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Roadtrip :) Need tips for a long trip....

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm planning a road trip to see a friend in Manitouwadge, ON. (That's a 16hr drive for me)

There is no way I can make it in a day, my body just would not allow that.

I plan on taking alot of pitstops, and I will more than likely spend a night in a motel. There's one long stretch that I do NOT want to take in the dark.

I went to my friends place in Sept. 2008, only I had taken the bus. My health wasn't near as bad then..... it was 22/23hrs bus ride, and as they were taking me to the busstop for my trip home, we hit a moose. Very very scarey. Their van was totalled, but thankfully no serious injuries to any of us. That would be the reason I won't do that stretch at night.

Anyways, does anyone have any tips for long journeys? It will be just me making the trip.

I do not know when I'm leaving, nor do I know when I'll be back.... My "goal" is to leave between Thurs. and Sunday (this week) and stay at my friends for about a week, then come home. DH and I have made it so that I can do this trip, and there's no real date that I need to leave, or come home by.

My health issues make it impossible to plan a trip like this. Luckily my friend is retired and doesn't mind that I can't say when I will be there. Mark has booked most of his work appts for this week, since we don't know when I'll be back. My thoughts are of leaving there around the 19th.

I will be bringing with me:

- food including my thermos of coffee (2 large cups)
- blanket (in case I get tired and need to nap in my truck)
- roadside kit/safety kit
- gas can (I doubt I will need it, because I am incredibly anal about filling up, and know it will take me 3 tanks to get there, and gas is infrequent once I get to the last 4-500km. But it can't hurt... 20L of gas would give me an hour or so driving)
- medications of course
- music on my mp3 player.

Can anyone think of anything else to bring, to help me on the way? I do have a spare tire/jack in the truck, and we always carry a tackle box with tow straps, battery cables, snowsuit, boots, etc. in it.

I am thinking about trying to take a break every 2hrs if I remember to Some of my health issues are weird, in the sense that unlike most people, I do not have a gradual buildup of pain.... one minute I'm fine, next, I'm crippled over and can't hardly move. So its a huge catch 22 for me. Taking frequent breaks may or may not be a good idea for me.

Also, for fellow Ontarians.... if there's anyone on my route, I'd love to make a pitstop and say hi.

I'll be taking the 401 East from London area, to the 407, then 400 North, exit onto 17 towards Sault Ste Marie, which I stay on till I hit my friends place.

Thanks in advance for any tips. This is my first longer than 3-4hr trip, that I'm driving myself, so I'm nervous and excited
post #2 of 18
a big cooler. This is a must for us on any road trips, filled with healthy options and good food options. Sliced lemons and limes with fresh brewed tea is important as well on our trips. Bug spray. Good luck and stay safe.
post #3 of 18
Oh how fun!! It really does seem like you want to fly by the seat of you pants (as my granddad used to say). Only thing I can suggest is print out every hotel list you can find along the route. You really can't make reservations if you don't know when you will be there, but at least you will have the addresses and phone numbers. If possible, print out the directions from the main road so you can find them.

Obviously cell phone so you can make reservations at the last minute if you need to (or call for any other emergency).

Snacks!! Anything that can be eaten with one hand while driving and sitting open in your passanger seat.

It sounds like you have pretty much everything covered. You have extra fluids for the car right? (break, oil, power steering, etc), and you have a spare, right? (OMG....I sound like my dad!)

Just be careful Chris. Take time off when you need to. But, I think you really need this get a way. Enjoy...but just let us know when you are leaving and when you get there (OMG!! Now, I'm my Mother!!!!).

Someone, please just shoot me!
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
LOL @ Hope

And yes, I'm bringing a cooler I actually have to go out and buy a bigger one, since Mark uses the one we have.

I have cell phone and charger. Last time I went up, I lost cell service up there. Its literally in the middle of nowhere But that should not happen because I've switched carriers since then.... and this carrier does have service up there.

Everyone is a little nervous of me going Really tho, I can't blame them. Honestly, if I get less than halfway there and have my doubts, I will turn around. I'm stubborn, but not that stubborn.

It would be cheaper to take the bus (that fuel for my truck), but there is no way I can lift my luggage like I did a year ago, or attempt to sleep on the bus, etc.

I'm excitedly nervous... and yes, I will let someone know to post if/when I do go

Vehicle maintenence stuff I have.
Personal safety kit I have.
Food/snacks/drink I will have.

Oh and I have my gps

The last 7hrs of the trip are dull and boring.... well, they are scenic, but its all the same type of scenery. That is the part of the trip I "worry" most about.... I know I have to monitor myself for sleepiness, and be very careful that way.

Between music, and opening the windows, that's all I can think of to keep myself alert.

I think it will be awesome, and I am and hoping my health allows me to do this. Last yr, the change in me when I came back was amazing. I loved it, my family loved it....and I'm so thankful that I get this oppurtunity.

I do wish I could "plan" things, but unfortunately I can't.... more often than not, I wake the morning I'm supposed to do something and then have to cancel because I physically can't.

