How to Make a Long Road Trip More Comfortable

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Sitting 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:

Wear Sunscreen

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.

Stay Hydrated

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!

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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!

The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book - Everything You Need to Have and Record an Epic Road Trip! By Valerie Bromann

The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book

Everything You Need to Have and Record an Epic Road Trip!

Enjoy fun games and challenges to pass the time on your next road trip and have a keepsake to look back on for years to come with this entertaining must-have for your next vacation.

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!

Dress Appropriately

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.

Pin this list of how to make a long road trip more comfortable to save it for later:

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? Read on to find out how! #RoadTrip #RoadTrips #RoadTripTips #RoadTripPlanning
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? Read on to find out how! #RoadTrip #RoadTrips #RoadTripTips #RoadTripPlanning

Photo by Vova Krasilnikov/Pexels

Valerie Bromann

Founder & ROad Trip Expert

Valerie Bromann is a a website manager, content creator, and writer from Chicago, Illinois (currently living in Dallas, Texas). As an avid road tripper who has visited hundreds of roadside attractions, Val always pull over for a world’s largest thing. Founder of Silly America and author of The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book, she visits, photographs, and writes about all the weird tourist destinations she visits and offers road trip planning advice and inspiration based on her own travels so you can hit the road for yourself.

World's Largest Mailbox in Casey, Illinois roadside attraction

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Last modified: December 23, 2023
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The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book - Everything You Need to Have and Record an Epic Road Trip! By Valerie Bromann

The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book

Everything You Need to Have and Record an Epic Road Trip!

BY Valerie Bromann

Enjoy fun games and challenges to pass the time on your next road trip and have a keepsake to look back on for years to come with this entertaining must-have for your next vacation.

The road trip you’ve been dreaming of starts here! Journal about your stops and get to know your fellow passengers with activities and exercises designed to pass the time and bring you closer together. Instead of “Are we there yet?” you’ll find yourself asking, “We’re there already?”. Complete with prompts you can turn to while driving between locations, this journal will one day be a memento of your life-changing trip.