Taking a trip doesn’t always mean boarding a plane to a tropical island somewhere close to the equator or to a foreign country. Taking a road trip solo, with a significant other, friends, or your family, is a great way to unwind from your day-to-day life. However, road trips can take a toll on our bodies and moods. Long hours spent in the car can drive even the happiest person to tears. Whether you’re on your own or in a car packed with people and baggage, some of these hacks are sure to help ease the stress.

Make sure your vehicle is up for the task

Before you set out on your adventure, you should always check to make sure your car will survive the trip. Check fluid levels, condition of tires and windshield wipers, and fill up on gas.

Map it out electronically and on paper

You know where you’re starting, and you know where you want to end up, but you don’t know how you’re going to get there. In this age of technology, GPS capabilities are great and they can help you navigate almost any road. But, it’s important to have a back up map or set of directions in case you lose signal or there is a malfunction with the system.

Have a little bit of cash on hand

As you pack your car with snacks, drinks and entertainment, don’t forget a little extra cash. Nowadays, many of us rely on our credit cards or even mobile banking apps to purchase things everywhere we go. But, taking a road trip may have you traveling through places that don’t accept this sort of payment. Make sure to pack cash in case of emergencies.

Start out clean

Make sure you start out with a fresh and clean car. you’ll be packing baggage, people, food, and who knows what else in. Starting with a clean slate will make packing easier and keep stress levels down when the inevitable mess ensues later on in the trip.

Eat smart, drink smart

Make sure when you’re packing drinks and snacks for the car you consider the estimated amount of time you’ll be traveling. Perhaps a few snacks will be sufficient or maybe you should plan a car friendly meal. Sandwiches and bagged items – think chips or pretzels – are easy to hold in the car and usually provide reduced opportunities for messes. Water is great for hydration, coffee or tea for energy, and juice if you want a little flavor added to your trip. Choose items that help your body feel good, not nauseous or fatigued.

Take turns driving

If you aren’t riding solo, it’s a great idea to take turns being in the driver’s seat. This will help to enforce alertness of the driver. This will lessen the stress of someone that’s been driving for longer than their body or attention span can handle.

Take a break every few hours

Regardless of whether you’re alone or you’re switching off driving duties, it’s a good idea to take a break. Pull over to admire the scenery, stop at a restaurant for something to eat, or spend a little time walking around a new town. Taking even a small amount of time to stretch and get some fresh air will keep everyone in good spirits.

Prepare a playlist

Prepare a playlist for your journey. Music has the ability to influence your mood and the mood of those you travel with. So, craft this list with all personalities in mind. You can even look on popular music streaming apps such as Spotify for pre-made road trip playlists. These are helpful if you don’t have time to make a playlist or if you want inspiration for your own.

Keep your cool

There are bound to be bumps in the road. Whether you find yourself in traffic or one of your kids gets car sick, there are just some things that we can’t control. Try to remain calm. Prepare as much as possible, but don’t stress too much.

Car games

There are many ways to entertain yourself and those you’re traveling with while in the car. Some that come to the top of the list are iSpy and guessing the singer and song name of songs that come on the radio. Here’s a list of fun games you can play in the car!

Insurance

No matter what type of trip you’re taking, it’s a good idea to obtain travel protection. Unexpected circumstances can arise, and by having travel protection you may be eligible for reimbursement on pre-paid costs. Talk to your travel advisor or visit www.travelinsured.com to learn more.

 

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