Travel Blog


Traveling by Car

Traveling by CarMany people travel by car every year to their vacation destinations across the US and Canada. Some trips are short, perhaps to a local camping site or to visit family, while others travel all across the country from one end to the other and back. Preparing for trips when Traveling by Car is important if you and your travel companions are going to enjoy the experience. Most people can handle a day trip easily even if it lasts a few hours, but how about the trip that lasts several weeks with travel every day? Is your car ready for the trip?

These trips can be wonderful or they can be an ordeal for the driver and the passengers.  Some drivers feel that they must get from point A to point Z as fast as possible even if that means driving through the night to get to their destination. Traveling by Car in these conditions is not fun!

Other drivers will take their time, especially on a long trip, stopping when they get tired, stopping when there is something interesting to see and taking a break when they get feel like it. This latter approach is by far the best approach, however not everyone has the time to travel in this manner.

I know of two guys who on running low on money in California, decided to drive non stop home to eastern Canada! Took them 51 hours with a few breaks to grab something to eat and use the bathroom. Traveling by car in this situation is not fun at all.

Long distance Traveling by Car

Trips like this have to be planned carefully. Not only the route you will take, the hotels you may stay at but also the maintenance of the car and planning for emergencies. Whether it is a short trip or a long trip many of the preparations are the same.

Check the tire pressure, check the fluid levels, gas up and make sure that anything needing repair is completed prior to leaving.

Planning your trip is important. The general route needs to be determined and if you will stay overnight you may need to make reservations. I like to decide around 3 pm in the afternoon were I will stay and then phone ahead. Most of the time, I have no trouble finding a suitable place, however there have been time when I had to drive an extra hour because all of the hotels are full.

Where to Stay

We try to see the sites along the way and as a result we might drive an average of 4 to 6 hours a day. The rest of the time we are looking for a good restaurant or visiting some tourist activity or stopping at a shopping mall. Traveling by Car allows a lot of flexibility.

One thing to mention is that it is a good idea to get out and walk around for a few hours to keep the circulation going in your legs. It also helps with the boredom of driving and getting drowsy as you are driving.

Some folks will book all of their hotels along the way ahead of time. They like to know where they are staying and know that they have a place to stay. Traveling by Car is a great way to travel and usually a low stress way to do it. You do not need to worry about finding a place while you are en-route.

Occasionally travelers will encounter bad weather or other problems and will be unable to get to their destination. Most hotels will cancel rooms at no charge if you cancel prior to 6pm on the same day, however after 6pm they will charge your credit card the full amount whether you get their or not.

Maintenance on Long Trips

Occasionally you will have to arrange for some maintenance on your car Traveling by Carover a long trip. We have had flat tires, oil changes and even a cracked windshield that was needed.  The picture on the left is not the way you want to have to change a tire! All of these things can be handled easily, however we suggest that you ask the front desk at your hotel that you are staying at if you can for a recommendation on were to get the repairs or maintenance completed. We have received some really great advice over the years.

For a tire repair we were told to go to America’s Tire. We did and because I brought the tire in myself, they repaired it for free! I went back to them the following year and bought 4 brand new tires just because of this service. Another example was for a cracked windshield. We went to one company who replaced our windshield for half the price that it would have cost me in Canada! Excellent job and a very clean shop!

Final thoughts about Traveling by Car

Always take water with you in the form of water bottles. If you travel in the winter time, always take boots, gloves and warm clothes for emergencies. Even if they are in the back seat or in the trunk, at least you have them if you end up stuck in a ditch.

Recently a man died of hypothermia because his car ended up in the ditch in the middle of a snow storm and no one found his car until a few days later when they were clearing the road. It is always better to be prepared when travelling by car than not even if it is a hassle.

Same thing with being in the desert areas of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. If you are breaks down, you want to have water with you and also warm clothes. Believe it or not, it can get quite cold in the middle of the night in the desert!

Write in your comments about traveling by car and your own preparations. Ideas that will help our readers are appreciated.

For more thoughts about traveling on vacation by vehicle, click here.

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One Response to “Traveling by Car”

  1. we would never travel by car. we both fall asleep and get lost, we have fights. it just does not work for us at all. we would rather fly and enjoy the time we would have spent driving. some people like it but not us

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