A long drive should be fun and adventure-filled, but without the right preparation what’s supposed to be a smooth and splendid drive could turn into an awful and even a disastrous one. Long drives are a serious test not only for your car but also for the driver, therefore need the right preparation. These tips will help you prepare yourself for your long drive.
Get adequate sleep
Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep the night before a long drive. Not only will it give you enough energy but it will also help you maintain your focus during the long drive and avoid accidents caused by you taking microsleeps where your eyes fall shut for a few seconds.
Plan your stops
Of course tip number one is an ideal that many people will find hard to achieve. If that’s the case then it’s best to plan your stops. Pull over every several hours to take a break, or even get some sleep if you have to. You don’t have to be tired to get some rest, be deliberate and do it even if you don’t feel tired yet.
Be careful in taking medication
Avoid taking prescription medicines that could cause drowsiness and impair your driving. If you’re taking medication (and if it’s unavoidable to do so before driving) that may cause drowsiness then DON’T DRIVE. Your doctor will be able to advise you if medication you are taking will affect your coordination.
Have a medical kit
If you suffer from intermittent medical issues such as stomach cramps or headaches, it’s a good idea to have a medical kit in the car. If you have diabetes you will want to keep sugary foods available and know your symptoms for hypo- or hyperglycaemia. Having basic supplies such as tissues and painkillers is a good idea.
Bring a travel buddy along
It’s always a good idea to bring a travel buddy along to take turns driving the car. Call your girlfriend/boyfriend, invite a friend, a brother or a sister. Not only will it make you less exhausted when you arrive at your destination, but it will also make the journey more fun and worthwhile. But be careful that your travel buddies don’t become a distraction to your driving. Research shows that for young people, having friends as passengers increases their risk of being involved in a crash (sources: AA, HSRC).
Avoid heavy meals
It’s the body’s natural response to feel sleepy after a big meal, so it’s better to bring some snacks and water along to sustain you when you feel the need to. Remember to only have a light meal before heading on a long drive.
Plan your route
Although a GPS could provide you with the correct route, more often than not it will lead you to the longer cuts which will cost you more fuel. Try asking a friend who is familiar with the route, get a mapping app for your smartphone or consult Google Maps online before you leave and print the route plan; It will allow you to save fuel, and the stress and hassle of not knowing where to go.
Have good sounds and music
Have good sounds and music in place. Stack on your favorite music and artists. It doesn’t have to be just music – try having audio books or audible learning materials. This will not only relieve you from boredom, but it will also make your long trip more productive and meaningful.
Carlos is a digital marketing and lead generation expert who has helped advocate driver education websites since 2012.