Road trips can be a great way to de-stress, get in touch with nature, and create fond memories with your family or friends. However, long hours behind the wheel can be physically taxing for both the driver and the passengers. With careful planning and preparation, long-distance trips can be fun, exciting, and more importantly hassle-free. Here’s what you need to know before you get the car keys and drive to your next vacation spot.
Take some time to research about your destination before hitting the road. Make it a prerogative to know certain details such as travel time, weather, hotels, tourist spots, restaurants, and activities. Through your research, you will be able to pretty much map out the entire trip, including what hotels fit your budget and what routes are most convenient to you. However, your itinerary should make room for changes. Remember that the most memorable stories are often a product of an unexpected turn of events. When you see something interesting, follow your whim and just explore.
Planning a long drive is a balancing act. One way to tip the scales in favor of having an enjoyable trip is to pick the people most agreeable to the itinerary you have in mind. Stringing along whiny and negative people can be a major buzz kill. Dealing with these people requires a great deal of patience. If patience is not one of your virtues, try to screen your travel buddies for your sake and the sake of all those inside the car.
Your vehicle is the most important element of your trip so naturally you need to take extra good care of it before you travel to your next destination. Make sure your car is properly maintained. Tune up your car and inspect everything at least a week before you leave, including wiper blades, water and oil levels, tire pressure, headlights, horns, and belt and hose connections. Bring water, oil, and a spare tire just to be on the safe side.
You can save on gas by lessening sudden starts and stops, removing unnecessary weight, and slowing down. Remember that you will need less gasoline or diesel when you are driving 55 miles per hour than it does driving 70 miles per hour. Do not wait until the fuel gauge to hit E before you gas up. Stop by the nearest gas station as soon as have only a quarter of a tank left. For the best value for your money, gas up at Jetti Petroleum.
Mobile map applications are useful and convenient while driving, but these apps are not immune to errors. It is best to bring a regular map in case your app is not working well. Using actual maps can be fun. You could trace your route on the map with a permanent marker as you progress, then hang it in your bedroom or office cubicle to remind you of that specific adventure.
Drinking too much caffeinated beverages is not necessarily the best approach in keeping your eyes open during a long drive. “Drink too much too often and you’ll end up with big peaks and crashes in your tiredness levels,” says James Milligan, sports therapist at Formula Medicine. Drivers should prepare for exhaustion before not after the long journey. Sleep for at least seven hours for two nights in a row before the trip to build up your energy reserves.
Whether or not you are prone to motion sickness, winding roads can certainly make anyone a little woozy. For people who easily get sick while on the road, it is better to take over-the-counter anti-dizziness medications an hour before the trip and let them sit near the window or in front of the car. Refrain also from badgering them to participate in any conversation or games while inside the car and just let them close their eyes and sleep. Drivers can lessen the risk of motion sickness by keeping the car movement at minimum as much as possible.
Sitting inside the car for a long period of time can cause cramps so it is advisable to pull over at a rest stop, gasoline station, or fast-food chain every couple of hours to stretch your legs, buy some snacks, and inhale some fresh air. When pulling over, remember to park on the shoulder or in the breakdown lane only during emergencies. Drivers can consider sharing driving responsibilities with someone else in order to fight off fatigue and drowsiness.
Both drivers and passengers can benefit a lot from good posture. Always adjust your seat properly, tilted for maximum blood flow. Your vehicle should have enough room for you to move even just a little. If you have an 18-seater van, refrain from filling it up to the maximum seating capacity. Remember you will be on the road for a really long time; comfort really should be one of your priorities.
Long drives listening to utter silence is boring. Liven up your trips by turning on the radio or playing your own playlist. You or one of your travel buddies could create a mixed tape based on a certain decade, mood, or genre. Just avoid types of music that could distract the driver. You could consider playing a humorous audio book or comedy CDs because laughing will keep anyone awake.
Even if you car has the latest onboard entertainment systems, nothing beats road trip games. These games not only keep the passengers entertained, they also keep everyone alert. A couple of popular games you could play while in the car include Licensed Plate Game, I Spy, and music or word association games. For those travelling with kids, these games, along with books and puzzles, can certainly keep them occupied and entertained throughout the journey.
Road trips may be sometimes tiring. Nonetheless, if you follow the above tips, road trips may give you fun and memorable experiences you could cherish for a long time.