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Old 07-03-2019, 09:40 AM
 
2,273 posts, read 1,557,690 times
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I am pushing my boundaries and going for a long road trip with a mini-van full of people. We will be driving from Detroit to Atlanta for a family wedding. I have never drove that long or sat in a car that long except for one time when I was a kid and my family moved from NYC to Detroit. But I was a kid then & my dad was a taxi driver so the drive was just like a day job for him.
  • What tips do you have for me?
  • What is the most efficient way of switching drivers without having to take 30 minute break? It seems like even the quickest rest stop turns into 30 minute break?
  • How long would you drive continuously before taking a break?
  • Is it better to take break near major city or in middle of nowhere?
I have driven alone 5hrs trip & tbh I enjoyed my alone time in the car. I often take 4-6hr road trip with my husband & those are fun too. But so far over 6 hours, I get cranky. I was not going to go to this trip due to long drive but my SIL really wanted to go & they need me to make it happen. I also found out most of my friends have done 12hrs trip alone & think its no big deal. I figure, I need to push my boundary and get better. So what recommendation or tips do you have for first time driving that distance

In past I made this thread Comfortable Road Trip distance? wondering if I was weird for not being comfortable with long drive (over 6hr) & seem like most people agreed with me
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:04 AM
 
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My first recommendation ... embrace the 30 minute breaks. Don't try to drive 10 hours straight through.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:32 AM
 
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I don't mind long drives. I only stop for gas because the several short stops really adds a lot of time to the overall trip. On a long trip the stops can easily add a few hours to the overall time spent on a trip.

My only tips are to make sure you are fully rested with a good nights sleep before starting and try not to drink any liquids. I figure all my gas stops in before I leave and try to stop at larger places so I can use restroom, get food, and do some walking while eating to make the stop the most efficient as possible. If I am going through large cities I also try to plan my start time to keep me out of rush hour while going through them.

Getting cranky is just part of any long trip.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Cole Valley, CA
250 posts, read 107,583 times
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What tips do you have for me?

Take some water, drinks, and snacks. Maybe load up a podcast or some music if you have a way to hook your cellphone into the stereo.

What is the most efficient way of switching drivers without having to take 30 minute break? It seems like even the quickest rest stop turns into 30 minute break?

If you have a minivan full of people, you'll need to take bathroom breaks anyways. Use those times for the driver changes and kill two birds with one stone.

How long would you drive continuously before taking a break?

I haven't done any long drives recently, but I remember going as high as 8 or 9 hours when I was younger. But with other drivers available, I would suggest switching at every bathroom break.

Is it better to take break near major city or in middle of nowhere?

Middle of nowhere. Most Interstates have restaurants, gas, and the necessities along the way. They're usually right off the highway, which makes for a quick and easy exit and return to the drive.
If you stop in major cities, you'll likely have to drive a bit longer to find a restaurant/bathroom and it may not be set up as well for a quick pit stop. There is also the possibility that the neighborhood may not be nice.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:37 AM
 
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I forgot this. Could be different for you but I like to start as early in the morning as possible. Even if it is 3-4Am because I have a problem towards the end of a long drive if it is getting late/dark out.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:07 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,540 posts, read 3,650,165 times
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Consider a stop every hour for your passengers and you to walk around, hit the restroom, change seats. If you have small kids you need activities. We used to have small wrapped toys that they got each time we'd cross a state line.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,174 posts, read 1,954,741 times
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Road trip with a van full of people is different than doing it alone. Keeping people comfortable is important, so I'd plan on stopping fairly frequently... every 3 hours or so(?). Truck stops right along the freeway are handy, as they have everything you need right there.

If you're driving through any large cities during the week, try to time it so you aren't hitting rush hour traffic.

Bring a cooler for snacks and drinks.

Check your vehicle before you leave... fluid levels, wiper blades, tire pressure (including the spare).
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Brew City
4,213 posts, read 2,499,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
Consider a stop every hour for your passengers and you to walk around, hit the restroom, change seats. If you have small kids you need activities. We used to have small wrapped toys that they got each time we'd cross a state line.
Every hour? How do you make it anywhere?

Snacks (jerky is my go-to road trip snack), entertainment, and if you have kids the resolve to ignore them. We prefer to stop either in the middle of nowhere or in smaller towns for proper meals. Somewhere that has options other than McDonalds or Subway.

Detroit to Atlanta is mostly boring. No way around that unless you're going out of your way. Just get comfy and drive.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:34 PM
 
9,774 posts, read 4,991,647 times
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Yeah, I think every hour is a little excessive. Every 3-4 is good if you aren't in a big rush. That gives you a chance to stretch and get some circulation going.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:41 PM
 
3,247 posts, read 842,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hertfordshire View Post
My first recommendation ... embrace the 30 minute breaks. Don't try to drive 10 hours straight through.
As a "determined" driver, I have made 8 hrs with one 30-minute, and two 10-minute breaks. But it's just not fun.

OP uses the word "road trip". Make it fun, stop more often. Ideally, I'd make an entire day out of it and find some attraction to get out and stretch my legs every 2-3ish hours.
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