You and your Volkswagen Tiguan are finally ready to go on this road trip. You’re traveling to Montana to see an old friend. It took a while before you’ve finally decided to do this trip. There were finance issues with your startup that you had to deal with first. Part of the reason for your trip is to seek the advice of your friend, who is an investment and financial expert in one of the biggest banks in the state.

Another reason is that you also want to take some time off. You figured that this long trip would be a good way to do your R&R. You plan to make stops in Nevada, Idaho, and maybe even Wyoming before hitting Montana. It’s more than 1,250 miles of road and nearly 21 hours of straight-up driving. Suddenly the R&R is not looking any bit relaxing.

But you must go because your friend is waiting. Have you planned everything carefully? This idea checklist might be helpful:

When to Go

In 2018, the National Safety Council estimated that around 40,000 people died due to road accidents. You do not want to become part of this statistic.

In 2009, Hannah Elliott of Forbes.com wrote that the snowy month of January is less of a problem for you than August. The days between May and August are regarded as “The 100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. Nine of the 10 deadliest days take place in this period. Another big holiday to avoid is the 4th of July.  From 2005 to 2009, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported 144 deaths related to car accidents. This might limit the opportunity to make the road trip. In general, you should avoid the busiest holidays.

Driving in the curve

Let People Know About Your Plans

You don’t have to announce it to everyone, but let important people in your life know that you’re going on a long trip. Accidents are not only car accidents. You can get caught up in a storm or other natural disasters. Inform people where you are so that they can act should there be an emergency.

Rest and Sleep

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every year drowsy driving accounts for 100,000 car accidents and 1,500 deaths.  You also do not want to be part of this statistic. It’s a drive that will take nearly 24 hours. Get proper sleep before hitting the road.

You can also have a co-driver with you. If your friend won't mind a +1, this is worth considering.

Break It Up

Break your trips into small chunks of three to four hours each. Find out if the travel time between the stop-over hotels you selected is ideal. If it takes too long, then find a better option.

Mind the Machine

Checking tires of car

This is a no-brainer. Have your vehicle checked by a mechanic or by your regular auto shop, and make sure it’s ready for a long trip. Check your spare tire and make sure it’s not deflated. Pack also small devices that you might need, like tire pressure gauges or jumper cables.

Make this long drive an enjoyable one by planning carefully, getting proper rest, and identifying your stopover locations.