road trip

When embarking on a road trip, it’s essential to consider these road trip recommendations to ensure a safe and comfortable journey.

Planning for your road trip goes beyond just packing your bags. Many travelers experience “highway hypnosis” when they are unprepared for the stamina required during an extended drive. Shockingly, more than 60 percent of drivers have admitted to driving while drowsy, as reported in a survey conducted by Sleepy’s, a mattress retailer.

Keeping this alarming statistic in mind, it’s crucial to take proactive measures to ready yourself for extended drives before taking the wheel. These long drive tips will not only prepare you but also help you remain alert and energized throughout your entire trip.

Make sure to get a good night’s sleep before you start your drive.

Consider fatigue prevention as a priority before commencing your journey rather than addressing it during. To build up your energy reserves, aim for a minimum of seven hours of sleep on two consecutive nights prior to your road trip. Optimal timing involves starting in the morning after a restful night’s sleep, rather than embarking on your journey at the end of an exhausting workday (unless you plan on frequent stops). Maintain your alertness and freshness by taking regular breaks, approximately every 100 miles or every two hours. It’s advisable to steer clear of driving between 1 and 3 p.m., as this is when the body’s natural temperature dip can induce drowsiness, as recommended by Dr. Michael Breus, known as The Sleep Doctor.

Pack nutritious snacks for your road trip.

Bringing a diverse selection of vitamin-rich, wholesome foods will enable you to satisfy your hunger with smaller, healthier snacks during your extended journey, eliminating the need for fast-food stops. As suggested by travel expert Gretchen Breuner, author of The RoadScholarz: Lessons from the Scenic Route, to maintain alertness, her top picks include carrots and almonds.

Maintain an upright sitting posture while driving.

safe driving

Ensure that your seat is correctly adjusted to fit your body, allowing for optimal blood flow. If you sense the onset of a driving “trance,” it’s essential to sit up straight. Follow the advice of yoga teacher and wellness specialist Elaine Masters, author of Drivetime Yoga: Yoga Benefits in the Convenience of Your Car, who suggests taking a deep breath and performing a body scan for tension. If, for instance, your right hip feels sore, make adjustments to lean to the other side.

Chew gum to stay alert.

Chewing gum can boost circulation and alertness due to its repetitive nature. You don’t necessarily require sugary gum to achieve this effect, as noted by Dr. Michael Breus, a member of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the author of “Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health.

Ensure your passengers stay entertained.

Extended drives, particularly when traveling with children, can sometimes result in conflicts that lead to driver fatigue. Therefore, it’s essential to keep kids occupied with books, puzzles, and other activities that can help pass the time. Additionally, engaging in road trip games like “find the license plate” can foster a sense of togetherness and keep everyone entertained.

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