Are you looking to take a drive on the Great Ocean Road? Or perhaps the red centre’s dirt roads? Driving holidays are great because you can control your journey and decide what you want to see. Road trips are about you. How to make your road trip as enjoyable and easy as possible. Here are my top 10 road trip tips!
1. Caffeine is your friend, but only for a short time
I’m a coffee addict. It’s the one thing that keeps me going through the day. As a travel agent and writer, I drink around three cups per day.
Although coffee can be a great way to keep you awake on a long commute, it shouldn’t be your sole source of energy. Although caffeine is a stimulant, and it’s a good one, it can also dehydrate your body, and you may feel tired and lethargic if you don’t drink enough water. To stay alert and hydrated, I recommend drinking coffee with either fruit-infused water (or just plain water) instead.
2. Sweet stuff, sweet time
Sugar is a great way for me to stay awake as a health-nut. Although I wouldn’t recommend drinking a lot of it (so don’t eat the whole bag of rocky roads), milk and dark chocolate have good amounts of sugar and antioxidants that will give you a boost of energy. A piece of fruit is the best snack for road health.
3. Keep the window down if it is not too hot
Weather conditions can make it difficult (hello, Britain!). If the weather is clear, however, keep the window open. Fresh air is good for your body. The wind on your face will naturally wake up your senses and help you to be more aware of your surroundings. It can be helpful to keep the windows down in countries like Vietnam where driving can sometimes become chaotic.
4. Stop every two hours
Truck drivers must stop every two hours when driving long distances. There is a way around it. Moving around and getting out of a seated place is important for blood circulation, stretching, blood flow, and relaxation. Ironically, sitting for extended periods of time and driving is exhausting to your body. You are also moving very little. This can lead to cramping and deep vein embolism (DVT), which you don’t want.
5. Stop looking at things that look pretty!
Although it may sound obvious, you’d be surprised at how many people wish they would have stopped to notice something while driving. People often drive past to speed up the trip, but the truth of the matter is that the more they take the time to appreciate their surroundings, the more they enjoy the drive.
6. If you are prepared, the kids will be fine
My parents took me on my first driving holiday when I was eleven years old. It was a short drive from Rockingham, WA Coast to the Danish town of Denmark. This is a five-hour drive. This journey was more difficult than traveling around the globe in 80 days as an adult, which I shrug off now.
Mum and Dad asked me what I needed to settle a few days before we left. It was quite easy for them, as I was an only child. But I replied as all geeky children do. “Batteries for My Gameboy, a pillow, and Cheese Supreme Doritos please.” That was it. I didn’t even make one peep throughout the journey. Moral of the story: Preparing the car with snacks, games, and other distractions for little ones is a smart move.
7. Plan your stopovers in advance
Many people like to just go with the flow when it comes to driving holiday and choose their accommodation and route as they go. Driving is a great way to plan your holiday. Last-minute accommodation.
It doesn’t matter where or when you travel, it can be beneficial to have a pre-paid hotel room ready for you so you don’t blow your budget. This is especially true for areas with limited accommodation options. I mean Canada, Norway, New Zealand’s South Island, northern Tasmania, and both the northwest and south of Western Australia.
8. Is it a leftie or a rightie?
While most people are aware that Americans drive on one side of the road in America, it is still surprising how many people don’t know that Europeans do the exact same thing. More countries actually drive on the right side. Except for Japan and some central African nations, most countries driving on the right side of the road are ex-British colonies (Australian, New Zealand South Africa, South Africa, India).
It is important to know which side you will be driving on when you reach your destination. This applies not only for when you drive, but also when you walk. It will take three days for customers to get used to European road rules, especially if you are traveling between France and the UK. Remember that if you choose a manual car, you will be shifting gears with one hand.
9. Are you sure you won’t get car sick?
When I’m in a car as a passenger, I get rocked to bed. This is why I take most road trips. My choice to get rocked to bed is the reason. If I don’t get enough sleep, I get sick. Although I am able to control the car from behind the wheel, I can still occasionally get sick. It’s not because I am in a car; it’s because of roads.
For the sake of my stomach, I won’t be driving the notorious Gotthard and Grimsel Passes’ in Switzerland. Canada and New Zealand are known for their long winding roads, which can go on for miles. It is advisable to take motion sickness tablets with your when driving on these roads. If you feel the need to slow down, you can do so. Just make sure you let other cars pass.
10. Let someone else drive the car.
You might be thinking that driving holidays may not be for you. Why not book a coach trip instead?
You don’t have any responsibility for driving. You can look out at the landscape and enjoy snacks, or take a nap when you want.
Some countries are worth the effort, such as the USA, Australia and the UK. However, there are other places that are more enjoyable when someone else is driving. It is Vietnam, South Africa, and Italy that I recommend.