In December 2022 and again in February this year we embarked on long road trips spanning over 1900 kms one way. Yes, we made a road trip from Noida to Guwahati and back. While going, it took us two nights, three days driving a total of 33 hours. While coming we completed the journey, making just a night’s halt in Muzaffarpur.
Well, the trip doesn’t make me an expert, but at least I should share how we prepared for the trip and also the mistakes that we made which you can avoid.
So here are the top tips you can really use:
- Plan ahead. Last-minute plans for a long road trip is not advisable.
- Get your vehicle serviced days before the trip. Don’t wait for the last day. Check the condition of your tyres, and invariably get wheel balancing/ alignment done. Also check the condition of the spare tyre.
- Know the weather. Check the forecast of the places you would be passing by. On our December trip we encountered thick fog in a couple of places, which made driving dangerous, hence avoidable.
- If the road trip is going to take more than a day, then divide the journey according to how much you are comfortable driving a day. Having said that it is advisable to cover more distance on the first day.
- Make a list of places of interest on the way and if you would like visiting them. If you are visiting them, then take the time spent into consideration when calculating the total time you would be spending on the road.
- Take breaks, but not frequently. Combine washroom breaks with tea/meals/fuel breaks, so you get maximum utilization of the breaks.
- Take light meals. If you are driving, a heavy meal means you are bound to feel drowsy at some point of time. So carry items like sandwiches, etc.
- Stock the vehicle with edibles that everyone in the vehicle loves. Chips, dry fruits, etc. Carrying a couple of chewing gums is not a bad idea. I personally carry some and whenever I feel bored or get the feeling of lethargy I chew on one.
- Carry lots of fluids – water, juices, etc. I personally prefer smaller bottles or tetra packs because they are easy to consume even when you are driving.
- Book the place you are spending the night beforehand. It’s wise to make the payment and confirm the booking. Nothing can be more frustrating after a long drive than to find out that your room was given to someone else because you didn’t confirm or arrived late. Understandable from the hotel’s POV.
- Ensure that you get good rest before you start the road trip.
- Share the drive. If your co-passenger can drive too, nothing like that. Share the drive with her/him. In fact on our journey from Noida to Guwahati, Deepa did much of the driving. Although while coming back we shared the time spent on the wheel.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. It will make you feel at ease and also help towards the general mental state of the others in the vehicle. Not a good place to be when you are locked in a moving car with someone complaining nonstop about uncomfortable clothes and thus fidgeting around constantly.
- Update your playlist. Good music can make a road trip very pleasurable. Create a playlist with favourite songs of not only yourself, but also with songs that your co-passengers love. I personally avoid very loud music that can influence my driving.
- Buy a couple of useful gadgets that might help you on the road. In my next post I will be writing on what we bought before our road trip and whether they were helpful or are totally avoidable.