Summer is almost here! With vaccination rollouts and relative ease on COVID-19 restrictions, this means family vacations are back in the game. But since air travel is not much of an option yet, taking the road would be a much better option for going to your family vacation destination.
After many months of being stuck at home, for most families, this year would be the first time that they actually “gone out” beyond the city or town where they live.
Summer road trips are fun and exciting. However, during these trying times, with the threat of COVID-19 just looming around the corner, the prospect of long-distance travel has become daunting for most families.
With lockdown and quarantine regulations changing now and then due to a spike of cases, some are discouraged from pushing through with their travel plans. For many, they would rather explore their local sights, camp at local nature reserves, and play at a local indoor golf course rather than going out of state.
Even with smooth traffic flow, a stressed driver can still meet a road mishap. Distracted driving, particularly due to stress, is among the top causes of car accidents each year. With your mind elsewhere, it can diminish your awareness and reaction time.
Following COVID-19 protocols when traveling, like wearing face masks and sanitizing often. However, you should also give importance to your psychological state.
There are several easy ways to help yourself and your family feel more at ease so that you will arrive at your destination safely and comfortably.
With ever-changing lockdown restrictions at every border, it is best to plan ahead of your destination.
Determine ahead alternate routes you can pass through if authorities would not let private vehicles cross certain areas. You might have to carry certain documents for identification purposes, so bring your driver’s license and any government-issued IDs.
Planning gives you a sense of control over the situation. More often than not, many of us tend to panic and stress out when things do not turn out as planned.
Get Enough Rest
Having enough hours of sleep features a lot of advantages. It helps you stay more alert and focused, and you’re less likely to be cranky with small inconveniences.
Furthermore, drivers who are under-slept are more susceptible to microsleeps. Microsleeps account for over 16 percent of fatal car crashes in the country.
Experts advise that before going on a long drive, you should get a minimum of seven hours of sleep for two consecutive nights. With it, you have more energy reserves, making you fit for long-distance travel. You should start your journey in the morning while you still have enough energy.
Also, you can always switch with your partner if you feel tired driving.
Pack Healthy Road Trip Food
Though fast food and vending machine items are convenient for road trip meals, choosing healthier options is much better. Sugary and high-carb products may offer a temporary energy boost, but they will leave you tired in the end, as the insulin levels in your blood come crashing down.
Consider packing your meals and snacks instead. Pack homemade sandwiches for lunch and opt for healthy snack options, like protein bars, fresh fruits, and mixed nuts. Other than keeping yourself and your family healthy, you are saving tons of cash.
Drink Plenty of Water
Though coffee and long drives go hand in hand because it keeps you alert and focused, it also can cause you to dehydrate during a road trip. Our bodies need 2.7 to 3.7 liters of fluids each day, so carry with you a good supply of water for long road travels.
Staying hydrated helps your body battle fatigue and dehydration. It also helps keep your skin supple and young-looking. The only drawback of downing a lot of water is that you need to make frequent bathroom stops.
Know Your Triggers
Another important consideration for a long drive is knowing and understanding the things that stress you out. It might be anything inside the car, the heavy traffic flow, or just the thought of driving for hours.
By knowing these triggers, you can mentally prepare yourself for handling certain situations and avoid road rage.
Plan to start your travel time during wee hours in the morning to avoid rush hour, take breaks to stretch and relax while on the road or download favorite tunes for your family to sing along while on the road.
Long drives can cause muscle stiffness and pain. No matter what your age is, staying in the same position for long hours is dreadful. To prevent this usual scenario, give enough attention to making yourself comfortable while behind the wheels.
Ergonomic resting pillows for your back and neck are good health and posture investment options. Not only do they assist you with proper posture, but they supply enough comfort to stop back and neck pains.
Prepare Your Car
Aside from the physical and mental health preparations to ensure a comfortable and safe long journey, make sure that your car is ready for a long drive. Have it checked for necessary repairs and maintenance. Keep a spare tire and tools in case you need them on the road.
Following these health tips will hopefully make your long-distance summer road trip comfortable and safe. You don’t have to put yourself and your family at risk when taking a long drive.