Five Road Trip Tips for the Long Haul
The average long-haul trucker is expected to log somewhere between 2,000 – 3,000 miles a week due to legal time restrictions. It’s not just truckers that can spend long days behind the wheel though – if you’re about to take a long trip, you may need a few tips and tricks to ensure you rule the road.
Plan for the Long-Haul
Before hitting the road, it’s worthwhile to look at how many miles it’ll take from point A to point B. If you’re in a passenger car, divide by 50 mph. We know what you’re thinking: that sounds ridiculously slow, doesn’t it? After all, highway speeds are typically around 75 mph. Think about all the additional variables though – you’ll most likely have to stop for refueling, snacks, bathroom breaks, traffic, weather or ports of entry.
Planning a road trip ahead of time helps you budget time more effectively. Keep gas prices top of mind as well. There are handy apps such as GasBuddy can help you find the cheapest places to stop. Think of saving even 10 cents per gallon on gas. Such a difference can add up to hundreds of dollars over time.
Eat Smarter, Not Faster
We all know that you can’t get by forever on food from diners, drive-thrus or truck stops. You’re sitting down all day long and need to pay attention to what you eat. Luckily, it’s easy to find alternatives to cheap and unhealthy foods so easy to find when on the road. When it comes to eating healthy, Walmart could be your new best friend. After all, what you eat on a road trip matters. Driving hundreds of miles on the open road can be boring and it’s easily to eat an entire bag of potato chips over the course of the day without a thought. For a healthier choice, keep a supply of high-protein snacks that will keep you full without punishing your waistline.
Keep a Regular Schedule
The hours you drive are determined by you — some people prefer to drive later and skip morning rush hours, since the roads are clearer and you can make better time. It’s important to keep in mind that even though there are 60 percent fewer cars on the road at that time of day, more than 40 percent of crashes happen after dark.
Keep Your Body Moving
Sitting still all day isn’t good for you. It’s easy to forget about exercising if you’re driving for 14 hours a day, but prioritize exercise for your long-term health. When you stop for fuel, stay on your feet. Do some stretches and stay limber during brief stops. Go for short walks when you have time. Bring some dumbbells as your trip companion to keep your muscles active or do pushups and sit-ups when time allows.
Keep Yourself (and Others) Safe
You won’t get there any faster if you get in a crash – keep your focus on safe driving. If you’re driving in the mountains, pay special attention to steep grades. If you’re on a flat road, ensure you aren’t getting road blindness. One of the biggest tricks of the trade? Do not speed. After all, if you feel like you’re going too fast, you probably are.