When you plan a road trip with your friends or your family, or even alone, you need to do a lot more than just make an itinerary. Even if you feel you’re the spontaneous type, you still need to consider a couple of things before you head off.
You need to think about how long the trip will last, what to snack on, and other things. So, before you pack your bags and tell everyone that you’re heading out on a summer driving trip, consider these great road trip tips to have a safe drive.
1. Evaluate the trip
Use a map app to estimate the time you take to get from point A to point B. Check out the elevation, the conditions of the road, and tolls. It’s no surprise that many people don’t think about the tolls before they start the trip.
Make sure you include them in your trip budget. Also, think about how much fuel you’ll need. Fill the tank because there might not be any gas stations on the road. Of course, it all depends on where you’re going.
That’s why it’s important to evaluate the trip. Another thing to think about is possible roadworks. These can severely extend your travel time, and you don’t want to be stuck in traffic when you’re trying to have a fun trip.
2. Car preparation
If you don’t tune-up your vehicle, you might get stuck in a remote location with a damaged car. It’s not the same as having the possibility to visit your local mechanic in Gold Coast. This is one thing you should worry about.
Make sure your car is tuned up and road-ready because if you get stuck somewhere where there’s no service, and it’s a long road to go from that point to the closest populated area, you could wait for hours before someone comes by.
3. Get enough sleep
There’s no way to stress this enough. Get enough sleep because drowsy driving causes accidents yearly everywhere. Make sure that you’ve got enough sleep the night before.
Don’t start the road trip if you feel sleepy. If you don’t feel sleepy, go ahead. You can even have a cup of coffee just so you stay awake. Maybe you’re travelling with a friend. In that case, you can take turns driving.
When travelling with your family, it’s more important than ever to get enough sleep or take turns driving with your partner.
4. Stay alert
This tip is closely related to the one about getting enough sleep. Even if we get enough sleep, we might need boosts to stay alert. More often than not, the road can be quite boring because of flat terrain or plain sights, and then we feel drowsy. To avoid that, we can do these:
Cold air in the car
Usually, we lose alertness when we feel very comfortable and relaxed. Letting cold air into the car refreshes us and makes us more alert. Cold air contains more oxygen, and that’s what our body needs most.
Music does the trick
Of course, you shouldn’t play a lullaby, but play something that’s interesting to you, and that gets you hyped or enthusiastic. It’s not good to have something boring on the radio when you’re traveling.
These boost our focus because they’re refreshing, so we can get a couple of these before the trip, just in case. Plus, they’re going to make your car smell excellent.
Studies show that there’s a faster reaction time when chewing gum. So, chew some gum while driving if you’re feeling drowsy. Buy a pack before you start the trip, and just start chewing if you feel that something’s not right.
When we are dehydrated or we don’t have enough water in our system, we feel tired, and we feel sleepy. That’s why it’s important to have a couple of bottles of water prepared before you start the trip.
Whenever you feel sleepy, take a sip of water. It’s going to make you feel more energized. After all, it’s the most important liquid in the world.
Taking a power nap does amazing things. Once you get tired or feel drowsy, just pull over and take a 15-minute nap, and you can continue your road trip safely. Don’t nap for over 30 minutes because it can leave you feeling even more tired.
5. Make stops
It doesn’t matter if you take naps during your road trip, but you need to make stops if it’s a long one. When you’re driving, you’re in an uncomfortable position. You can have the most comfortable car in the world, but the fact is that you can’t stand up.
When we’re in a sedentary position for a longer time, we feel bad. It’s natural to feel like that, so that’s why you should always make stops, stretch your legs or go for shorter walks. You’ll feel much better, and you’ll have a safe road trip.
6. Have a healthy snack
When taking a road trip, make sure you bring some good snacks. It’s good to have some candy bars or some chips. There’s another thing to remember, don’t overeat. If you overeat, you’ll feel sleepy.
Having a small healthy snack every couple of hours is a pleasant way to keep driving and remain alert. You can have a power bar, drink some soda, or you can eat some fruit. It just depends on what makes you feel better.
Extra Tip for Taking a Trip Abroad
If you’re taking a trip abroad, and you decide to rent a car there, download offline maps or at least get a sim card with some data on it so that you can be confident in where you’re going.
Again, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you get lost, you’ll have a possibility to locate the nearest populated place. That’s why it’s important to be prepared, and if you have GPS in your car, just update it.