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According to Google, driving from Cape Point Nature Reserve to the border crossing at Beitbridge into Zimbabwe would take 21 hours and 45 minutes nonstop. If you are going to undertake a long trip, you need to ensure your driver is incredibly comfortable.

One effective way to ensure driver comfort on long trips is to plan for a driver rotation halfway through the journey. Before we delve further into making drivers more comfortable, let’s establish the fundamental rules of long-distance travel.

Golden Rules of Long-Distance Road Travel

When thinking of going on a long-distance trip, you need to plan carefully. A well thought out plan will minimise stress if anything unexpected occurs on the road.

As a general suggestion, ensure you can stay flexible and be prepared for change before starting your journey. Life is unpredictable. This being said, make sure that you stick to your generally laid-out plans.

Another must-follow rule is to stay hydrated and nourished on your travels with easy access to water and food. You must be sure you have plenty of water and keep your energy levels up.

Before starting any long-distance journey, make sure you get enough rest. Driving while tired can be fatal. And remember, practice safety.

Also, before heading off in your vehicle, make sure that:

Airconditioning works

Nothing is more distracting than travelling in a vehicle that feels like a sauna. Depending on the time of year, your car can quickly become unbearable.

Make sure you’re able to manage your vehicle’s interior temperature.

Use Cruise Control

On long stretches of highway, drivers can zone out, resulting in irregular speeds. Use cruise control. It’s better than risking a fine or ruining your fuel economy.

If you need to decide between a vehicle that offers or doesn’t have cruise control on a long trip, always select the one with cruise control. It’s also great and reduces fatigue, allowing drivers to rest their feet.

Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Ready

It’s in your best interest to ensure the car you’re driving in is working well. This means checking:

  • Tyre pressure
  • Oil levels
  • Ensuring your battery is healthy
  • Pack an emergency kit (medical equipment)
  • And that it meets all roadworthy requirements

Afterwards, you should be ready to go. And remember, whether you’re driving, flying, or using other forms of transportation, always prioritise safety.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about how you can make your long trip more comfortable.

How To Make a Long Trip More Comfortable

Travelling for hours on end can be exhausting and, indeed, uncomfortable. Here are some quick methods to make your trip more comfortable.

Use a Shoe Organiser for Storage

Anyone who’s been in a car for numerous hours can attest that things in the cabin can become messy very quickly. Travelling in an untidy environment can be trying.

So, organise your vehicle with a shoe organiser. Although not designed for this job, you can hang it up and slot items into the compartments.

Whether you hang it over the back of the front seats or the passenger handle, you can slot multiple items into it, including:

  • Snacks
  • Drinks
  • Maps
  • Charges
  • And whatever you deem necessary to make the trip more comfortable.

A clean space will ensure you don’t get distracted from the road.

Install a Smartphone Mount

We strongly suggest not installing a smartphone mount if you’re a person who will be distracted by messages.

You can activate a setting that blocks phone notifications while driving. But when driving long distances, your phone is going to be:

  • A map
  • Music center
  • And more.

So, ensuring it is easily accessible via a phone mount is vital for long-distance trips. If you don’t want to install a phone mount for a once-in-a-blue-moon journey, you can hold it with an elastic band.

Thread the band through an air duct around your phone’s screen and tie it into place firmly. We suggest using a thick elastic band and making two passes with it.

We recommend installing a proper mobile stand if you plan to go off-road.

Lumbar Support

Most front car seats do not have built-in lumbar support. Rather than installing new and more expensive seats, you can use a towel as lumbar support.

You can place a towel or a long pillow behind your back, and by rolling up the towel, you’ll have a makeshift pillow.

Find a Seat Belt Pillow

While seat belts are designed to be as safe and comfortable as possible, unfortunately, the latter is not a priority for the car manufacturer. After all, safety is always first.

You can purchase a wrap-around cushion device to make your seat belt more comfortable. While some will suggest placing a pillow in between, we’d recommend not, as your seat belt is designed to restrain you in place without the interruption of an additional cushion.

Make Sure There Are Multiple Charging Ports

For any long trip, you may need to charge more than one device, unfortunately, most vehicles have only one charging port.

You should plan to purchase a multi-port USB charger so everyone in the vehicle can charge their devices.

What else will help make those long trips more comfortable?

Have a Portable Rubbish Bin

As mentioned, vehicles can quickly become incredibly messy on long trips. It’s unsurprising between all the snacks and drinks you and your passengers may consume.

The first prize for a great portable rubbish bin would be one with a lid you can shut. But, you can quickly get away with reusing a plastic shopping bag to carry the rubbish.

Make sure to dispose of it at your planned stops. Nowadays, most service stations will allow you to recycle your rubbish.

Sun Protection

No matter what season it is, ensure you have some sun protection on hand. This can be tinted windows, sunglasses, or applying sunblock to exposed areas.

But after taking care of sun protection, you should be ready to enjoy a long and comfortable trip. Before you leave, check your battery at your nearest Willard Xpress or Willard Battery stockist.