Planning a long road trip can be a challenge. Even if you only plan to drive a few hours down the road, you still need to do all of the necessary preparation to ensure that the trip goes smoothly.
Traveling isn’t the most enjoyable thing, especially when the journey is several hours long. Organizing your road trip well in advance ensures that arrive safely at your destination and makes the journey itself as enjoyable as possible for the whole family.
From packing your belongings to arranging mid-travel snacks to getting a great night’s sleep before the journey, there are several things that you can do to make your road trip easier. When you pre-plan all of the traveling logistics, you can relax and enjoy exploring a brand-new area of the world.
Whether you’ve booked a long weekend staycation somewhere closely or you’re planning to drive your family somewhere hot and sunny for a couple of weeks, here are some top tips to help you prepare for the long road trip ahead.
Prepare Your Car
Newer cars are less likely to break down but it’s still important to cover all of the basics and ensure that your car is capable of traveling long distances without running into any problems.
Even if you’ve just bought a brand-new vehicle from a Jaguar Dealer in Arizona, you will still need to do some pre-trip checks. Your pre-travel checks become even more vital if your car is an older model and has already had previous repairs and replacements.
Here are some key things to check on your vehicle before you set off.
- Lights – test all of the lights on your car, including your headlights, brake lights, and turn signal lights, to check that each one is working properly. Test the lights at night so you can clearly see their brightness.
- Tires – check that your tires are pumped up to the correct pressure and that the tread depth complies with the legal requirements. In most areas, the tread depth must be at least 1.6 mm. Keep a spare tire in the back of your car in case one gets punctured along the way.
- Brakes – test the brakes before setting off by gently applying pressure onto the pedal. The brakes should not feel soft and spongy. If they do, it might be due to the brake pads being worn away. Ideally, the pads should be replaced before you set off on your long road trip.
- Fluid levels – take a look under the hood of your vehicle to check that the engine oil, brake fluid, and antifreeze fluid levels are adequate. If not, top them up before you set off.
Before you set off on your road trip, make sure to fill up your car’s tank to prevent it from breaking down halfway through your journey. If you suspect that you’ll need more than one full tank of fuel to arrive at your destination, check for gas stations along the way. You might need to adjust your route slightly but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Get Plenty of Sleep Before the Journey
Sleep is often overlooked when you’re planning a long road trip but it’s extremely important. If you fail to get a great night’s sleep the night before your journey, you might end up feeling exhausted while you’re driving.
Fatigue can increase your risk of getting into a road traffic accident. It slows down your reaction times and may even cause you to fall asleep behind the wheel.
To keep you and your family as safe as possible, make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep the night before you are due to travel. Go to bed early and minimize light and noise so that you don’t get woken up multiple times during the night.
Plan Regular Rest Breaks
Resting along the way to your destination is just as important as resting the night before your journey. Make sure to schedule regular rest breaks throughout the long drive so that you don’t start feeling tired and drowsy behind the wheel.
Your rest breaks will allow you to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and have a snack if you’re hungry. You can also rehydrate during this time to keep your body and mind functioning optimally.
Take a look at your route and plan out the safest places to stop for a few minutes and rest. You might want to stop at service stations or interesting landscapes, or you could plan your rests around mealtimes.