If you are planning for a self driven long journey than you may like to keep in mind these points:

  1. Condition of car: Have petrol tank full (you do not get petrol pumps for long distance especially extra mile/premium or speed), Tyre pressure checked (including stepney), wheel balancing, water level in radiator etc
  2.  Have car papers ready, like, RC book, insurance, emission certificate, driving license etc. If you are crossing state than it will be checked on border and you might need to bribe if you do not have any such documents, also it wastes time and deteriorates mood.
  3. First aid kit: Band-aid, Soframycin, brufane, combiflame, savlon, Eno pouches, cotton, Move spray etc
  4. Get some snacks, like, Biscuits, Idlis (good for health), Namkins, easy to prepare cuppa noodles, hot water in thermos, etc. It will save time on travel as one need not to halt plus one can survive longer if lands in trouble.
  5.  Take plenty of water, at least 5-6 litres. It saves money, time and health.
  6.  Special care if traveling with kids: like, diapers, crocin, Ibugesic plus, colimex syrup, Econorm (4-5 pouches), Lactogen, Cerelac, Citrizine, extra water (as they tend to do potty anywhere), relent (these were the medicines which we took, you may get better advice from your pediatrician).
  7. Sleep for drivers at least: Drivers should have min 4 hrs sleep
  8. Maps: get detailed maps of route using http://maps.google.com/ or http://maps.live.com/ . If you are traveling for more than 500 Kms than its recommended that you take a detailed map of each 100 km. Sometimes you miss any road than alternate route comes handy. Sometimes people misguide you or you miss any road than you can cross check with villages shown in the maps. Note all diversions, national / state highway numbers, distance between 2 major towns etc.
  9. Read about condition of roads online. Some good links are: http://www.team-bhp.com . Search online for specific route you are planning to travel. If possible, take print-outs of road conditions. It will help if you need to change your route. Read travelogues, if available. Try to get latest information because road condition in India changes every month.
  10. Avoid driving in nights even if you have a driver. Major problem is Indian road conditions, like, potholes, speed breakers, not enough signages, darkness and high beam vehicles. If you are driving at high speed, say, > 80 Kmph than you might get your vehicle down due to sudden appearances of potholes, speed breakers etc. If you cannot avoid driving in night than keep your speed in limit and be extra cautious.
  11. Ask for directions in doubt and double check with available maps and printouts of available information (you may take printout of few travelogues). Its better to ask for direction on each bifurcations or cross-roads as it saves time. Few people do tell wrong route instead of saying “don’t know” hence be careful to have it double checked if in doubt.
  12. Have music arranged especially Songs: have stocks of songs of your liking, take mp3 player or iPod or mobile with good songs or CD player and have either pen drive or CD with songs
  13. Don’t forget to take camera and ensure that they are fully charged, have enough reels or space in memory sticks
  14. Don’t forget your mobile chargers
  15. Take some old newspapers and polythene bags. It helps in cleaning car (if required in moist weather) and to keep wet clothes, waste in polythene bags.
  16. Have some money in hand. Credit card does not work everywhere. Mostly highway petrol pumps do not accept credit cards.
  17. It is recommended that you take some ID proof (like driving license) for each traveler because due to high security nowadays, it might come handy if you land in trouble.
  18. Pack swimming costumes if going to beaches.

– Hariprakash

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5 COMMENTS

  1. useful information

    This is quite useful information for the people going on long drive

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  2. life is a journey

    Some questions:
    1. Did you travel following all of what is it written?
    2. How long did it take you to reach the destination in number of days?
    3. Which car did you use? Did it have space to accommodate people after carrying all the stuffs mentioned above?
    4. At what time should driver go for sleep? I assume it not while driving. Am I correct in my understanding.
    5. What do you consider as a long journey? For me, journey of life is long and all others are small distances.
    6. The topic says, self driven long journey. But you mentioned about driver also. Is this topic to be used by commercial vehicle drivers alone?I am confused. Please elaborate!!!
    7. You mentioned about road conditions changing every month and thus we need to carry travelogue. How long journey you take usually. Does it span more than 15-20 days at a stretch?

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    • Nice questions and I am attempting to answer them below Smile

      1. Yes
      2. 0.5 days
      3. Santro AT. Yes, it had the space. Surprisingly, all above mentioned things just came in one bag. Believe me if you can but bag was small only.
      4. Its your choice Whatever is comfortable to you. We slept for at least 5 hours before traveling. If you are traveling to heaven/hell, you may choose to sleep while traveling but please don’t take others along with you. Smile Smile
      5. I agree, journey of life is long but I had settled for 500 Kms or more.
      6. The driver is me here but I dont mind if other drivers take some tips from here.
      7. I read some month old travelogue on road condition and found road conditions different when I traveled. My journey spans from 2 days to 10 days.

      Hope, I could satisfy your curiosity.

      – Hariprakash Wink Wink Wink

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  3. Question?

    Does your long list holds good for return journey too? Please also mention How to keep idlis fresh for so many days and what is the suggested quantity for 5 ppl travelling for 8 days?

    what water to carry for potty cleaning?

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    • Again some more nice questions and my attempt to answer them: Wink

      1. Yes, it can hold good for return journey too. Why don’t you want to purchase idlis again on return journey? Please take care of your health and do not sue me or anyone else if you intend to use home made idlis for whole journey. Fortunately, we got many restaurants during our journey and we could purchase whatever we wanted. Please look for them.

      2. We used imported mineral water for potty cleaning as we did not want to take any risk.. just kidding.. Please use your best judgment here.

      – Hariprakash

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