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502 Trail Sense -
Road Trip

Interstae highway

One of the necessary evils of reaching the wilds, is having to travel just to get there. We prefer to drive. In fact, we have learned to enjoy the drive or road trip as a part of the overall vacation.

We have made trips across the plains that took forever, while other trips seemed relatively short. In general we usually want to arrive at the destination as soon as possible, then stay as long as possible, and finally return home at the last moment. To shorten our trips we had to learn how to travel efficiently and how to travel together.

Here are a few tips that might speed you to your destination (you are welcome to add more) ...

If you don't sleep you will eventually have to pay the piper. You might be able to drive through the night; but then you sleep late the next day. I find it is better to arrive at the trailhead rested. Sure you are tired from sitting, but you are not sleepy and you are ready to start the adventure. If I drive through the night, I am just tired when I reach the destination.

Pack a cooler and a thermos. Bring water, hot and cold beverages, food and snacks. Stopping at stores costs time. Don't forget towels to help cleanup spills and other mishaps.

Save all of your bottles and containers for recycling. More and more rest areas offer collection points.

We normally start our trips early in the morning. Usually when the first one of us wakes, we rouse the other and get moving.

A 1,000 miles is a good daily driving distance. This distance normal equals less than 16 hours of driving.

We try not to speed. Speeding just makes us anxious. We try to make good time by not stopping.

Once at a service station, one of us pumps gas and cleans the windows, while the other hits the restroom. We then swap. We don't eat at the stops, but sometimes pick up a fountain drink with the ice - those icy drinks last a long time.

If we can, we break for restrooms and gas at the same time.

When the driver is sleepy, we make more frequent stops. We are honest with each other about how we feel. We can change drivers and even stop. The trick is how to make the trip without getting sleepy or even drowsy.

When driving, don't stare at anything. Keep your eyes moving all of the time.

Don't tailgate. Driving close to another vehicle requires extra attention.

We ask the other for help in congested areas.

Eat cold things (ice, ice cream, etc) to help keep you sharp.

Don't get too comfortable. If you are too cozy, you are just a nod away from falling asleep.

Many folks like to listen to music. I would rather talk. If you listen to music make sure it is not some lullaby!

Other folks like listening to books. I find that I get too engrossed in the story and seem to forget that I am driving. Which is not a good thing.

Eating crunchy snack items seem to keep me alert.

We generally have a destination planned. If at all possible we would rather sleep in the car than go a motel. We tend to oversleep if we go to a motel; however, if you sleep in the vehicle, you need a plan to be make the sleeping as comfortable as possible.

Some states, allow and even invite overnight stops at rest areas.

Don't forget your sunglasses, eye drops, and other eye needs.

Driving 1000 miles at 70 mph and taking only 4 - 15 minute breaks (gas, restroom, etc) your average speed is 65mph and the total drive time is 15 hours and 15 minutes. If instead, you take an hour lunch break plus 3 - 30 minute breaks plus 4 - fifteen minute breaks then your total drive time would be 17.75 hours or 55 mph average.

You can't keep a good average speed if you stop at every Stuckeys!

REst are jin Kansas


Are there any other tips that you use?

Happy road tripping trails


Trail Sense


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