You’re all pumped and ready for that road trip which you have been planning for weeks.
Driving in a foreign country can be stressful, but if you plan it right, it’s one of the most fun things you can do on a holiday.
You get to see things that tours don’t normally stop for, like small towns with hole-in-the-wall eateries.
You also get to spend time with your family and friends in the car, bonding over shared experiences during the trip.
But it pays to prepare yourself thoroughly before the trip.
Driving in Singapore, we often overestimate our driving abilities when we drive on foreign roads.
Most people tend to speed on open roads, which can lead to tragic consequences.
Here are some top tips you should follow in order to make your road trip a successful one:
- Sleep well the night before. This is absolutely essential to make sure you’re alert and ready the next day. Do not drink the night before either.
- Plan your route ahead. Google Maps or Waze allow you to choose the route you want, either with tolls or not, or through coastal or inland roads. For added peace of mind, bring along a standalone GPS unit or a paper map if your route has spotty mobile reception.
- Take breaks every two hours. Even if you feel fresh, stop every two hours for a minimum of 15 minutes. Such breaks are also great to see the local sights!
- Change drivers if you need to. Swapping drivers may cost extra if you rent a car, but it’s absolutely essential if you’re going the distance.
- Don’t rely on cruise control. Cruise control may help you alleviate some driving stress but always ensure that traffic is clear before you do so. Do keep an eye out even if your car is equipped with adaptive cruise control.
- Eat well and stay hydrated. This is important to keep yourself awake and focused on the road.
- Use your lights when necessary. There’s no harm in using your lights during the day if it’s foggy or misty, especially on mountain roads.
- Familiarise yourself with local traffic laws. If you’re travelling interstate, traffic laws can differ: be sure to not fall afoul of them.
- Get your co-driver to talk to you. Having a conversation in the car is a great way to stay alert while driving; just be sure not to get distracted by the conversation itself!
- Fill up when you need to. In rural areas, petrol stations are few and far between. If you’re nearing a quarter tank, don’t hesitate to fill up whenever you reach a petrol station.