road trip

Preparing for a Road Trip: 4 Things You Need to Know

Many people travel overseas or head to somewhere uninspired like the beach for holidays and vacations. But you don’t have to venture far to go somewhere fun and exciting. If you’re looking for some adventure with your family, you can always go on a road trip across America. While there are faster ways to get from one place to another, traveling in a car allows you to see things up close. You also don’t have to contend with long lines and inspections.

Of course, car travel also has its drawbacks, especially if you’re going on an extended trip. We know that sitting for long periods of time isn’t very comfortable or healthy. And traveling with kids can put one’s tolerance to the test.

Whether you’re going on a tour of our country’s national parks or seeing Sight and Sound’s Jesus, you’ll need to drive for hours on end on a multi-day trip. That means you have to make the necessary preparations to ensure a smooth and comfortable drive. Start with these basic tips and tricks.

1. Do something

Exhaustion isn’t the only thing that can chip away at your health. You also need to keep your mind active. The mind tends to wander if it has nothing to do, and highway hypnosis might occur. The last thing you need is to lose focus while you’re on the road. For instance, you can listen to your favorite podcasts or albums while driving.

2. Map out your food stops

When it comes to road trips, you can make your trip as long or as short as you want it to be. Some people opt for long, leisurely drives, while others want to convert as much ground as they can in a day. Regardless of the path you take, you need to think about how you’re going to keep yourself fed during the trip. Sandwiches only last for a day, so you’ll need to plan where you’re going to eat along the way.

It helps to identify potential food stops as you plan you’re route. Just keep in mind that you don’t want to be eating junk all the way to your destination. You can search for popular joints along your route or even take the opportunity to visit a known food mecca. Since it’s a road trip, you don’t have to overly concern yourself with health and nutrition. But if you have nutritional restrictions, you might need to plan your food ahead of time.

pointing at a map

3. Get some sleep before driving

Sleep can be difficult on road trips, as you’re driving for hours on end, only to stay the night at some random motel. But you still need to get enough sleep before hitting the road. A week before your trip, prepare yourself by getting enough sleep at the same time every night. It’s also smart to start driving in the morning, when our bodies perform at their peak. If you wait too long, you’ll be too tired by nightfall.

It’s also important to stop once in a while if only to keep your energy up. Even if you don’t feel tired, regular breaks will help minimize exhaustion on the road. Otherwise, you’ll feel tired the following day and won’t be able to drive for long hours. Make a quick stop for every six hours of driving. Use the hour to eat or stretch your legs.

4. Keep the cabin cold

If you’re the type who likes to drive for long hours, staying awake can be challenging. You might think that keeping the cabin warm will help keep everyone awake while driving, but the opposite is true. The easiest way to stay awake is to turn on the air conditioning and keep the cabin cold. Do this even if you’re driving in a cold area.

The reason is simple: you’re less likely to fall asleep if you’re in a cold place. Just think about how people are tossing and turning at night during winter. While cold temperatures can be comforting, you’ll find it more difficult to fall asleep if your surroundings are too cold. It might make for an uncomfortable trip, but it’s better than nodding off in the middle of a busy freeway.

The bottom line

It pays to prepare before a road trip. These four tips will help ensure that your time on the road is a safe and productive one. Whether you’re driving alone or with family, the right preparation can make your trip smoother and more comfortable. Finally, don’t forget to take in the sights.

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