Ah. The great American road trip! There’s no better way to get in touch with your homeland. That said, driving can get tiring. When you start to feel stressed or exhausted, it’s smart to stop. Here are eight ways to rejuvenate during your next road trip pit stop.

1. Have a picnic.

Pack a cooler with healthy snacks like fruit, deli sandwiches, and yogurt. (If you’d rather have candy and ice cream, I won’t judge you.)

Find a state or national park that’s close to an Interstate. Toss a big blanket in your back-seat. Enjoy a quiet lunch in a scenic environment. You’ll hit the road with a calm mind.

2. Take a walk.

Sitting for long periods of time is horrible for your health. It’s not good for your posture, either. The human body is made for movement. Ignore that fact at your own peril.

After your lunch, take a walk. It doesn’t need to be elaborate. Walk five minutes in one direction. Turn around. Walk back. It can be as simple as that. Sitting still won’t seem so bad afterwards!

3. Stretch.

Listen to your body. Do certain areas feel too tight or tense? If so, that means they need to be stretched. You might experience tension in your legs, neck, and arms after hours of driving.

After your walk, stretch those muscles. Do a forward fold. If you can’t reach your toes, that’s okay. You’ll still benefit. Raise your arms up and down. Make circles with your wrists in both directions. Drop your head to the left. Hold for ten seconds. Drop it to the right. Hold. Now you’re ready-to-go!

4. Meditate.

You don’t have to chant, “Om.” There’s no need to contort your body into an unusual position. Heck, you can meditate from your driver’s seat. Or you could even do it during your walk.

The specifics don’t matter. Wherever you are, take a deep breath in. Let air fill your belly, chest, and lungs. Take a slow breath out. Release that air as gradually as possible. Repeat 5-10 times.

5. Read a book.

Not the whole book! That’ll put you far behind your schedule. But why not read a chapter or two? It’s good to give your brain a break from the monotony of driving.

After you escape into another world for a few minutes, you’ll feel less stressed about the trip. You’ll be more energetic and enthusiastic, which makes driving more fun.

6. Get hydrated.

Dehydration causes fatigue and a lack of focus. Both of those things can get you in trouble on the road. This is why you should always keep water inside your car.

You have two options here. The first one is more environmentally friendly. Get a reusable bottle. You can fill it up every time you stop at a rest area. Or buy bottled water. Easy, but it works!

7. People watch.

Go to a restaurant. If you’re by yourself, don’t feel weird. It’s 100% socially acceptable to eat alone. Maybe bring a book so you can follow tip #5, too? It’ll help you pass the time!

Alternatively, enjoy some good people watching. Listen to the conversations happening around you. Try not to laugh when you hear something funny. Text a friend to tell them about the crazy thing you just heard someone say out-loud.

8. See an attraction.

There are so many roadside attractions in this country. One of my favorites is the “Dog Bark Inn” (the world’s largest beagle, which also doubles as a hotel… you can sleep in its belly!).

If your passengers aren’t opposed to a scenic detour, find a roadside attraction (or several). Perhaps plan to visit one attraction towards the beginning and end of your trip to make it easy.

I hope these tips help you make the most of your next road trip pit stop. If any of your friends are traveling soon, feel free to share this blog on social media.

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