This year staycations are a priority for Brits, with more than four in five (84%) saying they are likely to go on a staycation in 2023, according to research, meaning UK roads are set to be full of British holidaymakers. Whilst we spend all year excited for our holidays, long hours spent in the car, especially during the hot summer weather, can sometimes start a journey off on the wrong foot.
For those worried about long car journeys this summer, LKQ Euro Car Parts has teamed up with Nichola Henderson, wellness specialist at Coaching by Nic who says road trips can easily be calm and stress-free with a bit of before-hand preparation.
1) Give your car a quick health check
LKQ Euro Car Parts says: “Long road trips can prove taxing on not just the driver but the passengers as well. However, car journeys should be as enjoyable as any part of your holiday, so that you can relax from the get-go. Make sure you check your tyre pressure, top up your screen wash and engine oil and pack any road safety equipment before you set off, so you and your car are prepared for the journey and any unexpected issues that may arise.”
2) Clean your car interiors before you go
Nichola explained: “Being put in a messy environment can be a trigger for anxiety and stress, especially somewhere that’s already confined like a car. So, to beat this from cropping up the minute you take your seat, spend some time giving your car a tidy before your journey as this will make it more calming and inviting. Once the cleaning is done finish off by incorporating a soothing scent such as rosemary and lavender to really hit refresh.” LKQ Euro Car Parts said: “It may be worth investing in car storage solutions such as roof boxes, cycle racks and tow bars. The more room you have within the interior of your car, the more comfortable your journey will be, so pack efficiently to maximise space. Keep rubbish bags and wipes in the front of the car so you can maintain cleanliness throughout the journey.
3) Allow time for pit stops
Nichola commented: “Planning ahead is the best chance you have of keeping any journey smooth, it doesn’t have to be perfect or go exactly to plan, but you’ll need an idea of what route you’re taking, where you’re stopping and allow time for stops and rest in between.
“Planning needs to include time for unscheduled pit stops too; areas of beauty, emergency nap breaks and all the unpredictable things that could happen. If you plan enough time in the schedule or at least manage your expectations, it’s easier to remain relaxed as you’re not rushing to get to the next destination.”
LKQ Euro Car Parts also explains that “pit stops are also a good opportunity for your car to rest, especially when driving long distances, stopping regularly to refuel and give chance for your car to cool down can make the rest of the journey much smoother. It’s also a good chance to check everything is still in good working order before you move off.”
4) Keep the air con running
“We are most comfortable when the air temperature is between 20-25 degrees. Higher temperatures can lead to a feeling of physical discomfort, and produce symptoms of dehydration, fatigue and sweating, increasing our feelings of irritability as cortisol levels rise” Explains Nichola.
LKQ Euro Car Parts added: “To ensure you can maintain a regular air temperature during your trip, make sure to test that the air con works efficiently before you go and always keep it running whilst driving. Be sure to take your car to a professional if the air con emits any bad smells, makes any strange noises or isn’t producing powerful air streams so that it can be repaired ahead of your trip.”
5) Make the perfect playlist
Nichola explained: “Listening to music has been proven to release dopamine, a relaxing hormone that reduces stress. Particularly, classical music and film scores are constructed in a way which is most likely to manage stress levels, reduce heart rate and high blood pressure.
“When travelling for long periods of time, ensure you have access to various genres of music, as your emotions are always moving so you can allow for different music and playlists depending on how you feel. Listening to dance music is great if you are already in a cheery mood, but you might prefer slow ballads if you need to ease anxiety.”