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How To Prepare For A Long Road Trip 

With summertime here, it is an opportunity to enjoy the warmer weather and longer daylight hours. It is also the ideal time to make plans for a vacation. For some people, this will involve searching online for an exotic destination and finding the best deal on international flights for you and any family members who will be coming.

However, for many people, the journey on a vacation is just as important as the destination itself. Millions of Americans love the thrill of the open road and enjoy the thought of taking a long road trip as an integral part of their vacation. This can allow you to plan the trip to your own needs and take in several different points of interest on the way.

If you enjoy driving and have a true spirit of adventure, you may have already taken several road trips in the past. However, if you are planning to take your first long-distance road trip, then this article will be of significant benefit. With any long journey, preparation is key.

This article describes some of the key points to consider when planning for a long-distance road trip. The advice and information will help to ensure that your trip goes smoothly and is free of unforeseen problems that could spoil your enjoyment of the journey.


Study Your Route

Study Your Route

Firstly, you will need to take time to thoroughly study your intended route. It is wise to plan the long trip in specific stages. You will need to be aware of the driving time for each stage and factor in stops to visit a restroom and for meal breaks. It is recommended that you should aim to stop for at least 15 minutes after every two hours of driving.

When embarking on extended journeys by road, understanding the optimal frequency for taking pauses becomes vital. These breaks play a pivotal role in ensuring driver alertness and well-being during long-distance travel, as discussed in the linked road trip preparation resource.

This will help to ensure that you do not get tired and will give everyone in the vehicle an opportunity to stretch their muscles after sitting for extended periods.

By studying the route in detail, you will also be able to highlight some key destinations along the journey that you wish to stop and visit. Make a list of sites of natural beauty or specific attractions that you wish to visit along the way.

Remember that popular destinations may have increased traffic in summertime, so plan for extra time getting to and from the site and be prepared to queue! Studying your route in detail will allow you to estimate the total journey time and at what stage you will need to stop to check into a hotel or motel for the night.

Get Your Vehicle Serviced/upgraded

It is of paramount importance that your vehicle gets a thorough inspection and service before a long road trip. Put simply, a vehicle that is badly maintained will be far more likely to break down or experience a mechanical or electrical fault during the journey.

This can lead to changing plans out of necessity to search for a garage or local mechanic, which can be time-consuming, expensive, and stressful.

It makes perfect sense to take your vehicle to a reputable service center or garage before the trip. A thorough inspection of the vehicle may highlight any issues that may become problematic after you cover hundreds of kilometers. It is also worth considering installing some upgraded parts for your vehicle if they have become worn or are no longer functioning as new.

Some upgraded parts in key areas of your vehicle can give you performance gains and may also be able to improve its efficiency. If you have a Dodge, Ford, or GM diesel vehicle and want to swap out some components for higher performance upgrades, consider xtreme diesel upgraded parts.

These products are designed to replace the stock parts and components that came with your vehicle but maximize the performance of your vehicle.

Some key upgrades (especially when replacing old or worn parts) will make a noticeable difference to your vehicle and will ensure that it is fit for a long road trip. Put simply, money spent on meaningful upgrades can prolong the life of your vehicle and make sure it can comfortably handle a long-distance road trip.

Use a Navigation App

Use a Navigation App

As well as studying your route before commencing your road trip, it also makes sense to take satellite navigation equipment with you. There are two main options for this. The first is to purchase a standalone satellite navigation device that is designed specifically for route planning and navigation in a vehicle.

Some of the best devices will feature the ability to alert you to speed cameras and will use radio signals to offer live traffic updates. These can be invaluable in helping you avoid traffic jams or re-route to avoid car accidents that have recently happened along your route.

The second main option for navigation is to use a dedicated app on your smartphone, such as Google Maps. The key benefit of this option is that the app is completely free and will provide up-to-date notifications of accidents and heavy traffic along your route in real time. If you are a smartphone user, this is the best option for most people as you are getting an industry-leading sat nav application with premium features for zero cost.

When planning an extended road journey, particularly one focused on camping, ensuring that you’ve selected the most suitable vehicle is essential. You can find valuable insights about picking the ideal car for a camping adventure in the linked article on road trip preparation.

Consider Multiple Drivers

Consider Multiple Drivers  (4)

As a final point, it is vitally important to consider using multiple drivers on a long road trip. Ideally, you will be taking the journey with other adults in the vehicle who are confident driving long distances and have years of experience behind the wheel. Using multiple drivers can allow you to drive for longer distances without suffering from fatigue to the same extent that doing the driving yourself would.

A single driver should ideally take a long rest break after driving for over eight hours (not including the short breaks that have been taken every two hours). Often this will require the need to stop for the night in a suitable establishment for tourists. However, with multiple drivers, you have the flexibility to choose your driving patterns and even the option of driving through the night if you have an additional driver who is suitably well-rested and competent.