Perhaps you’re thinking that this year you’re going to forgo the trains and planes and go on a long car journey with your family instead. After all, road trips are great for bonding, right?! You can hop in your car and traverse the length of your country – or even continent.
Lots of people dread long journeys, whether they’re alone or with other people, because, well, they’re just solong. So how do you go about surviving one? Let’s take a look at 10 great travel tips for long car journeys.
Get Your Back Right
When you’re driving for a long time, it’s absolutely imperative that your posture is spot on. If it isn’t, it just means that you’ll be doing some intense physio for quite a whole afterwards. And nobody wants that!
Before getting behind the wheel, we recommend that you warm-up first. This means mobilising your back, as well as stretching your hamstrings. Indeed, it can be your hamstrings that cause all the pain in your back. Practise sitting upright in the car, too.
Slow Down On The Caffeine
Okay, so you’ve got a loooooong car journey ahead of you. As such, you probably think that you need to drink lots of coffee beforehand, right? The caffeine will give you a buzz of energy and keep you going for a few hours, at which point you can stop and drink some more coffee.
It doesn’t work like that, unfortunately. Too much caffeine when you’re on the road will only cause big peaks and big crashes, which will interfere with your focus. Rather than keeping you alert and awake, it will make you fuzzy and groggy.
Make Sure The Kids Have Got Some Journey Presents
The last thing you need as you navigate a 7-hour + car journey is your kids in the back screaming “are we there yet?!”
To make sure this doesn’t happen for at least the first few hours, why not buy them some presents for the journey? These could be fun Christmas stocking filler-type presents, or they could even be portable DVD players with a few movies.
You could also offer them rewards for every milestone you reach as long as they don’t annoy the heck out of you.
Keep Filled Up
Your car needs to stay filled up with gasoline, but your body also needs to stay filled up with carbs. It’s essential that you change your eating habits when you’re behind the wheel; instead of eating every four-to-five hours, you should aim to eat every two hours.
Drink Water – But Not Too Much
Of course you need to take a bottle of water along with you. This is a lengthy car journey, it’s hot, and you need to stay hydrated. But you need to balance all this against the fact that you don’t want to be stopping off at every service station you pass. This will just slow you down and frustrate you.
We suggest that you drink between 150ml and 250ml of water per hour. This will be enough to keep you going without causing you to dash to the toilet all the time. Also, if you’re driving in hot weather, you will also sweat out a certain amount of fluid. Gross, I know, but it really helps!
Play Some Tunes
Nothing helps to make a car journey awesome quite like your favourite tunes that get you pumped. It’s either Whitesnake or a whole load of groaning and wheezing car engines on the freeway.
Stock Up On Snacks
Picture the scene: You’re 3 hours into your road trip. It’s 35 degrees outside and you’re stuck in a traffic jam on the freeway. Your kids are starving hungry and you are too. Unfortunately, you forgot to pack the snacks.
Uh-oh. You could run away at this point and escape your troubles, or you could just suck it up.
The best thing, of course, would have been to stock up on snacks before hand!!
Dim Your Lights
If you’re going to be driving through the night, it’s important that you take certain decisive actions so that you’re not battling against yourself. Driving at night is something of an endurance test, and the last thing you want is to cause yourself unnecessary problems.
A good trick is to dim your lights, which will put less strain on your eyes. If possible, you should also have another driver in your car who you can swap with every 2 hours. It’s important that you get some rest during intervals at night; after all, this is when we’re usually in bed!
Take Regular Breaks
Particularly if you’ve got kids in the back, you will need to take regular breaks – even if you yourself would rather keep on going.
This is because kids hate being denied their freedom for any length of time. If you’ve got them strapped up in the back for hours on end, they’re going to get bored, annoyed and frustrated.
They might even start pulling your hair, the cheeky scamps.
Be selfless and let everyone in the car refuel.