Eager travellers looking to hit the road this summer are being given tips on how to have a road trip that's free of stress.
Thousands of Brits will be taking to the roads this spring and summer to enjoy holidays with family and friends. Still, relaxing drives can quickly become hellish if preventative measures aren't implemented beforehand.
Especially if you're travelling with young children, who can quickly become restless and irritable if sat in the same place for too long.
A spokesperson from StressFreeCarRental.com said: “Planning a long road trip can be stressful. There’s so much to consider to ensure you have a safe journey, so naturally, you’re bound to forget something.
“But it’s not just that, if you’ve got a packed car with kids and luggage, it’s easy for everyone to become a little bit irritated and grouchy after a while which is why it’s also important to think about how you can keep your children entertained.
"It's also imperative to consider the driver and ensure they're not feeling too exhausted. A great solution to this is carrying something with a peppermint scent, and it's known to boost concentration - who knew!
“Our checklist covers it all - from making a family playlist with everyone's favourite songs to packing emergency supplies.”
1. Plan the Journey
As the saying goes, a little knowledge goes a long way, and this couldn't be truer when it comes to long car journeys.
So, consider the times of day when you'll pass through busy towns and avoid rush hours and roadworks. You should also factor meal and toilet breaks into your plan if you need to be somewhere at a particular time, and remember you should take a 15-minute break from driving at least every two hours.
2. Fuel up
Your car is not the only thing that needs fuel for the long and arduous journey, so consider taking energy-packed, healthy foods to snack on throughout the drive.
3. Pack up
It's a good idea to pack your car with all of your non-essential, non-costly items the night before your journey to avoid unnecessary stress on the morning of your trip. Try to spread the load evenly when packing the car and avoid leaving any items loose – or else someone could get hit if you brake sharply.
4. Stay Fresh
Fatigue can affect your concentration, make you less tolerant of other drivers, and increase your chances of having an accident, so it's imperative that you take regular breaks and, if possible, share the driving.
Avoid heavy meals before setting off and during the journey, as it can make you feel lethargic, and remember that at certain times of the year, there may be other tired drivers on the roads too, so being alert is doubly vital.
Keeping a source of peppermint scent nearby is a good idea when long-distance driving. It's a pleasant, all-natural pick-me-up that has been shown to reduce fatigue and increase alertness, so you'll be able to sniff when you feel like you need a bit of a boost.
6. Emergency Supplies
There are a few supplies you might need in an emergency – wet wipes, travel sickness tablets, paracetamol, and plasters, to name a few. It's a good idea to keep these together in a small bag or pouch that's easily accessible, so they can be on hand to quickly clean up any mess or accidents along your journey.
7. Keep Your Ears Happy
Making a playlist of your family's favourite music is a sure-fire way to keep everyone happy, alert and singing along, at least for a short while. Still, if sing-alongs aren't your thing, audiobooks can help keep your brain active without creating a dangerous distraction.
8. Keep Your Passengers Happy
You should consider taking several items on long car journeys to keep your passengers happy, particularly if you're travelling with children.
Books are an obvious choice as they can be fun, educational and compact – but they're not such a great idea if your co-travellers get car sick! In which case electronics, travel games and colouring books are a must. Make sure you leave the permanent markers at home and opt for wax crayons or colouring pencils instead – and don't forget the snacks!
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