Road trip adventures are part of every summer! Loading up the car and heading out with friends or family can be a time for creating new memories and having so much fun, but one thing is for certain – you need to be prepared, especially if you have any health concerns. With this in mind, we want to share some helpful reminders to help make your next road trip easier and, of course, safer and healthier.
Protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen
Remember, even if you’re not on the beach you’re exposed to harmful UV rays. Get a good sunscreen like Anthelios XL SPF 60 Face Stick or Anthelios XL SPF 60 Comfort Cream to protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. And if you’re the driver, enjoying the window down and your arm out the window, double up on that sunscreen on your arm and left side of your face and neck! Read more about how to protect your skin from the dangers of UV rays.
Pack healthy snacks
If you’re a diabetic this is extra important. Healthy snacks such as fruit and nuts can help keep you energized and feeling good between meals. Remember that fresh foods can spoil quicker in a warm car, so take them with you into the hotel room when you get to your destination.
Bring water to stay hydrated
It’s not uncommon to hear of people driving 3 or 4 hours at a time without a break. That may be fine as far as time goes, but that is an awful long time to not have a drink of water. Bring along several bottles of water and stay hydrated along the way. Will it mean extra washroom breaks? It might, but your health is worth it.
Try to stay cool
If your car has air conditioning, great. If it doesn’t make sure to roll the windows down and get fresh cooler air circulating in the vehicle. If the air is very hot, stop for a break in the shade, get cool water from a rest stop or a cooler with ice in your car, and dress in cooler clothing for the trip. Avoid leaving anyone sitting in a hot car for any length of time, even for a quick stop. It doesn’t take long for heat exhaustion to set in. Learn more about the difference between Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke.
Get some exercise
Sitting for a long time isn’t good for anyone at any time, even when you’re having fun on a road trip. Schedule breaks to pull over and walk around, go for a quick hike, and get your body moving. If you know you are heading out on your road trip in the morning, consider taking a nice long walk before you get into the car and hit the road. Once at your destination, taking another walk is a great idea. Some hotels and motels have pools and exercise rooms. Even 15 minutes of extra movement can be beneficial to your health.
Pack a first aid kit
It should go without saying that any vehicle should have a good first aid kit. Band-aides, gauze, and other items should be in an easy to reach kit.
Pack your prescription and over the counter medications
This tip is VERY important. Packing your medication, along with a copy of your original prescription, in its own case is critical. If your medication needs to be kept cool, consider a cooler or other container to help keep your medication from getting too hot in your vehicle. Read more about traveling with your medication.
Take a break to rest or nap
Driving when even a little tired can be dangerous. According to the National Sleep Foundation sixty percent of adults in the United States have driven while drowsy and approximately one-third of those people have fallen asleep at the wheel! If you notice these symptoms in yourself while you’re driving or you notice your driver doing any of these things, it is time to pull over and rest NOW!
- Constant yawning
- Drifting into the other lane
- Not remembering the last mile driven
- Head nodding/dropping
- Trouble keeping eyes open
Even a quick cat nap of 20-30minutes on the side of the road can help give your driver enough energy to make it further down the road. The National Sleep Foundation also recommends driving early in the morning rather than late at night.
Wear your Medic Alert bracelet
If you have a medical alert bracelet or necklace, be sure to wear it!
Let someone know where you’re going
Always let friends or family know where you are going and how to get ahold of you when you’re gone. If there is any emergency they will need to be able to get ahold of you. It’s also good for your passengers to have a list of emergency contacts for each other as well.
Summer travel with friends and family can be fun – and while this list may seem like you are planning for trouble ahead, what you’re really doing is planning for peace of mind, fewer worries, and a healthier trip!
If you have questions about any of these prescription medications or any other medication, please contact our team at Canada Online Health by calling toll free 1-800-399-DRUG (3784). One of our discreet pharmacy representatives will be happy to answer your questions.
This article contains medical information provided to help you better understand this particular medical condition or process, and may contain information about medication often used as part of a treatment plan prescribed by a doctor. It is not intended to be used as either a diagnosis or recommendation for treatment of your particular medical situation. If you are unwell, concerned about your physical or mental state, or are experiencing symptoms you should speak with your doctor or primary health care provider. If you are in medical distress please contact emergency services (such as 911).