I’ve been meaning to write this for quite some time. Remember way back when I started this lil thing, P & I drove to and from Sweden?
Age UK have recently released a few handy tips for long car journeys to help you avoid fatigue in long car journeys as, “Driver fatigue causes thousands of road accidents each year.”
Having shamelessly cherry picked a few of theirs and adding a few of my own I have come up with the below list, which may be of use to you if anyone’s planning a road trip!
1. Book in advance – we left a few places for the spontaneity, but you do save time and money by booking most hotels/hostels etc. In advance, you don’t have to worry if you’ll get a spot and you have more time to explore the surroundings rather than searching relentlessly for somewhere to stay. One of the best places we stayed was a beautiful little fisherman’s house, which we were recommended and luckily still had space when we rang on the way up.
2. Plan the journey – I’m not saying plan every single detail or even doing it that far in advance, just bring along a good ol fashioned map, or use your satnav if you’re snazzy and check the general direction, which roads lead that way and what junctions you need. You can leave a bit to chance to find a nice place for a wander or a quick bit of wild swimming!
3. Check your cars essentials – I personally have very little clue on this, I refill the windscreen washer fluid once every six months and that’s about where my talents end when it comes to working below a bonnet, but Age UK got you covered on the basics! (Plus it ain’t a bad idea to have a service not too far before the big trip).
4. Stock up on food and water! I’ve learnt from my time with P to always have a snack or two stashed away. In this case I brought a small cooler bag for some fruit and longer life goodies, such as crisps, and ryvita breads. Why not make one of your stops somewhere with a nice little market? Or if you happen to be travelling through Germany, like we did, save the pennies and pop into Lidl or Aldi for lots of great deals! After all no one likes a hangry driver, or passenger for that matter!
5. Where possible avoid driving through the night. The dim light will add to that sleepiness, plus you can’t see any of the amazingness thats around you as you drive!
6. Take regular breaks – for one you want to enjoy the scenery, not just drive the whole holiday! Secondly you need a break, grab some food, drink, natural relief and a stretch of the limbs! This is how we found some of the funest things on our road trip – such as China in Sweden, Shrines for Vikings and beautiful rolling sand dunes!
7. Try to get to your next accommodation before 4pm. Rush hour is pants wherever you go, plus then you have time to explore your surroundings, find that snazzy little beer garden or restaurant to chill for the evening and drink up … the atmosphere!
8. Now I know driving isn’t the most eco-friendly mode of transport, so it may be worth trying to give back a bit. We loved our ekocentrum Near Soderhamn. And ain’t it nice to have a bit of a break from technology when you’re surrounded by it all day?