10 Essential Long Drive Tips for a Safe and Comfortable Road Trip

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Driving for long hours can be exhausting and tiring, but with the right preparation and mindset, you can make your road trip a smooth and enjoyable experience. Whether you are traveling alone or with friends, these long drive tips will help you stay energized, comfortable, and safe on the road.

person wearing beige sweater holding map inside vehicle

Long drive tips for road-tripping

1. Get your car serviced before heading out

Make sure your car is in good condition before hitting the road. Check the oil level, tire pressure, brakes, and other essential parts to avoid any unexpected breakdowns. If you’re due for an oil change or other routine maintenance, have it done before your trip.

Check to see if your tires are properly inflated and not over or under-inflated. Proper inflation also helps you get better mileage! Check the tread wear and replace any worn tires. It’s also a good idea to check the alignment of your tires to ensure they are rolling correctly and not dragging or pulling in any one direction.

Make sure to inspect each tire for any visible signs of wear and tear, such as bulges, uneven wear, or cracking. If any of these issues arise, have your car serviced by a professional to ensure the safety of your journey.

car getting serviced before a long drive

2. Have a food game plan

No matter how long your drive is, it’s important to stay hydrated and energized. Make sure to pack plenty of snacks and drinks for the duration of your trip. Consider packing healthy, non-perishable food items like trail mix, fruit, and granola bars. Also, these vegan cheese puffs are my personal fave!

Bring plenty of water (I fill up my reusable water bottle at every stop). You can also bring along a small cooler with sandwiches, veggies, fruit, or other perishable items if you have access to a cooler bag. If you prefer to stop at restaurants along the way, research the options in advance and make reservations if necessary.

3. Note the weather

When it comes to long drives, the weather can be your worst enemy. Before starting your journey, take a few minutes to check the forecast and plan accordingly. If you’re driving in winter conditions, make sure to give yourself extra time for slower speeds, and pack extra supplies in case you get stuck in the snow.

In addition, look out for thunderstorms, high winds, and other dangerous conditions that could make your drive more difficult. It’s also important to check the road conditions along your route. Make sure all roads are open and accessible before you leave, and be prepared to make any necessary detours if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

bad weather for a long drive road trip

4. Take turns driving

If you’re traveling with friends or family, take turns driving to avoid fatigue and ensure everyone stays alert on the road. Plan your driving schedule in advance so you can take turns driving and resting. If you’re traveling solo, make sure to take regular breaks and stretch your legs every couple of hours to avoid fatigue.

Driving for long hours can be tiring, so it’s important to pace yourself and not push yourself beyond your limits. If you feel drowsy, find a safe place to take a nap or ask someone else to take over. Don’t try to drive through the night if you’re feeling tired.

Enjoying a road trip

5. Fill up on gas outside of big cities

Gas prices are usually higher in big cities, so it’s advisable to fill up on gas before entering a metropolitan area. Plan your stops for fuel and food in advance to avoid getting caught in heavy traffic and long lines at gas stations.

6. Dress comfortably

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that allow you to move freely, especially if you need to take a break and stretch your legs. Loose, breathable clothing is best for long drives, and comfortable shoes can help you avoid foot fatigue. Wearing slip-on shoes is a must when it comes to long drives as it makes getting in and out of the car much easier.

Also, if you’re planning to stop for meals, make sure to bring extra layers in case it gets colder than expected.

7. Listen to good music or podcasts

Make the most of your long drive by listening to some good music or engaging podcasts. Listening to music or podcasts can help you stay alert and entertained on the road. Two Friends Big Bootie Mixes can be a good choice, or you can also discover new podcasts that match your interests. The Big Bootie Mixes are 1 hour each, so instead of looking at my road trips as X amount of hours, I look at them as X amount of Big Bootie Mixes.

Bring some headphones too just in case you and your companion want to listen to different things.

8. Keep your car comfortable and organized

Bring along a blanket, pillow, and some snacks to keep you comfortable on the road. Also, make sure your car is organized and tidy, with all your belongings in their proper place. Having a clean and organized car can help you avoid distractions and stay focused on the road.

Make sure to clean out your car before you go so that you don’t have to deal with clutter or mess while on the road. Keep your chargers, adapters, and snacks in easily accessible places.

By taking a few steps to make sure your car is comfortable and organized, you’ll be able to make the most out of your long drive. Check out my road trip packing list for other things that can help you stay organized on your road trip.

9. Drive defensively

One of the most important aspects of any long drive is to stay safe on the road. Defensive driving involves being aware of your surroundings, maintaining a safe following distance, and anticipating what other drivers may do. Try to remain focused when you’re behind the wheel.

It’s also important to maintain a reasonable speed for the conditions and obey the posted speed limits. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when you’re not sure about the speed limit or if conditions are slippery. And always use your turn signals when changing lanes or turning corners.

10. Use the parking apps to save

Using a parking app can save you time and money when you arrive at your destination. Instead of paying pricey hotel valet rates, use the app to find cheap and convenient parking options. Some popular parking apps include SpotHero and ParkWhiz.

Did these long drive tips help?!

I hope you can hit the road with confidence with these 10 long drive tips! Whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure or with friends, let these tips ensure your road trip is not just safe but also full of delightful moments. And don’t forget to check out my storefront with all of my other road trip essentials! Safe travels!

road trip tips for your epic long drive adventure

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  1. Pingback: Great American Road Trip: Top Places for Burger and Beer Combos - Alex on the Map

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