Summer is here and whether it’s a road trip abroad with family and friends, or a journey across the country – it’s always good to be prepared. We’ve gathered the top ten driving tips for long distance journeys so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the drive.
1. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition.
Check your oil, tires and air-conditioning … and of course your gas tank. Also make sure to remember your insurance, drivers license and passport if you’re traveling abroad. If you are a member of any roadside assistance programs, be sure you have the phone number handy prior to traveling.
2. Plan your journey in advance.
Decide what time you want to leave and places you want to visit along the way. CoPilot Live makes it easy for you to plan your journey and easily calculate the total distance and time required. It also helps you find useful places on-route, with thousands of on-board Points of Interest such as hotels, rest stops, parking lots and gas stations. Plus, the in-built Wikipedia Search can help you find and navigate to nearby attractions.
*CoPilot Tip: use Plan/Edit Trip to find the most efficient route and the built-in traffic feature will automatically provide the fastest route through traffic.
3. Prepare your entertainment and snacks for the journey.
Prepare your summer road trips ahead of time: create a music play list, go to the grocery store and get snacks and drinks for the journey. Also, don’t forget to pack tissues and a plastic bag for the garbage.
4. If driving abroad, make sure to check the local driving laws in advance.
The local laws vary for different states and countries. It is vital to know the local laws to avoid trouble in a foreign country. Make sure to avoid silly mistakes, such as not buckling your seatbelt or texting and driving.
*CoPilot Tip: make sure you have ‘Speed Limit alerts’ enabled so you’ll always know what the local speed limit is, no matter where you travel
5. Keep track of your gas tank
During the journey, do not wait until your tank is almost empty, but plan to stop at a gas station when you have a quarter of a tank left.
*CoPilot Tip: use the points of interest to find the next gas station when you start to run low.
6. Stay hydrated.
Drink a lot of water during few days before your journey, and drink slowly regularly instead of drinking a lot at once. Especially in the summer, the temperature in the car may become excessively hot and it is important to drink in order to avoid dehydration.
7. Do not drive when you are tired.
Make sure to sleep well before the journey, share the driving and stop for breaks regularly. When driving long distances, it’s a good idea to go to sleep an extra hour of your normal sleep schedule. You may not know it but the more tired you are the slower your reaction time is. Energy drinks with caffeine bring your energy levels high temporarily but after the caffeine high is up, you might end up crashing and feeling more tired. Instead, open the window and get some fresh air.
*CoPilot Tip: plan rest stops along your route – either a service station or an overnight stop on-route
8. Avoid heavy meals, excessive salt and excessive sugar.
Do not eat heavy meals during the journey, as these will bring your blood sugar down and make you feel tired. Instead, drink water, eat light meals and healthy snacks regularly.
9. When travelling with children, plan entertainment and make sure to stop regularly.
Pack games, drawing books, music, and favorite toys, and think of different games you could play together (e.g. spotting different colored cars, or license plate game). Stop for snacks and bathroom breaks, but don’t forget to plan for fun. Check if there is something the kids would be interested in throughout the journey.
10. Have fun!
Ultimately with a road trip, the journey can be as much fun as getting to the destination. If you notice something fun on the way: stop, explore and discover!
If you have any other long haul driving or summer tips- feel free to share, we would be happy to hear your comments.