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Long-distance driving: Tips, advice & preparations

Here's how one can prepare themselves before embarking on a long-distance drive across India.

BHPian paragsachania recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

While I have been regularly doing Mumbai-Pune-Bangalore or even Rajkot/Ahmedabad - Bangalore for more than 15 years, I always say that I learn more and more from each of these drives. Here are some of the tips that I can give you to prepare yourself for the long drive:

  • Start very early, 0400am types - This will help you get the best average speeds and cover longer distances before everyone else gets on the road
  • Drive at steady speeds and merit of roads
  • Do not have a set target to reach a specific destination or breakpoint
  • Don't constantly keep looking at Google Map's ETA - It can show delays or faster progress and that can alter your mindset and driving depending on whether you are too late (and hence will drive faster) or early (and would want to reach even earlier)
  • Expect the unexpected - Traffic jams, roadblocks, delays to cross the booth
  • Expect the expected - Unruly drivers, misc town and village traffic, traffic police flagging you down during the day to check documents etc
  • Keep yourself hydrated all the times
  • As your family regularly if they need a break and take one (or many) if needed
  • Have at least 2-3 options for both your refuelling as well as food breaks - This helps you whenever you have made better progress or are delayed. Feed these locations onto the maps or share them with your fellow passengers over a text message/WhatsApp so it is handy and you don't have to spend time searching for one
  • Accept the fact that you can be delayed to reach your destination and no 2 drives on such long stretches can be the same in terms of timing and can vary significantly
  • When you are closer to reaching your destination, try to exercise extreme patience for it is natural to get irritated by the behaviour of fellow road users when you have another 2 hours to reach. You don't want to rush to reach that destination and this rush should not be a reason for any untoward incident that can spoil your trip
  • Lastly, drive in such a way that the energy and enthusiasm levels remain consistent throughout the journey - I have often seen drivers overtake at superfast speeds and then somewhere ahead they are driving dead slow only because they are either tired or have lost interest due to driving all day. This can be done well only when you drive at a consistent speed than rush.

Here's what BHPian pratik_2810 had to say on the matter:

I agree with you Parag. I just completed my return leg from Rajkot to Bangalore on 12th Nov, that too with my 9 month labrador who was on such a road trip for the first time. I have experienced that discipline is important to have a fruitful drive without getting bored, tired or overworked. Start early, even when you are on a multi-day journey make sure you start early.

Cheers, happy driving!

Here's what BHPian normaltusker had to say on the matter:

In addition to what has been mentioned already, please also consider the below:

  • Get your car serviced if it is due in the next couple of weeks. It helps to have the car thoroughly checked before the drive.
  • Next, if not already done, get your tires aligned, rotated, balanced if it is due. Also, get the air pressure checked on all 5 tires to ensure you are not left with a flat while replacing a flat.
  • Check if all the tools that would be required to change your tires in case of a flat are in place and in prim and proper condition.
  • Mandatorily get your PUC checked if it is due. This is the first thing that the cops at the border ask for. Please get it done even if you are in a new car.
  • Download offline maps on your and one more family member's phone. Please do not rely on GMaps Online only option because that may not work all the time. Invest in an offline map solution like Navimaps / Sygic etc. It helps.
  • Keep a soft copy of all your vehicle papers on your phone and DigiLocker. You can also use mParivahan since that is also accepted by the cops.
  • If you are in the habit of listening to music while driving, download them for offline play and avoid buffering. Create playlists if you have a favourite bunch of songs. You can thank me for this later.
  • Carry lots of food irrespective of whether you are travelling with the kids or only adults. It is a human tendency to feel hungry the minute you are travelling.
  • Have sufficient sleep and get good rest the night before you travel. This will prevent you from feeling sleepy when you are driving.
  • Last but not the least, have fun, drive safe and be considerate of other drivers / travellers on the road with you!

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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