Siting in a hot car on a hot day. An air conditioner that’s either too strong or too weak. Sweaty bodies cramped together in the back seat. And long stretches of road with nothing to see. As much as I love taking road trips, at times, they can be kind of uncomfortable experiences. But that doesn’t mean they have to be! Want to know how to make a long road trip more comfortable?
While there’s no fool proof method to make sure everyone in the car is comfortable all the time, there are definitely a lot of tips you can follow to make your long road trip more comfortable. Read on to find out how!
How to make a long road trip more comfortable:
Get Lots of Sleep Before You Drive
The best way to make sure that your long road trip is a comfortable drive is to get a good night’s sleep the night before. No one likes to drive while tired. And, besides being a miserable experience, it just isn’t safe! You’ll be more likely to be distracted or close your eyes for a bit too long. Get good night of sleep before your road trip to make sure that you are well rested and alert!
Road Trip Tip: Pack a Road Trip Sleeping Kit to be sure you have everything on hand to make your hotel room feel like home. Here are some ideas:
- Melatonin Sleep Gummies
- Noise Reducing Ear Plugs
- Sleep Eye Mask
- Portable White Noise Machine
- A Comfy Pillow
- Luxurious Pajamas
It’s easy to skip the sunscreen thinking you’ll be “inside” the car all day long. But your car is really just a hot box of windows. Be sure to wear sunscreen so you don’t get an uncomfortable sunburn. Pay close attention to your window-side arm which will see more light than anything else!
Road Trip Tip: Bring a variety of types of sunscreen to please every situation and everyone in the car. I like carrying a sun screen spray for quick touch ups outside of the car, a face lotion to protect my nose, and a high-spf water resistant sun screen for long hikes outdoors or trips to the beach.
It’s super important to stay hydrated on your road trip. So be sure to drink plenty of water in the car, in restaurants, at your stops, and in your hotel room.
Road Trip Tip: While you can definitely stock up on water bottles beforehand and keep them in a cooler in your trunk, or buy bottles of water at the gas station whenever you make stops, it’s always a good idea to bring your own refillable water bottle.
Don’t Over-Schedule Your Road Trip
You might be tempted to drive as far as you can or pack in as many sites as you can each day of your road trip. But that can quickly burn you out. So figure out a reasonable amount of stops and a reasonable stretch of driving for each day. I’m notorious for turning a two-hour drive into a six-hour drive by making lots of stops. So, because of that, I usually plan to only cover about a two to four hour stretch in a day.
Road Trip Tip: If you need help coming up with the perfect road trip itinerary, join our challenge! Sign up below and in just five days you can have your entire route planned!
Stretch Your Legs Often
Sitting in a cramped car all day can make your legs ache and your butt hurt. So it is important to make lots of stops. How often should you stop on a road trip? Aim to take a break for fifteen minutes at least once every two hours.
Road Trip Tip: You’ll be more comfortable, and have more fun, if you plan to make lots of stops on your road trip! If you look for lots of weird roadside attractions on your route, you might want to pull over a lot more frequently!
Watch Your Posture
Sitting in a car is similar to sitting in an office all day, you’re just handling a much bigger computer. But just like bad posture is bad at work, bad posture is also bad for driving. It can lead to a sore back, shoulders, and neck – a feeling that can ruin a good road trip! Maintaining good posture while driving can help curb some of the achyness that comes with spending a lot of time in the car but can also help you stay alert, give you better views of your surroundings, and keep more control at the wheel.
Road Trip Tip: Your car might have adjustable lumbar support built in to apply an even pressure on your hips and shoulders.If it doesn’t, considering buying a lumbar support made for a car.
Plan Your Road Trip Entertainment
Sometimes a long drive can feel a little boring. And being bored and stuck in a car can make anyone feel uncomfortable. Pre-planning road trip entertainment is a great way to curb that uncomfortable road trip boredom. There are plenty of options for road trip entertainment: Spotify playlists, podcasts, DVDs (for passengers in the backseat), road trip games, road trip journals and activity books, and more. Prepare in advance so you aren’t scrambling to find something to listen to while driving or arguing about which podcast to listen to next.
Road Trip Tip: Audio books are an often overlooked but fun source of road trip entertainment. Pick a best seller, a road trip classic, or a fun YA novel you all want to “read.” Sign up for Audible Plus to access thousands of audio book titles!
Pack Healthy Road Trip Snacks
I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry, I’m miserable to be stuck in a car with. Sometimes you find yourself miles from the next drive through, hours from your lunch destination, or just plain wanting something to snack on. Packing healthy snack options ensures that everyone can keep their stomach’s full and happy. Look for fruits, crackers, trail mixes, nuts, and more.
Road Trip Tip: Road trip snack boxes are a great way to make sure everyone has access to a variety of healthy snacks all day!
How you dress can make a significant impact on how comfortable you feel on your road trip. Too tight clothes, clothes for the wrong climate, or clothes you don’t love can all affect how you feel on your long drive. So think about what you’re doing and where you’re going when preparing your road trip packing list. Need help? Consult our suggestions for what to wear on a road trip.
Road Trip Tip: Pack layers! Even if it is 100 degrees outside, you might find yourself in a cold car or restaurant. Packing a sweater or hoodie that you can put on or remove will allow you to adjust yourself if you find yourself too hot or too cold.
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