When you are on a driving holiday, without prior hotel bookings, remember that during auspicious wedding days, all hotels in small towns are sold out!Watch out for drunkards swaggering on the road and bicyclists/ bullock carts without rear lights after dark
Jaisalmer has poor ATM refills,for the two days we were there,no cash refills happend and the atms all ran out of money.Please plan to have cash in hand when in Jaisalmer.None of the pumps take cards.Most of the hotels accept cards though.
 Almost all remote places that have ATMs have cash-out situations, one reason why one should carry as much as cash is required to meet trip expenses.
I always keep the  scanned images of my car documents & driving license in my laptop and uploaded online in case I lose the originals and need a copy when I am on the highway
Elections in Bihar: Seizures of cars for election campaigning/duty are common in these parts, hence avoid driving in that area. SUVs are particularly vulnerableWhile on a long drive, stopping overnight, if the hotel tariff plan includes room & breakfast, bargain for lower rates - you may have to leave early morning and no hotels gives you breakfast before 7 am. Some - like HPTDC hotels - are nice enough to pack up breakfast even if you leave by 5 am
I always carry a copy of my auto cop lock system manual in my car, and the original is always easily accessible at home, in case I run into some immobiliser problem and want to diagnose how to debug and rectify it
...and don't forget to have the helpline number handy
In case your car has Nippon auto cop security systems, and you have trouble with it en route, please remember these helpline numbers - +22-2687 8228/ 6671 0028, Manager - Manish Patil 9892216155, Vishal 9422485677
If you are driving a new vehicle and going out of the State, it is better to get a PUC done and keep the certificate in your car. You cannot out-argue cops that your car does not need PUC since it is less than 12 months old!Don't forget to check if your stepney tyre has air in it before going on a long drive
Never overtake on sharp curves, even if you are on a 4-laned roadImagine changing a punctured tyre in the rains holding an umbrella in one hand. So I always carry a raincoat in my car
Or, change to tubeless, much much safer compared to tubes too.
Avoid eye contact with cops when you are in a different State, lessens the chances of being stopped and caught for some petty extortion or the other
Another tip I learned from a friend, is if they really stop you, start asking them questions about, route, road, places, and get him/her in some long conversation. 95% they will just let you go, 5% with much lower money :).
 I have tried the stunt of asking for directions, and it has worked! Only time I had a problem was when I genuinely stopped to ask for directions in Kanpur, and the cop notice I was out of state and tried to extort money, I simply drove on.
The stunt of ignoring and driving on does not always work. Even in MP, the cops have radio network on the highway and they sometimes radio ahead and you are caught further ahead!

Guess what I do if I go to new places where I can't read the local language and there is no English or Hindi in the interior district roads? I research the route thoroughly, write down beforehand the names of the places in local language, then compare that with the signboards. Try it, works!
 I've noticed that this comes handy in interiors where most of the sign boards are in local language and its difficult to understand them.
Only National Highways are required to have signages in English, Hindi and local language. State Highways normally have in English and local language, but district roads sometime shave only in local language.Very useful especially when you are travelling by night and have no one to ask. Therefore, I first research the route thoroughly before hand so that I know which town to expect next
If you are climbing up a steep dirt road and you find the wheels slipping and unable to gain motion, reverse, restart from level ground and gain momentum.
You can also reduce your tire pressure and re-fill (assuming you have an air compressor in the car) once you are past the obstacle.
Let down your car window from time to time during long drives to listen into any unusual sounds that may signal impending component failure or problems

When I am dining in a highway dhaba, I always insist that the food be cooked in refined oil, and not local oils

and do they generally stock up on refined oils?and do the charges differ?

Nowadays, dhaabas are sensitive to customer's cooking oil needs, and many of them do have sunflower refined oil in lieu of dalda or mustard oil which are commonly used for normal cooking, especially in North and East India.
Never give strangers lifts on the highways, you never know what his or her game is - robbery, extortion or worse
And avoid single women at all times
 Here is a story from overseas, circulated by Sudhir Murdeshwar:
"While driving on a rural roadway on Thursday morning, I saw an infant carseat on the side of the road with a blanket draped over it. For whatever reason, I did not stop, even though I had all kinds of thoughts running through my head. But when I got to my destination, I called the Canton Police Department and they were going to check it out. But, this is what the Police advised even before they went out there to check....
"There are several things to be aware of ... gangs and thieves are now plotting different ways to get a person (mostly women)to stop their vehicle and get out of the car.
"There is a gang initiation reported by the local Police Department where gangs are placing a carseat by the road...with a fake baby in it...waiting for a woman, of course, to stop and check on the abandoned baby. 
"Note that the location of this carseat is usually beside a wooded or grassy (field) area and the person -- woman -- will be dragged into the woods, beaten and raped, and usually left for dead. If it's a man, they're usually beaten and robbed and maybe left for dead, too. 
Plan your drive in such a manner that you don't cross a large city during peak hoursOn a long highway drive, if I have to reach my destination before late night, I postpone my dinner break till I reach the destination
A food break set us back by almost 1 hour. But we need to judiciously balance between time and health!
Postponing dinner by a few hours does not spoil your health, but delaying your sleep by a few hours can cost your life. It is better to reach your destination as soon as possible than to dilly-dally on the highway
Carry Black Coffee powder with you, useful to control diarrhoea on the move. Have black coffee

When you are travelling on bad roads, remove your wheel covers, unless you are on alloys or don't mind losing them

I clean the windshield wiper blades often during drives, they collect dust and dirt resulting in the blades getting damaged and leaving streaky marks on the windshield
Do you carry a tubless tyre repair kit in your car? 
Never mind if you cannot do it yourself in the event of a puncture. You may not find the kit on the highway, but always a mechanic who knows how to fix it with your own kit.


I always keep my doors locked and never open the windows fully, if accosted by strangers on the highway

I am not sure of the highways,but there is a gang operating near Andheri Cinemax who use a similar modus operandi.
The method is simple,a well dressed lady always stands on the road that connects to Andheri Cinemax junction from the Malad Li
nk Road(inorbit link road).The person usually stands on the LHS of the road bcos the road is always jammed in the Andheri direction,as and when a car stops in front of her,within a matter of seconds she jumps onto your passenger side door and tries to open it and not sure aftr that waht happens,stories are that its a child snatching gang,and kids are usually with the co-passenger.This happened to me hence I know it happens fr real,thanx to wife being alert,the moment the door was open,she pulled it back in and in a mtter of seconds th lady vanished into th crowd,and u cant get out of th car,bcos its a huge big slow moving jam,so be careful if anybody is on tht side of the city & keep doors locked always.Later when we asked around,we got a feeling that everyone knew it happened there.

Very scary! Exactly the reason why I always keep the doors locked and windows closed to guard against any eventuality where someone tries to enter the car. As a matter of principle, I also never give lifts to strangers on the highway