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  • Writer's pictureThe Flapper Life

A checklist for road trips you'll be glad you used

~Parishka Gupta

Road trips can bond a group of people in nothing but the constant stench of a stale car. Road trips make a person forget for a few hours that they have a destination to reach. You wish the car never stops cruising on the broad, passable highways. You’ll miss the mediocre fast food you ate on your pit stops.

Road trips can also exert a lot of pressure on your body and your mind. Shockingly, they can also get monotonous at times. Here are a few things that you can take care of before and during your road trip to make sure you reach your destination alive and happy.

1. Take what you need, not what you want: Packing light is the very first component of a successful road trip. An extra pair of leather boots and all your favourite jackets for a two-day trip is nothing but a waste of space. Lesser baggage would mean that the trunk of your car is enough and extra baggage wouldn’t take up your seating space or legroom. Here’s a handy tip: A single handbag is just enough for one person.

2. Make sure you've got the music! Long road trips need a solid road trip playlist to keep the passengers relaxed/energized. A night before you hit the road, sit down with your co-passengers to curate the perfect playlist that covers everyone’s favourite songs.

3. Stay hydrated and eat light: Your body needs to be ready for the long hours in a closed space. Have small sips of water at regular intervals. People tend to get excited a bit too much and keep munching throughout the journey. Eating less keeps your stomach stable, which in turn keeps your travel sickness at bay.

4. Plan your pitstops: Pitstops are important. They’re a default part of a road trip. You need to have pitstops because chai on a broken wooden chair sitting next to a wind-blown highway is unmatched; and also, because your body needs to move around and stretch a little. It breaks the monotony of the continuously moving scenery and lets you take a proper deep breath.

5. Keep your co-passengers engaged: It sounds very obvious, but you need a firm reminder. A road trip starts with people thrilled. But it does not necessarily end on a happy note, you know. People in your car might get cranky because of being cooped up for long, tedious hours. Have a few games planned out for the road and you’ll be good to go!

6. Download your maps offline: Don’t trust your mobile data! As you reach the outer skirts of a city, Google maps are likely to betray you because of the weakening internet connection. Download your maps offline to make sure you don’t lose your way.

7. Travel sickness: This usually happens due to disturbance in your inner ear. If you're prone to motion sickness, you can try focussing on the horizon to keep yourself steady. You can also avoid reading a book or watching a movie to keep your senses at rest since engaging them would cause disagreements between them due to the constant motion.

8. Know your limits: If you can drive for 5 hours, then drive for 5 hours. If you can ride for 3 hours, then ride for 3 hours. Extending your limits will cause unnecessary exertion. Even if you want to stop after an hour to stretch your legs and wiggle your arms, then do that.

9. Prepare your vehicle: Run thorough checks for any chinks in your vehicle's armour. Check the condition of your engine, wheels and fuel tank.

10. Keep your documents handy: Make a checklist of all documents that you might need on the road. Vehicle documents like RC (Registration certificate) and PUC (Pollution Under Control) are quite essential. Carry your Aadhar Card and driver’s license as well.

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