As the government signals that overseas holidays may remain a distant dream this summer, more and more individuals are turning to the picturesque locales within the UK for their summer getaways. Whether you are planning to visit the stunning beaches of Cornwall, the vibrant city of Brighton, the historic charm of Edinburgh, or the Roman baths in Bath, one thing is for sure – there’s bound to be some miles between you and your desired destination. long distance driving can be a unique experience for each traveler. Some relish the open road, while others find it a daunting task. Regardless of your initial feelings, there are methods to make long-distance driving a less stressful and more enjoyable endeavor. To assist you on your journey, we’ve compiled a list of our top 11 tips for driving long distances.
11 tips for Long Distance driving
1. Plan Ahead
Have you ever noticed how relaxed you feel when driving to a familiar place? That’s because you know precisely where you’re going. Imagine if you could have that same level of comfort while driving to an entirely new destination hundreds of miles away. Well, you can.
Knowing your route not only makes driving less stressful but also enhances the overall experience. Whether you rely on a GPS navigation system or prefer old-fashioned paper maps, familiarizing yourself with the route can significantly reduce stress during long journeys. Memorizing the entire route is unnecessary, but having a good understanding of major roads, motorways, and junctions is advisable, even if you’re using a GPS.
Additionally, planning pit stops is a great way to break up the journey. Identifying places to refuel, eat, rest, and relax for a bit can help reduce stress and make the drive more enjoyable. Remember, a well-planned journey is a less stressful one.
2. Prepare Your Vehicle
Just as a marathon runner wouldn’t forget to stretch and hydrate before a race, you should ensure your vehicle is ready for the long journey ahead. Proper preparation can be the difference between a safe, smooth journey and an unexpected breakdown on the road.
A vehicle safety inspection, such as the one offered by First Stop, ensures that your car is in good condition and reduces the risk of mechanical issues. You can also schedule a comprehensive service before embarking on your journey to address any potential problems.
Even if your car has recently been serviced, it’s essential to check the following items before you start your trip:
- Fluid levels (AdBlue, brake fluid, coolant, engine oil, and screenwash)
- Tire tread (the legal minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm)
- Tire pressure
- Fill up your fuel tank before starting (fuel at service stations can be pricier)
If your car’s tires fall below the legal tread depth limit, it’s advisable to replace them before hitting the road. Comfortable vehicles with good fuel economy are ideal for long-distance driving. If your car doesn’t meet these criteria, you might consider renting a suitable vehicle.
3. Pack an Emergency Kit
While it might seem excessive, accidents can happen, and being prepared can make all the difference. Every emergency kit may vary, but here are a few essential items to include:
- First aid kit
- Roadside safety kit (featuring a hi-vis vest, reflective triangle, foil blanket, jump leads, tow rope, tape, and non-slip gloves)
- Spare tire
- Jerry can
4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Few things are riskier than driving when fatigued. Research shows that not getting enough sleep can lead to micro naps, which are dangerous while driving. Furthermore, after being awake for 20 hours, your impairment can be as severe as that of a driver above the legal alcohol limit. To ensure a safe journey, getting a good night’s sleep is paramount.
A well-rested mind is an integral part of being prepared for your trip. Adequate rest ensures you wake up with a clear head, ready for the road ahead.
5. Organize Your Driving Documents
Ensure you have all the necessary driving documents packed for your trip. This includes documents such as roadside assistance information, your driving license, car insurance, and your car’s owner’s manual. You never know when you might need them, and the last thing you want is for your journey to be derailed due to missing paperwork.
6. Allow Extra Travel Time
Just as planning your route is essential, it’s equally crucial to plan your departure time. Whether you use a GPS or Google Maps, allocate extra time for your journey, accounting for pit stops, restroom breaks, and potential traffic delays.
The goal is to reduce unnecessary pressure before a long journey, as stress can be dangerous when driving. Plan ahead, provide yourself with ample travel time, and relish the drive.
7. Use Cruise Control Wisely
Cruise control is a valuable tool for long journeys. However, due to the reduced driver involvement, it’s not recommended for extended periods of use. If your car is equipped with cruise control, use it for short intervals during your long journey.
8. Don’t Forget Entertainment
Long drives can become monotonous, especially if you have children on board. Entertaining yourself and your passengers is essential. For kids, consider games like “I Spy,” coloring books, or a pack of top trumps.
For adult travelers, entertainment options are a bit different. You can create an epic road trip playlist by gathering your favorite songs, hitting shuffle, and singing along to your heart’s content. Alternatively, consider audiobooks or podcasts for a more educational experience. Ensure that if you’re streaming music from your phone, you download the tracks in advance to prevent buffering. If your car lacks a USB port, make sure your device is adequately charged.
9. Eat Light and Stay Hydrated
Making the wrong food choices during long drives is a common pitfall. It’s easy to stop at a service station and rush to the nearest fast-food restaurant, but this may leave you feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and tired, which is not ideal for extended driving.
Instead, opt for snacks and healthy foods to consume while on the road. Although it might not be as satisfying as fast food, it will help you stay focused and alert. Additionally, it’s a quieter and healthier option for keeping children satisfied.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated as well. Dehydration can lead to tiredness and fatigue, so it’s wise to pack a large bottle of water for your summer road trips.
10. Take Regular Breaks
Frequent breaks are essential for long-distance driving. From a safety standpoint, they help you maintain concentration and focus. Taking breaks also serves to divide the journey into manageable portions. Sitting in the same spot for hours can be uncomfortable, especially for children. Utilize breaks as an opportunity to stretch your legs, recharge, and grab a coffee.
Consider stopping in different cities along the way if you’re covering extensive distances. We recommend taking a break every 100-150 miles for an optimal balance.
11. Share the Driving
If you have someone to share the driving with, it’s highly recommended. For drives longer than 10 hours, it’s a must unless you plan to stay overnight, as driving for 10 hours straight is the maximum recommended duration. Sharing the driving responsibilities ensures that you remain fresh and alert, promoting safety during your journey.
In conclusion, embarking on long-distance journeys need not be a daunting endeavor. With careful planning, proper vehicle preparation, a well-rested mind, and the right provisions, you can make your journey safe and enjoyable. By following these 11 tips, you can look forward to a stress-free and memorable road trip. Remember, preparation is the key to a successful long-distance adventure. Get in touch now with gforce