For those of us with vehicles, we’re sure that you’re intensely missing those weekend drives up to Johor Bahru, and even if you don’t own a car, how many of us would simply kill to get to either Bintan or Batam now? While travel corridors haven’t quite opened up yet, we’re already anxiously anticipating when we can revert to being regular road trippers and jet setters again. So, here are a few tips for a safe and comfortable road trip that’ll get you ready ahead of the crowd for when borders finally open up again.
1. Sleep well before your road trip
If you’re going on a road trip, you’ll need to prepare your body by getting at least seven hours of sleep for a couple of nights before your journey. This will build up your energy reserves and help prevent you from having to experience a nasty case of “highway hypnosis”, which leads to drivers feeling drowsy on the road due to the extended hours of being in the driver’s seat.
On that note, it’s best to start your road trip in the morning after a good night’s rest, instead of after a long and tiring day at work.
2. Take regular breaks
Taking regular breaks along the way allows you to stay fresh and alert. You know your limitations best, but as a rough gauge, stopping every two hours to go on a toilet, snack, or stretch break helps ensure that your eyelids don’t get droopy where it matters most - behind the wheel. Also, try to avoid driving between the hours of one to three o'clock, because this is when our body temperature naturally dips and we tend to get a little drowsy. Of course, if you’re able to co-drive and get behind the wheel in shifts, that would greatly aid you and increase the overall safety of everyone in the car. Of course, this is not always the case, which brings us to our next point.
3. Sitting posture
Slouching in your seat while driving is a simple recipe for driver’s drowsiness. To recharge yourself with as much energy as possible, make sure that the driver’s seat is aptly adjusted for your body, and that if you require, your orthopaedic pillows and backrests are there with you on your long drive. Now, it’s human to gradually go from disciplined, ramrod straight to a slouchy yawn whenever we’re seated in a similar position for too long, so if you feel sleep or trance washing over you, quickly sit up, take a deep breath, and refocus. If you’re feeling any tension in your body, remember to stretch and take care of your body’s needs.
PS. A quick sip of water always helps to wake us up! Remember to stay sufficiently hydrated whilst on your road trip, but refrain from guzzling down too much H2O, or you’ll be taking more toilet breaks than you want.
4. Bring healthy road trip snacks
One of our favourite parts about road trips is all the little nibbles we get to munch on throughout the long drive. For your long journey, carry with you loads of dry fruits, nuts, fresh fruits, veggies, and wholesome food which will not only give you energy but will also fill your stomach. Take a few chocolates and chips for munching. Do note to watch your junk intake, as it might upset your stomach.
Remember the words of the blogger and travel expert Gretchen Breuner, author of “The RoadScholarz: Lessons from the Scenic Route”, who says, “To stay alert, carrots and almonds are my favorite.”
5. Plan your rest stops
If you drive continuously without taking any rest, it will be really exhausting. The most important thing is you need a break every two hours or 100 kilometers to recharge yourself and prepare ahead for the rest of the journey. Take sufficient rest during the break and also refresh with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
6. Chew while driving
When you go for long drives, eating something like a piece of chewing gum or any other chewy thing works well. This repetitive process of chewing increases blood circulation and also keeps the driver alert. He would be able to focus more on driving and will not feel sleepy. The chewing gum need not be of sugary stuff but something chewy to keep you alert.
7. Use nice aroma
When you go for a long ride, not only the ambience of the car should be neat but also the aroma of the car should be pleasant. It is always advisable to use pleasant fragrances nearby. Something like peppermint or any scent of your choice. Experts say that when you feel tired or bored, smell your favourite scent and it brushes aside your exhaustion and enhances alertness.
8. Engage your kids
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Sometimes it would be really exasperating when you go on a long-distance journey with your family. It is difficult to manage kids, especially if they are toddlers or tweens. When they get into petty squabbles, it will distract you from driving. So, to control them and keep them fully engaged, carry some books and entertainment stuff with you like Uno cards, puzzles, and other road trip games like a quiz on car plate numbers, etc
9. Listen to audio books
Do not forget to carry the audiobook of your favourite author to keep you engaged throughout your long journey. Nowadays, plenty of audiobooks is available. Once you decide about your long journey, collect the audiobooks preferred by you and your family. It’s always better to select something on common interests otherwise if the children have no interest in what you are listening to, then they get into trivial fights and cause lots of disturbance. It is recommended by experts that listening to audiobooks keeps your brain active. Comedy audiobooks will make you laugh heartily and relax your tension. You can stay awake by laughing.
With the above tips, you will have a safe and hilarious journey with your family. It will definitely become a memorable trip for you all. Have a pleasant and comfortable journey with the people that you love most.