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Keeping Stress Levels Low on a Road Trip

A journey in itself should be fun, you get to take in new sights and experiences along the way that can often leave more memories than of the camping part itself. However it's also no secret that journeying anywhere on the congested bank holiday roads of Britain can quickly become a miserable and stressful experience due to any number of aggravations!


Read our 5 top tips to keeping your stress levels low on a road trip:


1. Have an up to date road atlas as a spare to the Sat-Nav. Knowing that you have a back up in case your phone or GPS battery is dying really takes the pressure off! I’ve lost count of the amount of times that our Sat-Nav has lost signal at a vital moment in the journey and we’ve been rescued by the traditional road atlas map... Open the page you'll be needing before you set off so it's ready at a moments notice if/when you need it (to save you frantically searching the index at an intersection!). 

Also if hiking is on the agenda once you reach your destination make sure you have the appropriate Ordinance Survey map of the area to stop you getting lost - stress and the wilderness certainly don’t mix!

2. Plan your route before hand and make notes of the service areas available on the way so there’s no last minute panic to find a suitable fuel-station or a toilet. A good stretch, rehydration and a bite to eat on the regular can help keep the mood lifted - especially if you're familiar with the term 'hangry'!

Make a use of post-it notes with your favoured stops and an erasable highlighter pen, again this is where the traditional map beats the modern GPS in my opinion! Try and plan for a few routes in case the inevitable traffic jam or road closure crops up along the way.


3. Make your own music play list for the drive. Take into account how many hours you should need and make sure to include something for everyone. Choose carefully the songs that make you feel calm, happy and forgiving. We've compiled a massive playlist of travel related Road Trip music on The Waki Way YouTube channel if you want a little inspiration to start you off! It’s incredible what a little music therapy can do when the tension starts to build!


4. Be flexible with your plans. It’s good to have a plan and there may be many things you would like to see along the way but understand that it may change due to the unknown and that’s OK!

Don't over-plan every mile and minute as that means that undoubtedly more will seem to go wrong. This is a point that took me many years to finally realise, just go with the flow and you will enjoy your journey without any pressure. 


5. Take a deep breath. Even with the most flexible plan, the best music and a good map there are still people out there for whom it seems their purpose in life is to ruin your day! When you feel yourself getting worked up ask yourself if it is even worth getting upset about? Road rage is a strange phenomenon and there's much better things to do on a journey than argue with other road users - whether they started it or not. Remind yourself to stay calm, take a deep breath and decide that you won't allow whatever THEY have done to ruin YOUR trip. 


I hope these suggestions help you keep the peace and enjoy the journey as well as the destination, if you have any calming tips of your own share it in the comments below!


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Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more

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