Road trips can be an energising experience and give you a fantastic chance to see and explore new places. However, long road trips can also take a strain as you’ve got to concentrate on safe driving and can be on the road for many hours at a time, perhaps feeling tired and hungry, even disillusioned with travelling.
For any big trip, even interrailing, you have to put the effort in to overcome these challenges in order to make your time comfortable and ultimately rewarding.
So, if you’re looking to plan, or are in the middle of your trip and struggling, here are six genius hacks to ensure a comfortable road trip! Written with help from car expert Jonathan, a writer at Saker Racing.
1. Make sure you eat real food
One of the biggest challenges you will face is the choice of food you will find along the way. Not everywhere will offer the food you have in mind, or food that’s worth eating. Consequently, you might have to spend some extra cash on fast food which might disturb your stomach and cause fatigue, even sugar crashes. Definitely something to avoid for long driving stints!
It’s recommended to always pack some ready to eat, home-made food items or snacks like raisin granola energy bars, sandwiches or salads. If you can stop at supermarkets to pick up essentials every so often, it’s a lot easier to stay healthy while you’re eating out and away from home. Take a cooler if you can and somewhere scenic to eat rather than always stopping in supermarket car parks.
2. Take short breaks
It’s always wise to take a break when you need it, and it’s typically advised to rest for 10-15minutes every two hours. You can use this time to take in the view and enjoy your surroundings. If you’re travelling with children, frequent breaks are good to keep them active and stop anyone worrying about loo breaks.
So, stretch your legs, freshen up and avoid getting too tired on the roads as you travel to your destination. Grabbing a coffee can also be a nice treat.
3. Bring home comforts
If you are travelling with your friends or family members, chances are that you might experience some major temperature fluctuations due to the number of people in the car. Make sure that you bring along a couple of hand fans or light-weight clothing accessories.
Moreover, bring your favourite pillow along and a sleeping bag to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep in the car or out camping if you have this planned. Should you stay at a hostel, a sleeping bag can also be useful to put on top of the bed you’re sleeping in.
4. Turn up the volume
Good music and good company is what makes a road trip a journey of a lifetime. So, if time and budget allows, make sure that you install under seat subwoofers prior to your road trip to enjoy the beat of your favourite song, whether you’re listening on CD, Spotify, or to your own playlists.
By enjoying good music and singing along you’ll feel fresh and enjoy your trip even more. If you develop a song of the trip, it’ll be a good way to reminisce in the future.
You can also download some of your favourite podcasts or destination guides relevant to your trip and get even more immersed.
5. Watch your posture
If you’re the one in the driving seat on a long road trip make sure you take care of your posture to avoid a backache or spine related problem later on.
- Enter the car hip first to find the best seating position
- Check you have nothing in your back pockets
- Always check your seat is the right height
- Always check your legs extend properly to the pedals
Also, make adjustments to the driving seat so that you don’t have to stretch around to reach the steering of the car. In this way you will feel less tired and will drive with the utmost concentration. You can read the WikiHow guide on good car posture and how to avoid back pain here.
6. Feel Fresh
If you’re feeling a bit tired stop immediately and grab a cup of coffee. Caffeine makes you alert and helps you to focus better, which is essential on the road. Listen to the music, sleep a bit, drink your coffee and then continue on your journey.
If you’re sharing the driving with another traveller, make sure you both keep fresh by switching over and always stay honest about how you’re feeling and if you need a rest. With this in mind, don’t plan to overexert yourself or travel too much in a day; stay realistic with your route and plan overnight stays accordingly.
If you’ve got any tips to add please leave a comment below! I’m still dreaming of doing Route 66 one day so would love to hear from anyone who has gone on this trip.