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4 Tips for Surviving Long Road Trips

Surviving road trips Last summer was the season of road trips, as people who were stuck inside, all spring took to their cars for a safe, creative way to travel. This summer is shaping up to be similar. While vaccine distribution for COVID-19 is well underway, it may still be some time before international travel is both safe and normalized. That’s okay, though – a road trip can be every bit as adventurous as a far-flung destination.

Road trips require a different sort of planning. Because they require constant travel – sometimes active, sometimes passive – you need to prepare for long stints of idle time. That means making sure you have the right entertainment and clothing and taking precautions to stay alert and limber over long periods.

If you plan on buckling up for a long road trip this spring or summer, follow these four simple tips to stay fresh, alert, and amused.

Optimize Your Sleep Schedule

Some people feel their freshest with a full eight hours of rest, while others maximize their alertness with a modest six or seven hours. Everyone’s different. Therefore, the keys to optimizing your sleep schedule are less about requiring a set block of hours and more about maintaining consistency and quality.

If possible, get to sleep at the same time each night. Try to put away the screens an hour before bedtime, and avoid caffeine and alcohol before resting. Figure out your ideal schedule and plan your driving around it. If you feel sharpest in the early afternoon, for instance, it’s okay to get a late start to your driving day.

Stay Fresh with the Right Clothing

Surviving road trips Long hours in a stuffy car can leave anyone feeling grimy. It doesn’t help that most fabrics are less-than-ideal at wicking sweat and allowing airflow. To keep your road trip fresh and odor-free, go with a material like merino wool, which is breathable, sweat-wicking, and antibacterial (meaning it resists odors).

Pack a couple of the polo shirts from Unbound Merino and a pair of merino shorts. Because they stay fresh for extended periods (some travelers report wearing their merino clothing for weeks without a bad whiff), you only need a couple of pairs.

Add Variety to Your Audio

Variety is indeed the spice of life. While music will have you bobbing your head and audiobooks will keep you deep in thought, too much of either will leave you bored and unsatisfied. The best is a balance of the two. Before you go, queue up a mixture of music and audiobooks that appeal to everyone in the vehicle

Stop and Stretch

If you need to, set a timer for your "stop and stretches." Staying sedentary for long periods isn't great for your blood circulation, nor is it particularly good for your mental wellbeing. In your rush to get to your next landing place, don't forget the old cliché: It's about the journey, not the destination. Make frequent, short stops to see the natural surroundings, gulp some fresh air and stretch those muscles. Follow this handy guide for road trip stretches. Aside from the four tips mentioned above, exercise relevant caution on your road trip. Keep pace with the local guidelines and recommendations from health experts, and don't feel bad about rescheduling your trip if it's in your best self-interest.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 15th March 2021.

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