Whether it’s for business, vacation or personal reasons, the thought of driving on a long car trip can be enough to make even the most seasoned of travellers anxious. Long drives can be mentally exhausting, and the tedium of being behind the wheel for an extended period of time can make it very difficult to stay alert and stress free. Feeling physically healthy can also be a challenge if the trip is spread out over a few days and you are being sustained by petrol station food and munchies. However, there are ways to make the long drive easier.

driving lightsWhile these tips won’t make it go any faster, they can make you feel much better and healthier for that long time behind the wheel.

Take Regular Breaks

There will always be the temptation to try and make the trip in the fastest time possible, but depriving yourself of breaks at service stations or roadside cafes can make a long drive feel much worse. Most drivers underestimate the physical and mental toll a long drive takes on the body, and a short ten minute break can make all the difference. Make sure you take regular breaks from the wheel at least once every two hours and give your mind a chance to take a rest from the concentration required for a long drive.

Avoid Sugary Drinks and Foods

Most drivers make the mistake of loading up with sugary sweets and fizzy sodas before a long trip. These drinks and foods are high in sugar and can lead to a sugar crash a few hours after you’ve consumed them. This is when your body struggles to deal with a drop in blood sugar levels following a huge intake of sugar, and it will make your body feel fatigued and tired as a result. If you feel like you need a quick energy boost, opt for beverages high in caffeine or sugar-free energy drinks. Staying hydrated is important and regular toilet breaks will give you an incentive to pull over more often.

Enjoy Your Car

The only thing worse than a long drive is having to do it in a car you don’t like driving. Whether your car has seen better days or you just feel like driving something a little bit smoother, renting a hire car can really cut down the stress of a long trip and make the journey feel a lot more enjoyable. National Car Rental is an international car hire company with hundreds of different locations across the globe, and they have a wide selection of different cars to choose from.

Plan Your Journey

There’s nothing more infuriating than being stuck in a traffic jam which adds hours to your journey time. Some delays are unavoidable, but carefully planning your leaving time and route in advance can help avoid rush hour traffic and banish the stress of having to drive in a packed cluster of cars on the motorway. If you’re planning on driving in the early morning or during evening hours, make sure that you have had plenty of sleep and you feel mentally and physically prepared for the long trip ahead.