Pitfalls of long car trips
During a long car trip, drivers and passengers face enormous pressures. If you spend long hours behind the wheel, you feel tired and exhausted. This results in physical fatigue and moral devastation. Such stress provokes depression. This article includes helpful tips and recommendations on how to avoid negative effects of long car trips.
Long trips and your body
First of all, on a long trip, there is a growing risk of hypodynamia. During a long period of time, your body remains in the same position. That makes your muscles and joints numb. You can’t remain motionless for a long period of time even if car seats are quite comfortable. That is why you need to make stops from time to time and do some physical exercises: gymnastics, changing of pose, playing games with a ball, badminton.
The trip should not last longer than 10 hours (in winter) and 12 hours (in summer). We don’t recommend you to drive at night. At night your body should get rest and relax completely.
Long trips reduce the body’s immunity. That is why you can easily catch a cold or get poisoned. Try to support your body with vitamins. Avoid drinking too much coffee. It rattles your nerves.
Essential points of long trips
Distracted driving is not allowed. You should create your own playlist beforehand so that you and your passengers won’t get angry with each other because you can’t find an appropriate radio station.
If you are hungry, stop only in places with a lot of heavy trucks. Truck drivers never eat where food is expensive and not tasty.
Recreation areas for truck drivers can be secure which is very important, especially if you travel alone. Do not save on security since quite often after a night spent in an unknown place you may find out that your car is broken.
Prepare two sets of shoes (no flip-flops!) beforehand. Flip-flops may let you down in case of hard braking or if you have to walk the earth road to bring some help.
You should take a fully-charged battery. The charger should suit your car. If a person goes on a long trip, quite often he stays in desolate areas. Thus, if you have a working phone, that may save your life.
The same is about torches (you’d better take two or three). We recommend you to take spare batteries.
Be careful buying fruits and vegetables by the roadside. There is a risk of poisoning, however, on the road, it multiplies many times.
If you are going on a long trip, that means you need to carry a lot of stuff.
However, on a long car trip you should take the same things as if you are going on a short 2-day journey, but in large quantities:
- clothes, including warm clothing (even in summer nights may be cool), underwear;
- water supply (drinking, mineral, technical);
- fuel and service fluids supply;
- food supply (based on the number of days, people + extra 2 days). Do not take shortlived products. We recommend you to take dried fruits and food rich in proteins;
- personal hygiene and cosmetic products, towels;
- single-use glassware, dishes and glasses, garbage bags and work gloves;
- medicine (a standard set + individual medicine for a driver and his passengers);
- blankets, travelling rugs, pillows, sleeping bags, ground pads; if you can’t stay at the hotel or hostel, take a tent too;
- a burner or a gas range, a thermos (you’d better have several);
- paper roadmaps and electronic navigators.
Psychological hygiene on a long trip
Go on a long trip only if you’re in good spirits. If you had a quarrel with your travel companions or passengers the previous day, make peace with them. If you are getting angry and irritated during a long trip, you ruin your health. Ease the tension by telling jokes.
Take a good book (if you are a passenger) and do not distract the driver when he listens to the music. Do not criticize his music preferences. However, if a driver wants to talk, keep the ball rolling. It helps a driver to maintain proper concentration.
If there is someone except for the driver who can drive the car we recommend you to take turns from time to time. However, do not criticize the way the other person drives the car.
If you are asked to stop, don’t get angry. Every person is an individual and his needs may differ from the needs of other passengers. You are not allowed to refuse the requested stop. Discuss only those subjects that won’t lead to controversy and debates.
Keep in mind one of the truck driver’s rule — do not talk about politics, health, and family. However, relatives may discuss family matters. Nevertheless, we recommend you avoid discussing personal issues.
Set your mind on an easy and nice trip, even if it is going to last long. Do not forget your documents, especially an International Driving Permit. It will help you to stay calm in any situation and drive confidently.