We just completed a four-day drive from Toronto to Phoenix with our two dogs. Here are some of my travel tips. What are yours?
* pack the car early and take the day before off. This will prevent you being overly tired on the first day of the trip
* treat the day before as the first day of the trip: get to bed early.
* get an early start each day-- an early start means everything in terms of meeting mileage objectives and driving during daylight
* use stops wisely: differentiate between full dog-walk stops and short human stretch time stops; try to go a set time or distance between stops, but take a stop if you really feel like one
* gas-up the car at the end of each day to avoid an unnecessary gas-stop the next day; gas-up on a comfort stop when tank is less than half full to avoid a stop for gas later
* each day's travel begins the night before: have the car filled with gas and get to bed early
* leverage west-headed time-zone changes to your advantage: go an extra hour on the day the time zone changes; get up the same absolute time as the day before -- you are up an hour earlier and on the road sooner
* don't tank up on caffeinated soda at lunch -- this will result in an afternoon energy crash. Rather, keep a stock of diet Pepsi in the car and sip away throughout the afternoon. This was a new discovery for me this trip.
* Drive during daylight from dawn to just before dusk
* If you are going to "push on" beyond your normal stop time, have a place to stay -- you don't want to be scrambling for a motel at the end of a tiring day
* Enjoy the trip!