Oh, and I'm well aware that my body is going to rebell on me no matter how many breaks I take.... but honestly, at this point, I am willing to endure some added pain issues for the away with NO responsibilities time. It really makes you appreciate what you do have, and I'm sooooo thankful hubby is letting me do this
post #5 of 18
Snacks to maintain blood sugars - not crappy snacks like you find at gas stations

On long trips, I take my camera and stop for a while to take photos to stretch and not just be standing around the car, gives me something to do and since the colours are changing anyway, the drive North is pretty.

Last time I took the bus somewhere far, I paid a little extra to break it down into stops and stayed over night in different cities, perhaps that would work for you?
post #6 of 18
Hmmm, I bet the colours that far north will be nice this time of year! i don't envy you the drive though. The longest I've driven is to Lake Superior Park, and that was one looooooooong day. Good ides to break it up, maybe into two nights if you have the time? When I Googled Manitouwadge it showed no roads there! Good luck!
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by pushylady View Post
Good ides to break it up, maybe into two nights if you have the time? When I Googled Manitouwadge it showed no roads there! Good luck!
Yup, told ya, it is in the middle of nowhere, but my is it a beautiful area
I'll have to dig up my pics from last yr. I got to see the northern lights on the night I left

I'm bringing lots of food. It is way more expensive up there for groceries, so as part of my thankyou for putting up with me, I'm bringing some groceries for a couple of meals.

Honestly, although the drive is something I prolly shouldn't be doing, I have wanted to do it for a while now. I love to drive.... love it.

I have promised my hubby that I will break it up...(that was his only condition to me going ) Luckily, I am able to break it up into as many days/nights as I need to. But I am hoping to do it in 2 days.

I do plan on taking my camera of course

Mind you, I probally shouldn't have said anything bout this.... with my luck usually as soon as I say something, it ends up so that something happens, or I have some really crappy days. that this is not the case.

I haven't seen my friend since last November, and I miss her dearly. We talk on the phone but its not the same. I was supposed to see her a couple weeks back at the reptile show, but that's when my lower back had problems and I couldn't walk

If I can't leave by Sunday, then I won't be going. DH has cleared the next 2wks so he can be home ( not being away overnight for work ). I have to laugh... DH got a bonus at work for this project he's been doing for the past year... With the bonus, he bought a new computer (he only had his work one) and I get the gas money for this trip
post #8 of 18
Bring a pillow for the car in case you need to pull off the road and take a quick nap. And make sure the food that you bring with you are not those that make you crash when they wear off. But with that said, I always have a Snicker's bar for that last 45 minute stretch. DH and I used to do a lot of long road trips and you've got the bases covered pretty well.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
Bring a pillow for the car in case you need to pull off the road and take a quick nap. And make sure the food that you bring with you are not those that make you crash when they wear off. But with that said, I always have a Snicker's bar for that last 45 minute stretch. DH and I used to do a lot of long road trips and you've got the bases covered pretty well.
Yup, pillow and blanket are coming with me for that very reason

I plan on bringing some sandwiches, granola bars, veggies and might use my smaller thermos for some soup. The big thermos will have my coffee in it ( well, hot water to make coffee/tea).
post #10 of 18
Auto club membership?
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by gemlady View Post
Auto club membership?

I locked my keys in my old vehicle once a few yrs back. I was 2hrs away from home and we had CAA, but CAA is on the person not the vehicle and was under my hubby's name

It was kinda awkward walking around asking people if they knew how to jimmy an explorer (they were friends, but still awkward, especially since people don't really want to admit that )

Now I always lock my doors with my keys, so that won't happen again.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just thought I'd add:

someone brought it up privately, and I thought I'd mention it.

Announcing that you're going on a long trip may not be the safest of ideas as far as internet safety goes.

If my house was going to be empty, then no I would not announce what day I'm leaving, or when I've left.

But as it stands, my house will be full, except for me Which is why I'm comfortable sharing my trip with others.
post #13 of 18
Chris - I'm pretty sure there's only one way to get where you're going, but the only thing I haven't seen listed is a road atlas?

Also... bring a separate overnight bag for the motel. That way you don't have to lug all the luggage around.

..and the stopping to get out of the car every two hours or so is a good idea if you can remember to do it. It makes the trip longer - but it helps keep you alert. Also, if you drive straight for 6 or 8 or 10 hours, when you get out of the car, I find you feel like your entire body is vibrating for a while. If you stop to stretch or just stand up for a few, that doesn't happen.

MOST IMPORTANTLY - just be safe! Don't push it if you're tired - it is not worth it.
post #14 of 18
I hope you remember everything. More often than not, when I go on a long trip, even if I think I have everything, I forget something at home.

And it's good that you are planning on taking breaks. A friend of mine used to drive a semi across the country on a regular basis. Once he was running late so he decided he wouldn't take a break until he got there (about 13 hours of driving left). It wasn't until he got so delirious that he saw a half naked Scotsman in the ditch playing the bagpipes that he decided to take a break.

Good luck and I hope you are safe and have fun.
post #15 of 18
Hopefully you won't run into snow during your trip, but you should be prepared just in case - warm clothing, lighter or matches, sleeping bag.
post #16 of 18
camera is a must
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys.... it is looking like I prolly won't be able to go

The mind and heart are willing, the body is not But the suggestions will stay in the back of my mind for the someday that I am able to do this.
post #18 of 18
I'm so sorry Chris. I hope it's not that there's NO hope - so sending vibes!
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