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10 Must-Do Things to Prepare for an Awesome Road Trip

10 Must-Do Things to Prepare for an Awesome Road Trip

Road trips are fun. You get to explore new places, meet new people, try new things, and maybe even do a little soul searching.

This is the perfect time to plan a road trip, what with the summer coming up. However, preparation is the key to a fun, hassle-free road trip. If you do your prep work right, you can be as spontaneous as you want to be once you’re on the road.

Here are some things you should remember before venturing out on an adventure of a lifetime.

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Don’t cut too far into your budget, you might have an emergency

Always have something extra for a rainy day, and this isn’t about bringing an umbrella! Although…But we digress, even if you are on a strict budget, you always, always need to have some money on hand in cash. Many unexpected things can happen while you’re on your road trip. Your car might break down, you might need to stay an extra night, and so on. You should also bring a credit card in case your cash is not going to cut it. Make sure the card will be honored wherever you’re going.

Important tip: If you are going to buy souvenirs or be taking a stroll in a busy marketplace, keep your wallet in a safe place, and have small amounts of cash in your breast pocket to discourage pickpockets. A belt bag might be a good idea, but keep it in front of you instead of fashionably slung over your butt.

Rent a campervan/travel vehicle for a long trip with your friends

You might think to save money by bringing your own car, but if you’re bringing friends along, you will soon chafe at the close confines. Divvy up the cost to rent a campervan if you want to be comfortable in your travels. In Australia, you can even hire a motorhome on campervanfinder online for lengthy trips. You can offset the cost by not having to pay for accommodation.

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Bring some toys and kits when you are bringing kids on your trip

Going on a road trip with small children is a challenge for many parents. They get tetchy and cranky, and they always want to know if you’re there yet. You can keep them entertained by bringing along their favorite toys and some board games. Bring along inexpensive bubble tubes, they’re good for hours of fun for the whole family.

You should also have a kit for cleaning their Sippy cups when running water is not an option (denture tablets) and a well-stocked first aid kit for those cuts and scratches. Have a couple of carabiners and a bungee cord handy so you can keep a leash your active five-year-old when you’re in crowded places.

Be friendly to your fellow travelers, to the locals, and well, to everybody

Leave your sense of entitlement back home. Carrying around an attitude can land you in trouble when you’re outside your territory. Be friendly to everyone you meet—within reason, of course—as you may need to be in their good graces at some point. Observe how the locals act and follow their lead. Be unfailingly polite, and keep your opinions to yourself. You never know what might offend the people you meet.

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Bring key accessories with you

Since you’re on a road trip, travelling light is not as applicable as when you travel by air. You can afford to bring essential accessories such as a tote bag, sun block, water bottles, universal adapter, flashlights, batteries, portable steam iron, laptop, and a portable gas stove. Have a good supply of handy wipes and toilet paper, and don’t forget an ample supply of any prescription medications.

Be sure to bring all essentials

Make sure to bring necessary items. Arrange for the appropriate insurance and make sure you have all your travel documents in a waterproof bag. Have a duplicate in the glove compartment. Choose wrinkle-free clothes carefully, and make sure you can mix and match them. Depending on where you are going, bring just two sets of footwear, sandals being one of them. Have enough blankets and travel pillows for everyone, and make sure you bring your chargers.

Prepare your body and mind before going on a trip

Be sure to have plenty of rest so that you are at peak physical condition. A road trip is fun, but it is also tiring. You don’t want to set off with a compromised immune system and get sick, which can ruin the whole thing. Have a complete physical check up prior to a long road trip, and get the green light from your doctor, especially if you have a medical condition. If you plan on engaging in rigorous activities such as surfing, tone your body several weeks before your trip.

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If you are travelling by plane, be on time at the airport, and bring your tickets with you

This might sound obvious, but if you have to travel by plane to get to the start point of your road trip, make sure you don’t miss your flight. Pack your bags the night before and give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Don’t forget your tickets!

Look for an affordable but pleasant hotel, and you should know its reputation

Book your accommodation for each of your planned stops in advance to get the best deals. You will have the opportunity to check online reviews so you avoid doing the funky chicken with the cockroaches. If you rent a caravan or motorhome, it would be a good idea to find likely campsites. You can save a bundle if you can spend a couple of nights under the stars!

Have fun, and leave your problems behind

Plan your trip carefully to make the most of what is available along your route. However, don’t be too obsessive about following a schedule. You might have missed something in the planning stage, so allow enough time for unexpected detours if you find something interesting along the way. Allow yourself the freedom to relax, forget all your worries, and just have fun.

Conclusion

A road trip is fun because it is rife with possibilities. However, that doesn’t mean you should leave everything to chance. Expect the best, but be ready for the worst. That way, it will be a road trip to remember for all the right reasons.

Featured photo credit: Sem Vandekerckhove via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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