You could be heading to your long-awaited road trip or perhaps you’re taking the kids to their grandmas’ for the weekend and you have to spend hours behind the wheel. The truth is, long drives can be tiresome and challenging in various ways. Depending on how far you’re going, your body will also need some refueling in terms of food and water. Whether or not you have air conditioning in your car, the weather could get unbearable, perhaps making your experience more challenging.
But all the same, nothing beats the feeling when you hit the road, alone or with family while exploring the outdoors’ attractive features, cities, and towns on your way to your destination. So how exactly do you make it more fun and less challenging? You may ask. The trick lies in what you bring for your road trip. On this note, here are the essential (but often overlooked) things to bring to your long drive.
Healthy Snacks and Water
It is unfortunate how many people end up with frustrations during long drives just because they overlooked the importance of staying hydrated and fueled-up. Hunger and thirst are two of the biggest threats you could face on a long drive. It could even affect your focus and attention behind the wheel as your sugar levels start getting too low, your stomach is rumbling and your throat getting dry. The best way to avoid such a scenario is to bring along some healthy snacks and have a bottle of fresh water tucked somewhere in your car.
As for snacks, go for healthy food options such as yogurt, dark chocolate, fruits and almonds, to keep your energy levels optimal while minimizing the urge to go to the bathroom. When it comes to staying hydrated, you’ll need a bottle that keeps your water cool or warm depending on the current weather conditions. The guys from Southern Man Surf says that hydro flask bottles retain their temperature, keeping your water cooler or coffee warm despite how hot or cold the surrounding environment gets. During a long drive, you need a water bottle that is well insulated, enough to do just this. While picking one, go for lightweight options that are designed for easy portability.
Car Seat Cushion
Depending on the road you’re using, it’s not unusual to arrive at your destination with your back aching and neck in pain like you’ve been run over by a train. Long drives have also been known to trigger chronic back pains and spinal issues, especially for those who use bumpy roads. Well, not all cars may have an ergonomic driver’s seat. A travel pillow may not be ideal for a driver, but having a car seat cushion can help protect your back, hips, and legs from receiving too much beating.
If your vision wants, it is only natural to bring your glasses or contacts to a long road trip. The last thing you want is your condition to interfere with your concentration and focus on the road at some point. While this is important for your safety, we’ve also heard of people taking wrong turns that lead them miles more away from their destinations than their starting points. If it’s an extremely sunny day, the rays of the sun could also affect your vision on the road, especially on a highway with long stretches. In this case, bringing a pair of sunglasses can be a huge asset.
Cash and Change
It’s always advisable to have some cash in your car. You never know what issues you’ll come across on your long drive and for sure, tolls and city parking meters can be a pain in your neck if you don’t have some lose money on you.
Driving for extended hours not only exerts a toll on your brain, but it’s also a common cause of headaches, muscle pains, and motion sickness for many drivers. This is especially the case if your long trip or part of it involves driving through bumpy terrain. To get instant relief when you need it most, remember to take some painkillers or motion sickness pills such as ibuprofen and Dramamine somewhere in your car. Unfortunately, this is not something most drivers remember when embarking on a long drive.
Getting locked out of your car can be intimidating. But what could kill is finding yourself in this situation and you’re at least 10 hours away from home or your destination. It’s an awful nightmare that no one wants to be in, so bring some extra keys and put them on you to minimize the chances of encountering this ordeal.
You may not need this one if you pack the right snacks in point #1 but hey, some things happen. You never know when you might have to park at the roadside to take a long call. You don’t want to find yourself using stinging nettles or poison Ivy leaves down there. As absurd as it may sound, a toilet paper is a huge necessity during a long drive, although it’s often overlooked.
Despite all the excitement the outdoor experience offers, long drives can be frustrating, tiresome, and deflating. However, it can be less challenging for you if you plan right and bring the right things. Hopefully, you’ll get inspired by the above few essentials that many people tend to overlook when going for a long drive.