message by a friend saying: “Hola! Gear up, we are going on a road trip today.”
As much as it seems exciting, with all those butterflies in the stomach, it could be equally daunting if it turns out to be a bad trip.
Indeed road-tripping is the most liberating way to let the crazy traveler soul in you out. But, if you don’t do it smartly, who knows the highways you are on could be the highway to hell.
So, if you don’t want to experience the nightmare of “the highway to hell,” check out the following tips and be safe than sorry:
1. Plan ahead
Unarguably, jumping into a random situation with little to no plan is never wise, unless you are a pro-risk-taker. As the Chinese philosopher once said:
“A man who doesn’t plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.”
So, you need to know where you are going and plan accordingly. This way, you will be able to make sure that your drive is enjoyable and relaxing.
Map out the route and roads you are going to take with the help of GPS. Find out which fuel stops, eateries and restrooms are on the way where you can stop by. Make sure the route you plan to choose is easy-to-drive and with good infrastructure.
Also, keep taking constant weather checks for the areas you will be going to, so you won’t have to encounter some unexpected adventures on the go.
To be on a safer side, be in touch with somebody at your destination throughout your road journey. This way, they will be able to locate you if you land into some trouble. Lastly, ensure that your car is topped up with fuel and ready to go.
2. Sleep the night before you leave
“Helppppp!,” screamed a half open-eyed me and found myself revolving in the car, seeing airbags right in front of my eyes to cushions the blows of the crash. This was almost dead me when I was driving back home from Brooklyn. And this thought gives me chills to date.
Who was at fault? Of course, my sleepy fibers!
So, if you have been in a situation where you had to drive all long when you’re drowsy, you’re not alone. Sixty percent of the people in the US have done it, and one-third of them have slept at the wheel.
Getting behind the wheels may seem harmless, but it could have severe consequences. You could bump into some car and land yourself on a deathbed, just like I did. But, I was lucky enough to escape it and write this guide for you.
Thus, always make sure you take enough sleep before you embark on your journey to avoid such crashes.
3. Take a break every two hours or 200 km
Pushing yourself in order to make it to the destination quickly should be the last thing you would do on a road trip. It is because the driver’s fatigue could lead to dangerous and fatal accidents.
Hence, stopping by some restroom or restaurant to take a break from driving is a must. Ideally, it would be best if you took a break every two hours or 200 km for a long drive. This will allow you to check or refill fuel of your car as well as your own. Mother Nature can also call you anytime, and restrooms are for the very purpose!
4. Share the drive
Why risk everyone’s life, including yours, when you can share the ride?
It is advised not to drive more than ten hours in a day, so you better ask any of your trip buddies to help you out. This way, you can sit back and relax while taking the real pleasure of the journey.
5. Dress for comfort in the car
Long driving may sound all fun and exciting, but it becomes hectic for the drivers. This is why they need to ensure they feel comfortable while driving. And comfort begins with your clothes, body posture, and shoes. If any of these aren’t bringing comfort to you, you could be in trouble and sabotage the road trip not just for you but for your trip buddies too.
6. Don’t rely solely on cruise control
I know driving a car bought from Hippo Prestige cars. The vehicles they offer, come with advanced cruise controls and often make you solely rely on it. However, it goes without saying that features like cruise control come in handy when you are on a long drive. But, you should bear this in mind that your lack of involvement may lead to loss of concentration behind the wheel. You can only use it for short periods only so that you won’t lose your focus and end up in a hospital.
7. Eat light and stay hydrated
For many people, road trips mean lots of stop-by stations with junks and whatnots. But, little do they know the dangers of stuffing up with heavy meals such as fast food. It is because such meals will leave you with a bloated stomach and uncomfortable feeling. Also, keep yourself hydrated to avoid feeling low on your comfort level.
8. Obey the rules of the road
Being a pro car driver, a lot of people ask me if driving a car is as fun as it looks. And a straight out answer is NO!
Driving needs your full focus and undivided attention, mainly when you are on a long drive. Keep your cell phones on silent to keep the distractions at bay.
More importantly, please abide by the speed limit rules, avoid overtaking, and make sure everybody in the car has their seat-belts in use.
Lastly, be gentle and considerate to other drivers on the road.