Properly prepared for the long haul in the carProper preparation is everything – this also applies to long car trips. It's certainly not a good idea to set out on a long-distance ride without a plan. To avoid frustration on the road, you should, for example, plan the route in detail in advance and not rely blindly on the navigation system. Where there are nice spots for a picnic break? How long should the individual stages be? Is an overnight stop in between useful? Do I take my own provisions or do I take care of myself on the road? Are tolls to pay or. Do I need a vignette? Could traffic jam prone areas be bypassed? What speed limits apply abroad. Do I need additional equipment like high-visibility vests in the car? Do I want to see sights already on the way or first get to the destination as quickly as possible? Do I prefer to ride during the day or at night? All this should be well considered in advance. In addition, it is very important to check the car again so that there are no nasty surprises while driving and you are safe on the road. Securing the luggage is also crucial. This prevents individual objects from being flung through the car during an emergency braking maneuver – which can have dire consequences. It goes without saying that you should only start your journey well-rested. Only in this way you have the necessary concentration on the long distance in the car. Even if the preparation requires a little work, it's worth it! This allows you to fully concentrate on driving while on the road and arrive at your destination relaxed.
Basic equipment for long car trips
Certain utensils can also contribute to a stress-free long-distance trip by car. Things like a complete first-aid kit, high-visibility vests and, depending on the country, other accessories – for example, a breathalyzer for a vacation in France – (it's best to find out what regulations apply in the transit or vacation country before you start your trip) are definitely part of the basic equipment for a long car trip. For your personal comfort on the road, however, the following things can also come in handy:
Favorite music: Everything is better with the right music! It's best to prepare a good mood playlist that will put you and your fellow travelers directly into the vacation mood.
Litter bags as well as pocket wipes and cleaning cloths: it doesn't take long to spill coffee, smudge your hands with chocolate and spread litter all over the car. Small helpers can be very practical. Simply wipe, off into the bag and at the end in no time in the garbage can at the rest area disposed – cleanly!
First-aid kit: You quickly need a band-aid, your head hurts or travel sickness is on the way? For such cases a small first-aid kit with the most important utensils and medicines is recommended. Of course, you should not forget about personal medications that need to be taken on a regular basis.
Additional sweater or. Blanket: When it's a bit cooler in the morning and evening, you like to snuggle up in a comfortable sweater. So it is cozy and comfortably warm during the trip. Another good idea is to keep a blanket in the trunk of your car – it's also handy for a spontaneous picnic break or if you get stuck in a traffic jam in the winter.
Small change: Whether at the toll station, for the pee break at the rest stop or for the ice cream in between, you should always have small change ready on a long car trip.
Last but not least – sufficient provisions: When the small hunger comes, the mood is quickly in the cellar. That's why well-balanced snacks such as sandwiches, chopped fruit and vegetables, nuts and sufficient liquid in the form of water, tea or fruit juice spritzers are indispensable on long-distance journeys. This way you don't always have to rely on (expensive. Often fall back on greasy) rest stop food. In hot temperatures it is advisable to take along a cool box.
Mastering long car journeys with the family
Mom, Dad, are we there soon? Parents know this sentence well. However, a few little tricks can help against monotony and boredom on long-distance journeys with children. This way, even the drive to the vacation destination becomes an experience and the vacation begins right at the start of the journey – regardless of whether you are traveling within the country to a vacation apartment on the North Sea or to the picturesque mountains of Bavaria, or whether you are going to a destination abroad, such as skiing in Austria or Italy or a beach vacation in Spain. Consider, for example, which beautiful places would be suitable for breaks along the way. Maybe don't just stop at rest stops, but have a picnic by a lake or make a stop at an exciting sight that excites kids. Of course, the individual stages of a long car trip with a child should not be too long. Perhaps an overnight stay is a good idea, so that you can continue your journey the next day rested and with new energy. For the time in the car, it's a good idea to bring along games for the kids or to pass the time in between with popular car games such as "license plate guessing", "suitcase packing" or "I see something you don't see…". Audio books and your favorite music can also shorten the perceived time until you reach your destination. So that the little ones do not get cranky, it is also advisable to pack enough (healthy) snacks and beverages.
Long car ride with a passenger for support
A good co-driver supports the driver during the long haul with the car. It can, for example, help to watch out for traffic, operate the radio and navigation system, or simply provide entertainment. He probably notices signs of fatigue in the driver first, which can increase safety on a long car ride. Long freeway journeys are monotonous and make you tired. Co-drivers can help prevent microsleep and lapse in attention by acting correctly. If necessary, it is also possible to change drivers in order to share the long route.
Traveling alone – staying alert on the long haul
You don't always have a passenger by your side on long car trips. Those who travel alone must pay particular attention to signs of fatigue and loss of concentration. Regular breaks are all the more important in this case, since no change of drivers is possible. And beware: coffee and energy drinks may provide a brief energy boost, but they are no substitute for rest and sleep breaks! The best thing to do is to take a breath of fresh air every now and then. Doing stretching exercises against tension. Your own favorite music, audio books or podcasts provide entertainment and fight boredom.