We at evo India are incredibly passionate about road trips and spend a lot of time on them. Each month, we publish stories that involve long stints behind the wheel. Sometimes, these road trips only last two to three days. Sometimes they can last for more than a week. Sometimes, these long and extensive road trips can be so vast and complex that we split them into multiple legs and assign different teams to each one. Last year, the Volkswagen Tiguan was taken from Pune for two 5000km trips to the Himalayas. We also drove the Renault Kwid across the entire length of India. This covered a total distance of 13,000km. Trust us when we tell you that we are experts in planning your road trip. These tips and tricks will make your road trips more enjoyable and help you be a safer and faster driver.
Get started early
We mean early. It’s like getting up at 5:00 am to start. You will save a lot of time if you start before everyone else in the city wakes up. You can avoid the congestion of busy streets and get to the highway much faster than you would otherwise. If you live in a city like Mumbai or Bengaluru with its notorious traffic, this little trick can save you lots of time. When I was in Mumbai, I can recall that getting from my home to the Mumbai-Pune expressway took me at least an hour and a half. I could not do it after 7:30 am. It took me at least half an hour to get there. It took me half an hour.
Get ready for the night ahead
Everybody prepares for their next road trip. You shouldn’t do it in the morning before you leave for your trip. This is like preparing for an exam before you even walk into the hall. It’s not a good idea to fill up your tank before you leave for work. You don’t want to be checking your tires on the morning you set off. Before you leave for work, prepare your bike or car. You need to ensure that you have enough fuel in your car and your tires are at the correct pressure. Also, make sure you have a spare tire, some basic tools for puncture repair, and all documents (RC, PUC, driving license) in order. This helps you make the most of your early morning start. You can travel long distances quickly and easily. These are key hours, and you don’t want your pace to slow down. In my case, I sleep better knowing that everything will be in order the next day.
Make sure to pack a sandwich with water and a bottle of water
It’s not difficult. You can sandwich a tuna can between two pieces of bread. If you are a herbivore, add tomatoes and lettuce to the can. Make sure to do this the night before and keep it in the fridge. Don’t forget it when you go out the next morning. Pro tip: Keep your keys and wallet in the fridge so that you don’t forget them. Many people are apprehensive about eating in the car. I am, too. You might also want to pull over before unwrapping the sandwich. Even if you do stop, eating your sandwich is much quicker than waiting for the dhaba to deliver it. This little trick will allow you to maximize the distance you travel before the sun rises and the roads become more congested.
The only reason to carry a water bottle is to reduce the amount you use on your road trip. You should carry a metal or reusable bottle of plastic that you can refill on the road. Avoid glass bottles, as they can cause havoc in case of an accident.
Grub on the go
You’re done with your sandwich, and you are hungry again. How do you choose where to eat? Fast food chains like Subway and McDonald’s are the most hygiene-conscious, as they are scattered all over India’s highway network. What’s the point of eating the same burger that you ordered to work on the day you forgot your dabba? It’s a good idea to explore. It is a good idea to search for a busy restaurant or dhaba. You can assume that the food is good if you see many trucks or cars parked at a dhaba. It is also a sign that children and women are eating in a restaurant. Ask staff for recommendations and follow their lead.
Pair of sunglasses
While fancy sunglasses look great in photos, there are two important reasons why they can be used. First, they conceal the fact that our eyes sometimes focus on the photographer and camera, not the road in front. They also reduce fatigue. They reduce the glare of other cars and the road, making it easier to see the world around you. You will be able to see better and stay a lot more refreshed behind the wheel. Even if your sunglasses don’t have polarised lenses, regular sunglasses can help keep the glare from your eyes. Do not be fooled by the glare, however. Take them off in tunnels once the sun sets.
A great playlist
For long drives, a good playlist is important. You might consider creating a playlist for your group. Your music, interspersed with songs that you don’t like, will be far more enjoyable than having your fellow passengers claim the entire drive. You can create your own playlist if you are alone. This includes all the Enrique Iglesias songs that you wouldn’t mind sharing with anyone. You might download the songs to an app such as Spotify or Apple Music and then make them available offline. It’s frustrating to have your high-pitched duet interrupted by a lack of mobile data. Another tip: If you love cars, you should check out the Thrill of the Driving podcast.
You can cover ground quickly by keeping your average speed up. To keep your average speed high, you must reduce the number of stops you make. It is best to plan your stops so that you can handle multiple items in one stop. You might be able to stop for a bite if you empty your bladder. It could save you an hour. It might be smart to stop to fill up your tank. You can then continue on for several hours without stopping. You will be able to cover more ground than you might expect if you reduce your stops.
Plan your stops
You might consider splitting your 1000-km drive over two days if it is longer than 1,000 km. If you do so, plan your overnight stop accordingly. Booking a hotel along the highway is a great way to save time. This will cut down on the travel time to get into the city at night and the travel time the next morning. If you’re not arriving too late, and still want to explore the city, don’t hesitate. It’s likely that you’re far from home, and it’s worth exploring the local food after dark.
These are the top tips we have learned over the years and thousands of kilometers. They make road trips fun, safe, and enjoyable. Remember to always wear your seatbelts. Even in the back!