5 Rules For Staying Healthy, Safe and Happy on Road Trips
Road trips can be exhilarating. There’s something about an open road, a map and several weeks off from work that liberates the soul. However, it’s easy to get caught up in the adventure and forget to take care of the most important thing of all: your well-being.
Whether you’re the driver or passenger, it’s essential to take the proper actions and precautions to ensure your health and safety while you’re on the road.
Here are my top five tips:
1. When you get tired, stop driving
It’s easy to want to push through exhaustion keep going to reach your destination (“only 100 more kilometers!”). Truth is, we are much less responsive when we are tired and this could put you and your passengers in danger (not to mention the risk of falling asleep at the wheel). If there are several drivers, rotate regularly so that one person does not become exhausted.
2. Avoid junk food
Though it may sound fun to grab a bag of candy or a whole bunch of cookies to take on the road, foods that are high in sugar are likely to lead to energy crashes later on (not to mention the potential weight gain). Fruits, vegetables, cheeses and whole grain breads or crackers are a much better choice. Another great idea is bringing along a large container of trail mix (nuts, raisins, chocolate bits, dried fruit, etc.).
Also, stay hydrated. Similar to not loading up on junk food, it’s a good idea to avoid sugary soft drinks (colas, etc.) and opt for water instead. Always keep several large bottles of water in the car. Remember that caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea and soft drinks can dehydrate and exhaust your system in the long run.
3. Get out of the car often and explore
Not only is this fun, but the physical action of walking around gets your blood pumping, relieves (and prevents) stiff muscles, and re-energizes you for the long drive ahead.
4. Keep your car in good condition
Before driving your rental car off the lot, make sure the fluid levels are right and check the overall condition of the car (tires, scratches on the body, etc.). Returning your car in this same condition will save you both time and money. On a related note, fill your gas tank up whenever it dips below a quarter of a tank. This way you’ll be sure to stay fueled through your trip.
5. Follow the rules of the road
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the driving laws and rules in the country you’re visiting. Nothing is worse than getting into an accident that was your fault because you didn’t know the rules. Make a commitment to keeping everyone in your car safe by adhering to laws regarding speed limit, blood-alcohol level, right of way, headlights, etc. Keep local emergency numbers in the car in case you might need to use them.