Tips on Taking Long Drives

gotta keep movin'

In case you haven't noticed, I've been gone a lot. Right now, I've got the corgi in tow and we're taking the 17 hour drive to Florida. Yup. I have put 10,000 miles on my Fiat in under 5 months, and I have driven over 48 hours in the past month. Yes. I have spent well over 2 whole days driving and have another 17 hours soon. I may be crazed. Or my dad has taught me well that 8 hours is not really all that bad of a drive.

fiat 500
Oh hai!! (PS. This is my car!)
I love driving, but there are definitely some things that I have learned from my many trips over the past years, from almost monthly 4 hour drives from Cincinnati to Akron to trips to visit friends.

Look Over Your Route Before You Go
crazzyyy turn

You know that awkward moment when you look at your GPS and you are literally doing a CIRCLE. What is up with that? In this case, I was driving up a mountain in the Smokey Mountain National Park - but I had not really looked over my trip prior to leaving and had no idea I was supposed to be doing this. I had no cell phone service, thought my GPS was wrong, and was freaking out. I was supposed to be driving up mountains though, but still, it's good to look over where you are going so if your GPS dies or loses signal, you are a bit more informed. My phone (I use an Android as my GPS) died in the middle of North Carolina once, and I was able to keep going because I knew which highways to follow because of planning.

Bring Music!
Music is imperative - and always have backup! I have my phone that I stream Pandora from or use Google Music to access my collection. I also have a Zune HD with most of my music as well and a case of CDs. I often create playlists specifically for certain trips and play those. Spotify, if you are willing to pay 10 dollars a month, is my favorite because you can create playlists, have access to your collection, and have offline play for when you lose your 4G/3G signal. I have a Belkin Auto Air Cast that I use with my Auxilary port so I can stream via bluetooth as well as a cell phone charger (I suggest this product that I helped develop!).

Keep Snacks and Drinks Handy
hawaiian pretz

There are times of the highway where you won't see an exit for like 20 miles. Then when you do, there will be nothing off of it. And sometimes what is off an exit is kind of creepy. And you might not want to stop yet. Keep snacks - something salty, something sweet, and something light (I like popcorn, chewy candy, and something cheese related) as well as a water bottle and some pop or tea handy. You'll appreciate it I promise.

Have a "Set Up"
the set up
Every car is different. This is a set up for a drive to Virginia from Cincinnati a few years back. I always keep things in the same places. I keep a cup holder open for my phone, I have my suitcase in the passenger seat foot well and Teemo's bed on top so he has plenty of room. I keep my purse directly behind Teemo's seat OR in between us if it fits (like below) as well as any snacks, and I have a back cup holder to keep extra drinks in. I always have a blanket handy as well. And my camera. Always my camera.

Stop and Get Gas
When you hit about halfway. I'm serious. You never know when you will hit random construction/traffic/get lost and you don't want to be out of gas. Only on trips that you really know can you not do this (you should have traveled it more than 1 time each way).

Driver's License and Registration!
Easy to forget - double check before you go.
jour cent vingt (i'm getting even older now)

Know Your Limits
Not everyone can drive forever and ever. It can be boring. It puts some people to sleep. If you need to stop, please stop! Find somewhere to eat or get a pop/tea/something and walk around a bit. Stop and take photos. Call someone, but be sure to check cell phone laws in the states you are driving though! I bought my bluetooth adapter because you cannot use a handset in Maryland (or the city of Harrisburg). Listen to your music loud - I find Lady Gaga always gets me pumped when I get really bored.

States I have driven through or in (32%)

So have a great weekend everyone. I'll probably be around when I'm in Florida, just not as much.

Also, my guinea pig, Sir Tom, was featured on Cute Overload today! Go check it out!


  1. Have fun girl!! and hope your corgi has fun too... I hear boston is a fun place to road trip too ;)


  2. Loving that little car's license plate... oh hai hahaha crack me up :)

  3. Yikes! I have done that road trip to Florida a couple times and it is painful, make sure you've got a good playlist to listen to!


  4. great tips! xx

  5. I love that little Fiat but more importantly, that license plate. Too funny! Hope your travels have gone well.. We are travelers over here as well so I feel ya on the car rides to visit... always worth it though. :) Keep in touch!


  6. so cute!! how do you like the fiat? i have a mini cooper and have been looking at fiats for my next!

  7. This is a perfect list. I've gone on many crazy road trips -- hello, thirteen hours to Omaha for a show. 23 hours straight to Denver, with only three stops? Okay. Jersey and indy for shows for one night only? Whatever! I've done it all and these are the rules I live by. I prefer going with people (obviously) but I find that doing all of these things while solo is also important and necessary.

    Also I love your car and your plates.

  8. you have a fiat 500? that's my favorite car, perfect for a girl!


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