I’ve done a lot of driving, especially since I started producing music. When I was working on my debut album The Light Nearby in 2014 I drove roughly 25,000 miles in just under 10 months. I was behind the wheel for hours at a time, and there’s a lot that I learned about driving long distances – hence this post. Here are 7 important tips to remember when you’re doing lengthy drives!
1. Drink Water
I don’t know what it is about driving long distances but it makes me extremely dehydrated. I always make sure to have a gallon of water (at least) in my car, as I’ll easily drink that much during a 12 hour drive. This is obviously a catch 22, because the more water you drink the more you’ll have to go to the bathroom, so you might have to get creative. Unless you want to stop every 20 minutes, it’s not a bad idea to have a bottle or something, but this can be tricky if you’re a girl (for obvious reasons).
2. GPS System
In this day-and-age most people use the GPS system that’s on their phone but it’s not a bad idea at all to purchase a GPS system. The reason why is that you’re phone has to use data to connect to the GPS system, while a traditional GPS device connects no matter where you are on the planet. Another huge tip is to type in your destination into an app when you first take off, and DON’T close the app until you get there. As long as it’s already routed to your destination and open, most GPS apps (like Google Maps) will still work with no service because it doesn’t have to fetch any extra information.
3. Car Charger
Especially if you use your phone for your GPS you need a USB Charger. I always make sure to charge my phone the night before a huge drive and hook it up immediately as I begin driving. Any GPS app can drain your battery fast, not to mention if you’re also using your phone for other things (music, etc). If your phone doesn’t charge via USB then I would suggest getting an outlet to car adapter.
4. Avoid Tolls
If you’re driving for a long time then it’s almost inevitable that you might hit tolls. I have a video below that demonstrates how to avoid tolls on the highway using Google Maps. Especially in places like New York, tolls can easily be $15+, and that can severely add up quick when driving across multiple states. One huge piece of advice though is that avoiding tolls inevitably adds extra time on your route, so you have to weigh the cost of the tolls vs the extra time you’re driving.
5. Bring Stuff To Do
Now I’m obviously not talking about books or your computer, but I am saying to be prepared to have media planned for your long trip. Listed below I have my video where I explained 11 ways to be productive while driving, so all those tips can be useful to make the time go by quick. Not only will this make the ride more enjoyable, but it’s also better so you’re not constantly texting and on your phone the whole time.
Don’t underestimate what I’m about to say: If you’re tired, DON’T try and push yourself. Especially on long highways, there’s even signs that warn against fatigued driving and suggest pulling over if you feel drowsy. It only takes a split second, especially at fast speeds, to pass out real quick and swerve into other cars or directly off the road. This can be fatal, so please don’t overlook this because it’s important to listen to your body after driving for so many hours. I have another video listed below about how to take a power nap, so hopefully that helps you when you do pull over for a brief 20 minutes.
7. Get Gas Whenever Possible
This greatly depends on where you are, but it’s important to get gas whenever you can. There are some roads, especially out west, where the gas stations are miles and miles apart. The last thing you want to do is risk it and then end up stranded on the side of the road with zero reception. My personal philosophy is to always get gas when my car says I have less than 100 miles until my tank runs out – even though this is still a lot, I’ve been in areas where the gas stations are at least 50 miles apart.