A wide shot of a highway through a windshield

Road T(r)ips!

By Ashton Herman
Web Content Contributor

Going on a road trip of any length can be a daunting task, but following this checklist is easy! Make any trek a breeze by following these quick to-dos and tips for before and during long drives.

Tip 1: Know Your Conditions.

I’ve advocated it once and I will advocate for it again, be sure to maintain your vehicle to the best of your abilities. Before any long trip, check oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids before you depart. All of these play an essential role in the performance of your car on the road. Having one of these fail makes for either a rough trip or a broken car, both of which are undesirable outcomes. 

On top of vehicle maintenance, consider your baggage and entourage. Fit all persons and luggage into the most comfortable positions to avoid damaging anything or anyone. And remember, irritated people turn trips sour quick, so make the comfort of passengers your highest priority.

A girl in a pink shirt arranges the bags in the cabin of a truck.
Arranging bags in your vehicle can be important. Image by Ashton Herman.

For more information about making sure your car is good-to-go before a road trip, check out my article, “In Tip-Top Shape.”

Tip 2: Know Your Route.

When plotting a road trip, often the only criteria in mind is to pick the fastest road from point “a” to point “b.” However, overestimating your skills at the wheel, or others for that matter, can be the matter of literal life and death in any long ride.

When plotting a route, take time to plot what I call the “path of least resistance.” For example, if someone were to plan a trip from San Marcos, TX to Huffman, TX, the fastest route would be taking I-10 towards Houston then merging onto TX-99/Grand Parkway, generally speaking. 

While the trip would be faster, the driver is also taking traffic-intensive routes. If the driver is not capable of handling such situations, there could be several complications on the road, not the least of which being an accident. Alternatively, a driver could detour through Bastrop on non-intensive roads, thus causing less “resistance” on the trip.

A boy in an orange shirt pilots a vehicle.
Be sure to keep your eyes on the road! Image by William Herman.

Tip 3: Know Your Limits.

A very fast way to die is falling asleep at the helm of a 75 mile per hour carbon-fiber box. And according to kraftlaw.com, roughly 1,000 people fall victim to this same scenario each year.

To stop yourself from adding to that statistic, take breaks as needed during your trip, or have a passenger take over for you as you rest. Driving fatigue is a very real threat; never, under any circumstances, push yourself farther than you have to while driving. 

A driver’s safety and comfort are important, so please refer to this list every time a long drive is required. Satisfying this short list not only helps your trip, but all other drivers on the road.

Featured image by William Herman.

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