Long road trips can be a thrilling adventure especially when you are traveling with a jovial companion.
The long hours in the car are a great opportunity for passengers to bond with each other while enjoying the wind breeze as the car speeds to arrive at its destination.
However, the fun can be cut short and shift abruptly from comfortable to uncomfortable if proper planning is neglected prior to the road trip.
Taking long road trips can be a wonderful expedition if you can avoid the pitfall associated with the long trips such as; body aches, less than proper nutrition and exhaustion. Here are some useful tips that can help your next road trip be less challenging and more comfortable
1. Plan for breaks
Have a map of the route in advance and plan for stop overs after every few hours of driving. This allows passengers the opportunity to walk around and stretch their body.
Breaks are healthy while driving for long distances as they keep your limbs from cramps.
A strategic stop point should be equipped with washrooms for toilet breaks and a restaurant for purchasing food and refreshments.
2. Have plenty of rest
Avoid driving for long distances when exhausted from work as this can easily cause you to fall asleep on the steering wheel.
The continual flashing of the same landscape across the window and swaying of the vehicle can easily cause drowsiness when your body is tired. You should ensure you get enough rest the night before a long road trip preferably 8 hours of sleep.
3. Wear comfortable driving clothes
Wearing comfortable driving clothes simply means wearing loose pants accompanied by a comfy t-shirt that allows for easy movement of all your body parts.
Avoid dressing in tights or clothes that are inflexible, wear clothes that allow room for your body to adjust position even while the car is in motion. It is also advisable to dress in layers, for protection of your body against adverse climatic conditions attributed to traversing different geographical locations.
The shoes should also be comfy on your feet, easy to take off and put on in case you feel the need to give your feet some extra aeration during one of the stops. The recommended shoes for drivers riding the long road is slip-on.
4. Package healthy food
Avoid eating junk food at fast food restaurants as they are heavy with fats which may cause you to feel overloaded and sleepy on the road. Stock your meal box with healthy food like fruit slices and assorted cheese.
This kind of food is easily digested and will not cause any bloating which can be very uncomfortable especially if you are sited in the a car for long hours.
5. Have a tangible map
Technology has made access to maps easy through using GPS from the car tracking system or even your mobile phone. However, we should carry a hard copy map when going for long journeys due to the possibility of venturing into areas with poor GPS signal.
Having a real map is a sure and reliable way to keep track and avoid getting lost along the road trip.
6. Package an emergency kit
This emergency kit should be packed in the trunk with tools that might come in handy if the vehicle fails mid-way during the trip.
The package consists of a plastic tote, a pair of tennis shoes, a flash light, a blanket and your AAA card.
7. Package extra bottles of water
Driving your car for long hours can easily lead to dehydration of the body if not provided with regular water access. Avoid packing soda while going for long rides as it will actually increases the chances of dehydration.
It is advisable to freeze a few bottles the night before, in order to keep the water cold for long hours during the tour. The frozen water will defrost slowly in the course of thetrip ensuring there is a steady supply of cool to cold water for drinking.
8. Pack some car-friendly distractions
A good way to stay relaxed and comfortable during a long ride is to keep occupied with friendly distractions. Having friendly content to distract your mind off from the long car drive, the more comfortable your body becomes for the trip.
As the driver you should consider packing a few audio books or your favorite songs. It is also possible to load your mp3 player with a driving playlist where the vehicle allows for synchronizing the player with the stereo.
As a passenger you should pre-load your personal mp3 player with your favorite podcasts and songs. Moreover, you may carry a good novel and read or solve some crossword puzzles.
9. Bring your Sleeping items
For a passenger it is totally accepted to have a nap during long drives. This will require you to bring a blanket, a pillow and ear plugs to ensure you sleep comfortably during the trip.
A neck pillow is highly recommended as it offers the neck support and gives the head a place to rest during the car ride.7
A regular shaped pillow can be stressful to fit in a comfortable position especially when sharing the backseat. Ensure you carry a light blanket for the trip to avoid ending up with sweat after sleep as this may cause discomfort.
10. Package medicine for motion sickness
If you are prone to get car sick easily it is advisable to get some medicine to assist with the symptoms when going for long rides.
It is also recommendable for patients suffering from this condition to choose the front seat while riding cars as the seat experiences the least motion.
11. Adjust your body to a comfortable position
Last and not least, you should always ensure you adjust the car seat to your level of comfort before hitting the road. A good driver should remember to make any necessary adjustment to the car before setting the vehicle in motion.
This may include adjusting parts like the driver’s seat, mirrors and the steering wheel.
The driver’s seat should be set in a way that prevents stretching of muscles to reach the steering wheel.
Also ensure the seat is set high to allow for your feet to be the same level as your knees and close to the front, so as to apply the brakes comfortably without moving the back of the body.
Remember to always wear your seat belt as a safety precaution and now we are ready to ignite the car engine and drive off comfortably to the edge of the horizon.