Tips For Preparing For a Long Drive

Truckers drive for a living, and many do long drives. Buffalo to Miami? Los Angeles to Seattle? Dallas to Minneapolis? These are all long drives involving many highways, multiple states, and hours and hours and hours at the wheel.

To prepare for a long drive, get enough sleep before the trip– at least 8 hours. Have your trip itinerary mapped out so you have a good idea of where you’re headed and what roads you’ll be taking to get there.

If you need something to perk you up during the drive, have a coffee or Red Bull energy drink. Keep in mind, though, that while caffeine and sugar will perk you up, there’s the inevitable “crash” hours later where you’ll be tired and need to eat or drink something to fuel your body for the next part of the trip.

On long drives, take short naps. Pull into a rest stop every couple of hours and close your eyes. Something as simple as a 10 or 20 minute closed-eye nap can help refresh you.

If you start to feel drowsy while driving, open the window to let cool air inside, which often helps drivers stay alert. Whenever you have the chance to travel with another person, take them along for company and conversation.

Listening to music and/or talk radio shows also helps make long road trips better. “Audio books” where a person reads a book aloud via a CD or podcast can help pass the time, and mysteries are especially good because you’ll want to stay awake to find out “who done it.”

Bring snacks for your ride– anything that’s small and not too messy should work. M&Ms, licorice bits, and chewing gum can make a long trip more enjoyable. Healthy choices include sunflower seeds and carrot sticks.

Finally, despite wanting to “get there on time,” it never hurts to take breaks from the road where you get out of the truck and get your body moving. If you’re wearing exercise clothes and sneakers (or can change into them easily), take a quick jog around the truck or truck stop to loosen up your legs, get your heart beating faster, and ease any tension in your neck, arms, and body in general.

Long drives are inevitable when trucking, but with the right approach they can work out fine.