Road trips are awesome. Hands down – no question about it! You can have super short ones that last a few hours and epic ones that last for months on end! They’re just a great way to get around and see things, but also a great way to take a lot of stuff to your location if you need to.
I have recently taken a few trips solo road-trips that were well over 10 hours of driving. They were epic – i mean EPIC for one driver. So what do you do if you if you’ve got 10+ hours of driving and can’t split it up? Heres a list of what has kept me safe and sane!
Podcasts – You will run into a jam where there is absolutely NOTHING ON THE RADIO. I mean nothing – you can be in a total radio blackout zone, or you could end up somewhere that only gets a signal for country and talk radio. Don’t drive yourself insane, instead the internet has a crazy quantity of cool podcasts for every taste. I personally prefer “Stuff you Should Know” – it feels awesome to get your ‘learn on…’ while making you fantastic in pub trivia and stimulating your mind without the repetitive awful local radio ads.
Coffee (plan your coffee accordingly) Yes, you can drink too much – and too soon – feel how your body is – do you really need coffee right now? If it’s like the last coffee for five hours, by all means, stock up! But, remember, without proper hydration, your body can just totally hit a wall. Be sure that when you get your Tall Blonde Roast or Flat White that you also fill up on water too. Decaffeinated Teas and just pain water is awesome. Go easy on the sugary syrup’s and fruit juices – try and go with something that doesn’t have it. Not only will you save your body from hitting that sugar wall, but you’ll save your teeth from feeling really furry.
Wake up early – I mean EARLY. I once woke up at 2am for a 3am road trip departure. The roads were empty. I could see clearly and all the kamikaze drivers were still asleep. And, it seem that going from dark to light tricked my body into staying awake! I didn’t have that mental exhaustion feeling I get if I arrive somewhere in the dark or late in the afternoon.
Don’t forget to stop. I’ve actually found that there are some pretty awesome rest stops around the world! Ok, sure, there was a string of murders back in the 80’s at some US rest stops and yeah, you’ve probably felt a bit unsafe stopping at times… but here’s the thing. Plan ahead if you can – find out which rest stops are along your route… and which ones are worth stopping at. The Florida Welcome Center off I-95 is one of my favourites because they give out fresh Orange and Grapefruit Juice! They even have a life-size astronaut you can get your photo with! Now, if you’re weary to stop at rest stops at night, never fear! Spend some time before you go and look up online which rest stops have night time security. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many rest stops now do have security. If you’re still kinda freaked out, but really need to use the toilet, don’t be ashamed to go up and talk to the security guy. They’re usually really nice and would be glad to break up their night for a chat. It’s a win win for you both!
Don’t forget to eat. Sometimes I’m so into jamming to my podcasts that I completely forget to eat. It happens more than I’m willing to admit. One solution I have found to my problem is though the humble Watermelon! The thing with watermelon is it’s got good, healthy sugars and it’s full of water. Sure, it’s a bit of a diuretic, but it also keeps you hydrated and stopping to stretch for those much needed stretch breaks!
Stretch – When you stop for a rest, go all Yogi on your body. Sure, I totally understand that you gotta check Facebook – and yes, it’s good that people know where you are – just do it when you’re bending over stretching your legs. Find a spot that’s out of the way of your fellow humans and just bend over.. get that body to move around… you’ve basically been holding the same position for HOURS – now is a great time to give them a rest but get the other ones that are screaming some much needed attention. I also use my car as a prop so i can stretch deeper. Oh, and eat standing up and walking around – pump that blood to those extremities!
Phone calls – You wont believe how quickly time flies if you talk to people (hands free of course) With eyes on the road and two hands on the wheel, give your long lost Auntie a much needed phone call and tell her all about your life. Both of you will feel great having a chat, and the next thing you know, you’ll be at your final destination!
Ultimately if you’re wrecked, and just cant go on anymore. Don’t. It’s better to be late and alive than to be dead. Again, rest stops with security are awesome – just tell the guard what your plans are and they’ll look after you. And, if you have a vehicle that let’s you drop curtains and sleep in the back, just do it – even if you’re only putting your drivers seat back, just do it. Call ahead to the place where you need to end up and let them know what’s going on – then no one will worry.
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An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!