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Safety - Drive Smart

Driving on the Turnpike Taking its Toll?

Long Distance Summer Traveling Tips

Summer is a perfect season for long road trips. Long distance road trips with family or friends can be some of the greatest moments in life; it’s not about the destination right? While planning your trip, you should take the time to prepare yourself for the journey. There can be a lot of stress involved with this planning process, where to go, what to bring, what to do when you get there. It can sometimes seem overwhelming. While planning for an entertaining vacation, preparing yourself is just as important as planning for the trip. Driving long distances can be very draining and could lead to some serious problems. Taking the time before and during your trip to keep your mind and body at top shape will surely help your trip. Before you leave on your trip, here are a few tips to make sure you have a great road trip and an even better vacation!

How to Prepare Yourself

Preparing for a road trip does not just involve planning and packing, it also involves preparing yourself for the long trip. Sleep is one of the most important preparations you can do to ensure a great journey. “Highway hypnosis” is quite common when travelers haven’t prepared for the endurance demands of an extended haul. Blood clots and other serious problems can also occur from sitting in one place for an long period of time. Preparing your body and staying active are important steps in ensuring a great vacation. These tips for long drives will help you down the road.

  • Stock Your Sleep Time - Get at least seven to eight hours of sleep for two consecutive nights before the road trip to build up your energy reserves. You may be too excited to sleep the night before but this is very important to ensure your alertness.
  • Fuel-up - Carrying a variety of vitamin-packed, nutritious foods will allow you to get by on smaller snacks throughout the long drive while skipping the fast-food stops. Remaining energized through nutrition can help make your trip better.
  • Stay Hydrated – Keep the water supply well-stocked for maximum energy. The only downside to this is you may have to make more stops! Dehydration can be common on the road, try to avoid this as best as you can.
  • Plan Your Stops – One of the most crucial tips for long road trips is to get out of your car and stretch your legs every two hours or so. Plan these stops into your long distance drive, whether they fall at mealtimes or can be timed to let you view interesting places.
  • Chew Gum – The repetitive process increases circulation and alertness. Chewing gum can also satisfy your craving for a meal for a little while, allowing you to make up more distance in-between stops.
  • Sit Up Straight – Make sure your seat is adjusted properly for your body, tilted for maximum blood flow. Proper posture can give you more energy and will allow your muscles to relax more, fighting the aches you normally feel during long trips.
  • Exercise and Stretch – Whenever possible, take some time to stand up and stretch your legs. Staying active is a crucial part of remaining alert and can prevent many scary consequences of remaining sedative for long periods of time. Even when you get to your destination try to move around for a bit before resting.
  • Treat Yourself to Some Sounds – Laughing will keep you awake. Books on tape and new music can help keep the brain active, without creating a dangerous distraction. You can also talk to your passengers and allow them to keep you entertained.

Having Fun

Long distance road trips can be daunting; the best way to combat the boredom is to make it fun! You now have a lot of uninterrupted hours with your friends, family, co-workers or even to yourself. Use this time wisely, as you are unlikely to get this much “free” time again.
Some tips on passing the time more entertainingly can include…

  • Talk to Each Other – This may sound old school, but talking to one another is the best and most interesting way to pass the time. You now have the time to discover more about the people in your car. Use the hours to your advantage and try to become closer to those around you.
  • Catch Up on Your Reading – With the amount of free time you now have available while driving you can take the time to do all of the things you love to do! Read a book, beat a game on your phone, catch up on emails, call a friend or relative, catch up on your shows, or whatever you love that you have fallen behind upon.
  • Play Games –Playing games in the car can make a long trip feel like nothing. I spy, 20 questions, spotting license plates, or making up a game yourself can be wildly entertaining. Especially with kids, this can be thought of as the best way to pass the time.

These tips for long drives can help keep you and your car happy and healthy on the road. Be sure to take your time and stop to smell the roses on your trip!