The holidays are fast approaching; a time to relax, unwind and get away from the everyday routine. Many people have already planned to go away with their families, but the trek can sometimes be long and arduous. For those who have to drive long distances to get to their personal Shangri-La we have put together some tips to get you there safely and back again...
Get enough sleep
Staying awake for 18 hours or more is equal to having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, which classifies as being over the legal limit. Driving sleepy is just as wrong as driving drunk! Make sure that you get at least 8-9 hours of sleep before heading out on your road trip.
Travel with company
Driving alone is no fun at all. Having someone to share the journey with and talk to keeps you from feeling bored and dozing off. Also, being able to switch drivers at periodic intervals can help keep fatigue at bay.
If you are travelling alone or your passengers have fallen asleep, an audiobook can be a great companion. It keeps you entertained and focussed, without distracting you. Audiobooks are growing in popularity and there is no shortage of diversity when it comes to content.
Driver’s fatigue can affect you no matter how well you slept the night before, if you drive for long periods of time without taking a break then your concentration levels will take a dive. Experts recommend a minimum break of 15 minutes after every two hours of driving.
When you make pit-stops to go to the bathroom or fuel up it is a good idea to do some stretching. Doing stretches gets your blood flowing and reduces the strain that occurs from sitting in the same position for hours on end.
Yes, wet wipes. If you can keep some in an easy to access cooler box then it might just be the cold jolt that you need to stay invigorated. When you are feeling the monotony of the long road getting to you then wipe your face with the cold towelette and rouse your attention. (They also come in handy when travelling with kids.)
Your body is about 60% water. Keeping hydrated will make sure that your body is functioning at an optimal level. Pack some ice cold water to stay refreshed and alert.
Chewing gum increases alertness and can help you concentrate for longer on tasks that require constant monitoring. Chips and other snacks can also be good for maintaining energy levels, but a huge meal before departure is not a great idea as it can cause drowsiness. Fruits and sour sweets are excellent for giving your taste buds a start.
If you catch yourself yawning and your eyelids begin to feel heavy then your brain is telling you that it is shutting down. Whether you are three hours away from your destination or half an hour, when you are feeling tired it’s recommended that you find somewhere safe to pull over and have a nap. Don’t become a statistic, drive safe, arrive alive and have a happy holiday!