Australian Travel & Tourism Network Travellers Autobarn - Australia. Discount Camper rentals
Australian Car and Camper Rentals Airlines Flights and Airfares Australia Tours, Adventures,  Activities and Recreation Australia Discover Australian favorite Holiday Destination Australia Travel and Tourist Information Travel Insurance Australia Network Travel Services

Road Trip Wellness: How To Stay Healthy And Comfortable On Long Road Trips

Embarking on a road trip can be an exhilarating experience, offering a sense of freedom and adventure. However, long hours on the road can also pose challenges to your health and comfort. Hence, maintaining wellness during a road trip is important.

This article discusses ten key strategies to help travellers stay healthy and comfortable, transforming the road journey into an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Road Trip Australia

1. Pre-Trip Health Check

Before going on your next road trip, a comprehensive health check is necessary for a safe and enjoyable journey, especially for individuals managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension. The same is true for those on regular medication regimens.

A visit to your healthcare provider should include a discussion about managing your condition while travelling, adjusting medication schedules across different time zones if necessary, and advice on emergency care.

It's also an opportunity to refill prescriptions and gather necessary medical documents. Additionally, updating vaccinations, especially if travelling through areas prone to specific health risks, is a wise step.

The goal is to ensure that you are as healthy as possible before hitting the road, minimizing the risk of medical complications during your trip.

2. Nutrition On The Go

Maintaining a healthy road trip diet while on the road requires planning and smart choices. Start by packing a cooler with an assortment of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins like chicken or fish, and whole grains. These foods are not only nutritious but also help maintain energy levels and aid in digestion, which can be disrupted during travel.

Nutritious snacks like nuts, yogurt, and granola bars are excellent for quick bites. When dining out, seek out local restaurants that offer fresh, wholesome meals rather than resorting to the convenience of fast food.

Remember, moderation is key; it's okay to indulge in local delicacies but balance it with healthier options. Also, be aware of food safety, especially in unfamiliar places, to avoid foodborne illnesses.

3. Staying Hydrated

Hydration is a critical yet often overlooked aspect of road trip wellness. Long hours on the road can lead to dehydration, particularly in warm climates or when the air conditioning is running for extended periods.

Keeping a refillable water bottle handy encourages regular sipping, ensuring you stay hydrated throughout the journey. While it's tempting to consume caffeinated beverages for an energy boost, they can lead to increased urination and, subsequently, dehydration. The same caution applies to alcoholic beverages.

If plain water doesn't appeal to you, consider adding a slice of lemon or cucumber for flavour, or alternate with coconut water or herbal teas, which can be hydrating and refreshing.

4. Sun Protection

Extended exposure to the sun, even through car windows, can lead to skin damage and fatigue. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher can protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Reapply every two hours, especially if your skin gets sweaty or if you step out of the car for breaks.

Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from glare and UV rays, reducing eye strain and the risk of cataracts. Consider wearing a hat or long sleeves for additional protection if you plan to be outside for longer periods. Using sun shades on car windows, especially for passengers, can reduce overall sun exposure, making the journey more comfortable and safer for everyone.

5. Comfortable Seating

Sitting in the same position for hours can lead to discomfort, muscle stiffness, and even pain. Hence, investing in proper seat ergonomics is vital.

Ensure your vehicle's seat supports the natural curve of your spine. You can use specialized cushions or lumbar supports to achieve this. Adjust your seat so that you can comfortably reach the pedals and steering wheel without straining.

The height of the seat should allow your thighs to rest easily while your feet reach the pedals, and your elbows should be at a comfortable angle while holding the steering wheel. If you're sharing driving duties, remember that each driver may need to adjust the seat for their comfort.

6. Regular Breaks

Long periods of driving increase the risk of fatigue, decreased concentration, and circulatory problems. It's recommended to take a break every two hours or every 100 miles.

Use these breaks to get out of the car, stretch your legs, and do some light exercises to boost circulation. This can be as simple as walking around, doing some standing stretches, or even a few jumping jacks.

These breaks are also an opportunity to rest your eyes from the strain of constant focus on the road, which can reduce the risk of headaches and eye fatigue. Additionally, taking regular breaks can improve your alertness and reaction time when you return to driving, making your journey safer.

Drive Safe on Road Trip Australia

7. Mindful Driving

Mindful driving goes beyond mere concentration; it involves being fully present and aware of the driving experience while managing distractions and stress. This practice is essential during long trips where the monotony of the road can lead to a wandering mind or driver fatigue.

Staying focused on the road means actively scanning for traffic changes, road signs, and potential hazards, which enhances safety. To aid in this, minimize distractions such as mobile phones, overly complex car controls, or engaging activities that divert your attention from driving.

If you start feeling tired or stressed, it's important to recognize these signals and take a break. A short rest, a change of scenery, or even a few deep breaths can re-energize you for the journey ahead. Mindful driving also involves being aware of your emotional state and keeping calm, as emotions like anger or frustration can impair judgment.

8. Good Sleep

The importance of getting adequate rest before and during a road trip cannot be overstated. Sleep deprivation can significantly impair reaction time, judgment, and decision-making skills, similar to the effects of alcohol.

Before starting your journey, ensure a good night's sleep of at least seven to eight hours to start off well-rested. During the trip, plan your itinerary to include overnight stops, preferably in comfortable accommodations where you can get quality rest.

If you're feeling drowsy while driving, it's crucial to stop and take a nap or switch drivers if possible. Rest areas, hotels, or safe parking zones can be used for short naps to rejuvenate. Avoid relying on caffeine or energy drinks as substitutes for sleep; they may offer a temporary boost but cannot replace the restorative effects of sleep.

9. Mental Health Check

Maintaining mental well-being is as important as physical health during long road trips. The isolation or stress of long drives can affect your mood and overall enjoyment of the trip.

Engaging in activities that bring pleasure and relaxation can be beneficial. Listening to a favourite playlist, an interesting podcast, or an audiobook can provide entertainment and mental stimulation. It's also a good way to feel connected to familiar things while on the road.

If travelling with others, engaging in light conversation or playing interactive games can uplift the mood. Staying in touch with friends and family through calls or messages during breaks can also help counteract feelings of isolation. Remember, it's okay to take breaks not just for physical rest but also for mental relaxation.


Embarking on a long road trip can be an amazing adventure, but it's essential to prioritize your health and comfort throughout the journey. By preparing in advance, maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, ensuring comfortable seating, taking regular breaks, driving mindfully, getting sufficient sleep, staying active, protecting yourself from the sun, and taking care of your mental health, you can make your road trip experience both enjoyable and healthy.

This website developed and maintained by Australian Travel & Tourism Network Pty Limited for Australian Travel Service providers © last updated 05-Feb-2024