We’re fast approaching the end of 2018 and most of us are planning on hitting the open road to melt into the long-awaited Festive Season break. Yet, as we may want to be completely laid back in our approach to the holidays, we have to remain vigilant on the roads.
Planning on going on a road trip over the Festive Season? Take the necessary steps and prepare for your long drive before you get behind the wheel and to stay alert and energised while you drive.
The following tips are sure to help you down the road.
1. Stock up on Sleep
It’s best to consider exhaustion before you begin your journey, not during. Get at least seven hours of sleep for two consecutive nights before the road trip to fill your energy reserves.
2. Safety First!
Handle your steering and brakes with care. Check your tyre pressure on a cold start or before a long journey. Ensure everyone is wearing their seatbelts at all times. Only overtake when it is absolutely safe to do so and do not overload your vehicle.
3. Save your money for the Holiday
It is common that more traffic cops will be out on the roads over a long weekend, so in order to avoid getting unnecessary fines – stick to the speed limit, obey the rules of the road and carry your driver’s license with you.
4. Don’t Fill up, Fuel up!
We’re talking about fuel for you, not your car. Carrying along a variety of vitamin-packed, healthy foods will allow you to get by on smaller snacks.
“Try packing your own snacks as healthy alternatives are often limited en route. Go for low GI snacks that will allow for a more sustained energy release. Eg: some cut up fresh veg with hummus, nuts, biltong, date balls or some whole grain toast with nut butter,” says dietician Mariella Dierks. “Keep your water supply well-stocked and a 4-pack of Red Bull handy for when you need a boost.”
Did you know that a can of Red Bull has the same amount of caffeine as a cup of filter coffee- that’s only 1/4th of your recommended daily allowance.
5. Strategise your Stops
It is crucial to get out of your car and stretch your legs every two hours or so, so make sure to plan these stops into your long distance drive- whether they are timed around mealtimes, interesting places to buy a souvenir or a place to capture picture-perfect views.
6. Sit up Straight
Make sure your seat is adjusted properly for your body, tilted for maximum blood flow. If you start feeling sluggish- sit up, take a deep breath and make sure to keep this up along the way.
7. Ensure you’re Entertained
Long drives, especially with kids, can often lead to aggravation among passengers and in turn, can lead to driver fatigue. Make sure children are entertained with books, puzzles etc. Have a good music system in place and a playlist of your favourite tunes.