7 tips to stay alert on road trips
If your vacation destination is not too far and you’re traveling in a group or family, it often makes more sense to drive. It’s often cheaper and you’re spared the hassle of airport check in and security.
Long road trips can be fun for the whole family but they can also be exhausting. Read on for a few tips and tricks on how to get there safely while keeping everyone happy.
1 Get some rest
If you’re leaving in the morning make sure you get a good night’s sleep. A tired driver is a dangerous driver and it’s just not worth the risk to yourself and to others. If you find yourself yawning while driving, pull over and switch with one of your passengers or take a short nap.
2 Eat a healthy meal
Fast food meals during or before a long trip can be tempting and convenient, but foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar can make you feel more tired and thirsty (see tip 6 below).
Before driving away, eat a healthy meal, with complex carbohydrates and protein, which will improve your stamina. Cereals, fruit and vegetables (and foods rich in vitamin B and C) are all good options to avoid getting tired and thirsty on a long road trip.
Plan to make short stops along the way to stretch your legs and use the bathroom. Since you’ll be sitting for long periods of time, you should move and walk a little to keep the blood flowing well: this will help keep you alert and provide a welcome break for your passengers.
4 Play some tunes or podcasts
Make a song playlist or download some podcasts for your car ride. Music affects your mood which, in turn, is associated with your level of fatigue. A lively playlist or interesting podcast will keep you awake and help the miles fly by.
5 Open the windows
It can help, especially if it is cold outside. The entry of cold air will shock your body a little, making your senses more alert. Although it is a temporary solution, from time to time it helps to keep you more awake.
6 Stay hydrated
Dehydration goes hand in hand with fatigue. Have some water handy while you drive and make sure your planned stops have bathrooms nearby.
7 Chew some gum
Chewing gum increases circulation and alertness, especially mint flavored gums. Sugar free is fine as it’s the action of repetitive chewing that helps keep you going. Not a fan of gum? Consider keeping an energizing scent like peppermint handy. When you feel like you need a boost, have a sniff for a natural pick-me-up.
Don't forget to have a basic travel plan before you leave. You can save time and avoid trouble on route by checking your for road closures and traffic using a simple free tool like Google Maps or Waze. Enjoy the ride!