Modern Australian

Safety First: Tips & Tricks for Your First Road Trip

  • Written by Chloe Taylor

So, you’ve finally decided to go on your first road trip. Well, you’re in for a real adventurous treat, since this type of travel offers you all the freedom you can imagine and very little restrictions and even expenses. However, without proper preparation, your road trip might end up being a road disaster. Here are a few safety tips and tricks to keep in mind when going on your first road trip.

Get familiar with your vehicle

If you’re planning to take out your own car, you probably know all its little quirks, but if you’re renting, you want to do some research before you embark. Foreign cars are often very different from your local models, and you might even need to get used to the steering wheel being on the opposite side of the car. Some countries have extra taxes for large vehicles and automatic transmission, so don’t get surprised when the only car you can rent is a compact vehicle with a stick. If you can’t drive a manual, call and reserve an automatic, but expect higher prices.

Get car insurance

In order to have a relaxing trip, you might need to get better car insurance in your glove compartment. This document will provide you with financial protection in case of an accident or damage to your vehicle or any property. It also covers your injuries and injuries of other people. So, when choosing your car insurance, make sure your package covers accidents, theft, damage and natural disasters (depending on the area you’re visiting). If you can find a package that offers roadside assistance, that’s perfect for road trips, especially if you’re a beginner.

Catch enough Zs before

Many people think that sitting behind a steering wheel is nothing but exhausting, but that’s not true. If you drive while tired, you’ll probably experience lack of focus, slower reaction time and changes in mood, none of which should be experienced on the road. So, make sure to get at least seven hours of quality sleep before you hit the road. Start your drive in the morning when you’re fresh and not in the evening after a long day at the office. If you’re used to afternoon naps, make a stop between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. when humans are naturally sleepy.

Take plenty of stops

In order to stay fresh and pain-free during your road trip, make sure to take regular breaks. Stop every two hours (or about 100 miles) and stretch your legs, take in some fresh air and look around. When planning your route, include interesting stop spots into your itinerary so you can eat something, relax and have a fun rest.

Bring good snacks

Pack your travel bag with plenty of healthy snacks that will keep you full of vitamins, minerals and other nutritious elements. This will allow you to skip unhealthy fast food stops yet stay focused on the road instead of on your growling stomach. If you want to boost alertness, munch on carrots and almonds. These snacks are perfect for everyone from kids to adults and seniors and they will not make a huge mess in the car.

Adjust your seat

Before you hit the road, make sure your seat and your steering wheel are properly adjusted. You should be able to comfortably reach the pedals (when pedals are pressed, your legs should have a slight bend in them). You need to be able to see comfortably above your wheel and have good visuals of the instrument panel. How you sit in your seat will not only affect your comfort but also your performance behind the wheel. If you feel like you’re getting drowsy, sit straight, take a deep breath and examine your body. Locate spots that exhibit tension and adjust your posture accordingly.

Drink plenty of water

In order to provide your road trip with maximum energy, forget about coffee and energy drinks, but stock up on water. Sure, you might need to take one or two extra bathroom stops, but staying hydrated will be completely worth it. Enough water in your body will ensure you feel fresh, energized and focused on the road ahead.

Provide entertainment for passengers

Long rides can often end up with high tensions, especially if you travel with kids. And loud passengers can cause a lot of issues for the driver and cause their focus to burst. So, no matter who you travel with, make sure to pack plenty of things that will keep passengers entertained. Think good music, audiobooks, puzzles and hand-held gaming devices. Or you can go old-school and let them play “find the license plate”.

Oftentimes, the best way to get to know a country is to travel its roads and explore its nooks and crannies with your vehicle. And with these useful safety tips, you will be completely safe and comfortable on the road, so grab your car, pack it full of snacks and necessities and let the open road welcome you!

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