How to Drive Long Distances Alone

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When going on a long trip in your vehicle, it is best to take someone with you to help with driving duties and to help you stay awake. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, mainly due to scheduling conflicts and the length of the trip. In such a case, you have no choice but to drive the whole distance on your own.

Here are some basic tips you can follow while preparing for your solo long-distance trip.

  • Tip: Before leaving on your long trip, make sure that your road club membership, such as one with AAA, is up to date. You can even sign up for a low-cost road club membership to take full advantage of any roadside assistance program they offer.

Part 1 of 2: Prepare for your road trip

Materials Needed

Before setting out on a long trip, you need to make prepare your car and make proper arrangements for your journey. Be sure to get sufficient food and water for your journey and make sure to get plenty of rest beforehand.

Step 1: Have your vehicle checked out. Get a certified mechanic to take a look at your car and certify that it is in good working condition before departing on your trip.

Some items to have the mechanic check out include:

  • Battery: Ensure that your battery is charged fully.
  • Brakes: Make sure that your brakes function properly.
  • Fluids: Check that the fluid levels are at the proper level. Fluids to check include oil, transmission fluid, and coolants.
  • Lights and signals: Ensure that all lights and signals work properly. This includes the high and low beams on your car, especially if you plan on driving at night.
  • Tires: Make sure the tires are in good shape and properly inflated. Ensure that the tire pressure meets manufacturer standards.

chering tire pressure

Get a tire pressure gauge and keep it in your car so that you can check the tire pressure at regular intervals.

  • Tip: Start your trip with a full tank of gas. This should keep you from having to stop too soon into your journey.

Step 2: Pack your car beforehand. You should also pack your car with the things you expect to need.

Pack such items as clothing and personal items in a suitcase or bag and place them in the trunk. In addition, you should purchase emergency roadside kits and first aid kits and keep them in the trunk.

Some other good items to have with you are a flashlight, blanket, and a phone equipped with a battery pack or car charger.

Also consider packing a cooler with some drinks and food items to eat along the way.

  • Tip: Toilet paper is another good thing to have on a long trip. You may never know when you will need it.

Step 2: Get plenty of rest. Get plenty of rest the night before your big trip alone so that you are not sleepy or tired while driving.

Try to eat something before you leave so that you will stay awake while you drive.

  • Tip: While caffeinated drinks are a great way to keep your energy levels up, consider controlling your consumption of caffeinated drinks because these types of drinks wear off over time and can make you feel drained and tired.

Once you are on the road, staying awake and alert can sometimes present a challenge. By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure that you have no problems on your drive.

Step 4: Get a GPS for your car. If possible, purchase a GPS unit for your vehicle.

A GPS unit can help you stay on the correct route to your destination.

  • Tip: Even with a GPS unit installed in your vehicle, you should still carry a paper map in case the GPS stops working.

Step 5: Pack a selection of your favorite music. Take a selection of music you like to listen to on CDs or an MP2 player.

Chances are that any radio stations you find on your trip may not play the music you like, or the stations may not remain in range for very long.

Part 2 of 2: Tips for the drive

Step 1: Fill up your gas tank regularly. On long trips in unfamiliar areas, it is not possible to know how often you can expect gas stations.

Fill up your gas tank when it gets to a quarter tank. If possible, look up your map or check the GPS to decide where you can fill up along the way.

Step 2: Factor in breaks. Pull over occasionally to take a break and stretch your legs.

When pulling over, either stop at a rest area, gas station, or other off-road location. If you must pull off on the side of the road, get as far over to the right as you safely can and watch out for oncoming traffic if you must exit your vehicle.

If needed, stop and take a short nap on your drive, especially if you feel tired. Remember to stop only in a safe location and keep your doors locked.

Step 2: Stop for the night. You should also consider stopping for the night if you get sleepy and if you cannot continue driving without a break.

If you anticipate stopping at a hotel, make sure that you either know where one is located or start looking for one while it is still light outside. Looking for a hotel in the dark can add unnecessary stress to your trip.

Driving alone on a long trip does not have to be difficult. With proper preparation, you should find yourself at your destination safely in no time.

Make sure that you get one of the expert mechanics at YourMechanic to perform a 75-point safety inspection on your vehicle to ensure it is in good shape before you set out on your long-distance trip.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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