Photo from autonationdrive.com
By Jim Lo
I have always been a fan of driving; nothing makes me happier than being able to take a small tour around the city I live in. However, it is a totally different story when you have 20 hours of road ahead of you. Even when you split it into two days, you can never imagine the energy that driving this far takes from you. Here are some important things that I think I learned from these past few weeks, and I hope you find it useful too!
You might think that these two objects are useless, but trust me when I say you will need it after staying in a car for more than three hours. Imagine taking an airplane, after a decent amount of time your body naturally craves for comfort. Hence, having travel pillows and blankets would definitely put your body at ease.
2. Small Luggage/Duffel Bags
Personally, I consider myself a pretty tidy packer, but without guidance, I always end up having more than two luggage. Remember! You are going on a road trip, there is only so much space a trunk could hold, so keep in mind to pack as simple as possible. You want to prevent putting too much luggage in the backseat because that would just decrease the amount of limited space you’re already given.
3. Do Not Be Surprised If Things Did Not Go As Planned
One thing that I learned from going on a road trip is that you have to allow a certain amount of flexibility within the schedule you created. You never know what kind of weather it might be; sometimes there will be construction or sometimes you simply have to stop and rest before reaching your destination. Never rush, driving more than 15mph over the speed limit will not only get you a speeding ticket but also potentially getting into an accident.
4. Coffee & Gum
When you are behind the wheel, you have to make sure that you have already gotten enough sleep in your system. Safety is what always comes first no matter what you are doing. Coffee and gum are two of the most effective objects that kept me awake the whole time when I was driving. However, it does not mean that one should solely rely on them. Not resting whatsoever is the first step towards danger.
5. Open To Discussion
Everyone’s voices should be heard. There is always going to be discussions or arguments that come and go along the trip. It is the same as teamwork; all members should get a say in every topic. For example, it is the second to last day in the hotel, and you want to stay in that area for one more night. However, weather reports show that snow might be hitting hard on the day going back. Hence, someone suggested instead of staying put, people should start driving back a day earlier to prevent potential snow. This is what I meant by discussions; it happens, and it is a very important part when going on a road trip.
6. Be Positive & Be Happy
Sometimes things might not go the way you wish it to be, sometimes you have to compromise, but never let emotions get in your head. Why? In the end of the day, you went on a road trip with people who you love and trust, and for that, you should be happy. Taking a step back does not mean the end of the world. Focus on the beautiful memories you made throughout the trip, and it will all be worth it.
7. Check Oil/Water/Tire Pressure
Never go on the road without checking oil level, water level and tire pressure. If you can do a full car check, that would be awesome, but these three are the most basic but crucial parts of the car that you have to always keep an eye on! As mentioned before, safety comes first and having a healthy car is the first step towards it.
8. Importance of a Passenger
Most of the time, the person sitting in the passenger seat is in charge of both the directions and the music. Always look for a faster route if possible and always select the right music for the right time! They also have to stay focused to keep the driver in route and awake. In doing so, both people in the backseat can take a nice nap until their shift comes up.