Going on a road trip is a fun idea but in reality, they can be physically painful. Fortunately, there are many ways to help keep you comfortable on a long excursion. We have gathered some of our favorite tips from Consumer Reports to help make your next road trip as pleasant as possible.
Don’t forget your first aid kit
CR specifically recommends creating a special travel first aid kit for the expected and unexpected. Your travel first aid kit should include your health insurance cards, prescription medications, antihistamines, and stomach and pain relievers. Since we are still amid the coronavirus pandemic, you will also want to make sure you have plenty of hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes, and masks.
Set a realistic schedule
It’s easy to get ahead of ourselves and plan an aggressively early schedule unnecessarily. The most important thing is to remain alert and get plenty of rest before your long road trip. Avoid driving drowsy and don’t overexert yourself. If you are still feeling a little tired the morning of your trip, don’t be afraid to sleep in a little longer. Share the driving with a partner if you can. And if you get really tired as day turns into night, it’s best to just get a hotel room.
Pull-over at least every two hours
Sitting for long periods of time really does a number on your back, neck, and even your hips. To avoid intense pain and numbness, you should pull over every two to three hours. During your break, you will want to stretch your back, un-cramp your legs and feet, as well as relax your shoulders.
Buy supportive accessories
There’s no shame in buying accessories designed just for making you feel more comfortable in your car. You can buy products like a lumbar support pillow set which is perfect for helping relieve stress from your lower back. Pillow sets like these are also helpful during your daily drives too. There are also products specifically made to keep your spine aligned as well as to support your shoulders.
Keep your car fresh
Long road trips can take a toll on the inside of your car so you’ll want to have the right supplies to keep it feeling fresh throughout your trip. We recommend that you clean and organize your car before you go to have a fresh start. Plug-in air fresheners or traditional spray ones are a good way to seal in freshness. Don’t forget to pack cleaning supplies too in case of big spills. You might also want to pack a handy vac to get up food crumbs.
Especially if you have young kids, you will definitely want to bring items to help keep them entertained. If your car doesn’t have convenient tech such as rear-seat entertainment you can opt for a portable DVD or Blu-ray player for the road. To take a break from the screens, bringing coloring books is also a good idea. And of course, be prepared for games like “I Spy” and 21 questions.