Travelling long distance car trips with friends or family, whether it is in your own country or overseas, can create life-long memories and form the basis of friendships that last for decades. Among various types of travel, the concept of the road trip is enjoying a comeback and has become increasingly popular. With options such as car leasing services and zero down payment cars making vehicle ownership more accessible than ever, more and more people are hitting the road today for long distance car trips or daily use. There can be stumbling blocks to successful road trips though, and recognizing them early, and dealing with them in advance, can only enhance your journey. Here are what we believe to be the top eight.

What To Ditch During Long Distance Car Trips

1. Insisting on doing all of the driving

Sharing the driving will help keep driver fatigue at bay, and will also give other members of your party the opportunity to contribute. Taking your turn at being the navigator or entertainment organizer, or simply admiring the scenery from the passenger’s seat, will give some variety and help to keep things interesting. Just taking a break from looking at the road ahead and the cars around you will add a new perspective to the journey.

2. Not taking advantage of tech solutions

Most of us know that GPS devices are fallible. Always carry a map or map book with you so that you can see the bigger picture of where you are going and where you’ve been. Making notes on your map can have the added bonus of becoming a trip diary. Each member of your party can contribute notes along the way.

3. Succumbing to peer pressure

If you have done your pre-departure planning correctly, you should have no need to speed to reach your day’s destination on time. If your passengers are urging you to pick up speed and go beyond the set limits, have the strength to ignore them. Don’t succumb to road rage if drivers of other vehicles are taunting or tailgating you.

4. Not taking restroom breaks

It sometimes happens that not long after leaving a rest stop, a member of your road trip party may need to use the restroom. There is nothing deliberate in their need, and making them wait until the next planned stop is just mean. Don’t waste a stop – even if you don’t feel the need to go right away, visit the restroom anyway.

5. Neglecting to bring snacks and water

Regardless of the length of your road trip, one of you is bound to get hungry or thirsty. Stopping too frequently can wear thin very quickly, so be prepared. Have a good supply of both savoury and sweet snacks, including healthy bars or trail mix. Staying hydrated is important, especially in summer months, so be sure to carry extra water with you too.

6. Not stopping to smell the flowers

By focusing on the journey rather than the destination, you will understand that by sticking to the highways and plowing straight through from rest stop to rest stop, you will miss out on visiting places and landmarks that could become highlights of your trip. Do some research beforehand to see where these are, and take the time to turn off the highway and see what is going on beyond the asphalt. Your group should agree before you set out that it’s okay to deviate from your plan if it means you can take the time to swim at a beach, or stop at that ice cream van with 101 mouthwatering flavours.

7. Simply taking the drive-thru option

You may be anxious to reach your destination, but you also need to stop the car, get out, and walk around, for your mental and physical health. Trying to save time by using a drive-thru and eating in the car is nuts (and the smell of greasy food wrappers will likely become very unpleasant very quickly!). Consider ordering your food and then taking it to a nearby park or the waterfront – the change of scenery and fresh air will do wonders for your concentration and give you a chance to have some eye contact with your travelling companions.

8. Being ignorant of foreign country rules

If driving in a foreign country, make sure you understand more than just how to drive there. For instance in Russia you may be fined as much as 2000 roubles if your car is extremely dirty – it pays to keep your car clean! Ignorance of local rules and customs, coupled with a language barrier, could mean the end to your road trip adventure. Discussing these road trip planning tips with your travel companions before you leave can eliminate any friction that applying them on the drive may have.
Safe, happy, road trip!

This post on long distance car trips was originally posted on Whereandwhatintheworld and written by Mr. Sajjad Akhtar – Director of Sales and Marketing at Quick Lease Car Rentals.

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