Long road trips make for incredible and unforgettable adventures. However, depending on how well you prepare, they can also lead to many memorable mistakes. These essential tips for going on a long road trip will help reduce your potential for disaster and ensure that you have the best experience possible. If you end up getting lost, however, it’s always a good idea to have Google Maps or iOS and Android route planner downloaded so that you can navigate to your destination even if you don’t have a signal on your phone.
Get plenty of sleep before your trip
Spending hours on the road can make you extremely drowsy, especially if you’re driving late into the night. To avoid falling asleep at the wheel, it’s important to get plenty of sleep before your trip. During the two nights before you leave, try to aim for at least seven hours of sleep to ensure that you’re well-rested and alert while on the road.
Don’t let your tank get low
Running out of gas is a serious issue on long road trips; you don’t want to find yourself out in the middle of nowhere with the nearest gas stations miles away. As a rule, you should never let your tank get below a fifth-full of gas, as this puts you at risk for getting stranded while driving on open roads.
Make sure that your vehicle is properly insured
If you cross the border on your road trip, make sure that your vehicle insurance will cover you outside of the United States. While Canada recognizes most U.S. insurance policies, this isn’t the case in Mexico. As such, if you are traveling south of the border, it’s important to register for Mexican auto insurance so that you’re legally and financially protected in case of an accident.
Carry cash and spare change
While this may come as a shock in our modern world, not all gas stations have the option to pay with a credit or debit card. As such, keeping some cash in your glove box could save you from getting stranded. In addition, having cash and spare change on hand may also be necessary to pay for tolls, parking lots, and meters.
Stock up on healthy snacks
Making frequent stops for fast food throughout your road trip won’t just tack on time to your trip, it will also make you feel sluggish and deplete your energy. To remain alert and avoid wasting precious time, make sure to pack plenty of healthy snacks for your trip. You can easily store foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts in your car, all of which contain energy-boosting vitamins.
Create an upbeat playlist
Listening to music while you drive won’t just make your time on the road pass quicker, it will also prevent you from getting “highway hypnosis,” or drifting off while driving. Downloading a playlist with plenty of upbeat songs will help you stay alert and will ensure that you have access to music offline just in case the radio turns to static.
Download Google Maps
Before you put your car in drive, you should always familiarize yourself with your trip’s route to get a general idea of how to get to your destination. If you end up getting lost, however, it’s always a good idea to have Google Maps downloaded so that you can navigate to your destination even if you don’t have a signal on your phone.