Are you a smart driver? Before you answer, think a little bit further than how well you can parallel park or how many tickets you’ve gotten over the years. Understanding road rules and getting around well doesn’t necessarily make you a smart driver, it makes you a good driver.
You have to know a few car hacks to be smart as well as safe on the road. You know, things like which roads to take at certain times of the day and the best routes to get anywhere, anytime. Smart drivers go beyond the concepts of “ten and two” and looking both ways; they know how to make driving easier for them and their passengers.
If you want to be savvier in the driver’s seat, use the tips listed below!
Car Hacks for Everyday Driving Needs
Think about how much driving you do every day. Maybe you have a short commute to work, but you take turns carpooling your children to school. Maybe you do it all – driving from the drop-off line at school to work to the grocery store and extracurricular activities, too.
Whatever your typical route looks like, make sure you’re always doing the following to make your drive be as smooth as possible.
1. Always Have a Charger in the Car
You never know when you’re going to need to charge your phone, or when your children or your spouse will have a low battery, either. This is essential for communicating with everyone throughout the day.
It’s how you keep up with emails while you’re out and about and how you can check in with your children or call a client. All of these interactions do a number on a phone’s battery. Be prepared for anything with an extra charger that is specifically for the car.
2. Keep a Change of Clothes in the Trunk
A charger ensures you’re always able to communicate with the people in your life. But, what if those conversations lead to last minute plans or if you just can’t help but drive out to the beach on a beautiful day?
You may need a change of clothes. While you can’t keep your whole closet in your car, there are a few things worth leaving in the trunk. They are:
- a bathing suit and towel
- one set of workout clothes (with shoes!)
- a pair of heels (ladies) or a blazer (men)
Such outfit swaps are perfect for people who embrace spontaneity in their life. They’ll help you go from the office to the gym or to happy hour with ease.
3. Put a Few Essentials in the Center Console
You may find the car tip above comes in handy if you’re always on the go. But, even if you stick to a certain routine and don’t use extra clothes much, you’re still going to need a few other essentials.
Ladies, it’s a good idea to keep a go-to color of lipstick and a small perfume container in your center console. Men, some breath mints or a pair of headphones will do you good, too. Other things anyone can collect and keep in the center console include hand lotion, sanitizer, and of course, sunglasses!
4. Save a Bit of Cash for Emergencies
Here’s one more thing that should go in the center console: a $20 bill. You never know when you’re going to be short on cash or leave your wallet with all your credit cards at home.
This is a particularly tough situation to be in if you need to stop for gas or you’ve had a long day and just want to pick up food on the way home. A little bit of money is enough to get the gas you need or the quick meal that can’t wait.
5. Stop for Gas Before You Need It
Speaking of having money for gas, always make a gas stop whenever you see the tank getting low. Don’t wait until you absolutely need to make the stop. This way, you’ll definitely be able to get from point A to point B, especially when you’re in a rush and don’t have time to lose pumping gas.
Car Hacks for Road Trips
The funny thing about road trips is stopping for gas can actually be kind of enjoyable. It’s a time to stretch your legs and use the bathroom as well as a necessary reason to get off the highway and fuel up.
But, to make the whole journey more enjoyable, you have to keep the following road trip life hacks in mind.
6. Wear Comfortable Clothing
Going on a road trip means you’ll be sitting in the car for hours on end. Make yourself as comfortable as possible by wearing the proper clothing.
Don’t bother dressing up. Ladies, consider waiting to put on your makeup until you get to where you’re going and men, hang up your dress shirt then change into it if you’re trying to look nice. Such hacks allow you to sit back and enjoy the open road; they let you focus on the views ahead instead of how you look.
7. Keep a Blanket in the Car
Have you ever argued with someone about the temperature in the car? If you’re gonna have a full group along for the ride with you, bring a blanket. This goes for whether you’re the driver or a passenger in another’s car.
Someone is going to need it. Just one blanket can be the difference between a comfortable road trip for all or a fight that could have been easily avoided.
8. Get Snacks Ahead of Time
Just as everyone has their own temperature preferences, most people like different snacks, too. Tell everyone to bring their own snacks for the trip before you get on the road. This ensures all the people in the car are happy and well-fed – and the last thing you want is a group of grumpy, hungry passengers.
More so, if you know you like certain snacks or meals, packing them means you’ll definitely have them available no matter where you go.
9. Plan Your Stops
Another benefit of bringing snacks is that you won’t have to stop as often. You’ll have everything you need until it’s time for a gas run or a bathroom break. Still, it’s best to plan for such needs.
Take a look at the route of the road trip. Research which towns would be ideal to stop in and try to plan out a timeframe for each stop, too.
10. Create the Ultimate Road Trip Playlist
Finally, don’t go anywhere without the ultimate road trip playlist. Being in the car for so long is not the easiest thing in the world to do, no matter how great the company is.
Keep everyone entertained with all the best throwbacks, new hits, and maybe even a show tune or two. Actually, depending on how long of a car ride it is, you may want to make a handful of different playlists instead of mixing too many genres and styles together.
Also, remember you’re the driver and even though you control the radio, you shouldn’t be messing on your phone. This compromises everyone’s safety and may lead you to need services like those you can view here. Instead, have the person to your right handle the navigation and music needs you would normally do on your phone.
Make Your Life Easier from Driving to Work and Play
Once you start using the car hacks listed above, driving becomes much more enjoyable. It’s no longer a hassle to run errands after work and, who knows, road trips may become your new favorite form of travel.
But, those aren’t the only hacks worth including in your life! There are many ways to do things in a simpler manner and get more out of them. For more life hacks and smart insights, click here.