Tips for a successful road trip

Three tips from the psychologist for summer road trips

For many Nordic citizens summer holidays mean driving south. SOS International psychologist Emma Alvius gives three tips for a successful road trip.

After two years with Covid, we are entering a summer with more opportunities to go out in the car and travel the world, and with the summer rush on the motorways, unforeseen delays can quickly occur.

Emma Alvius, a psychologist at SOS International’s Healthcare division, shares three tips for holiday motorists.

Prepare all the practicalities before departure

It can be frustrating for the whole family to encounter obstacles on a self-drive holiday.

That is why, according to Emma, it is beneficial for everyone to prepare mentally for the fact that the trip might not go according to plan:

“When you have prepared all the practical things for the unexpected, you will also be better able to cope mentally when it actually happens. The trip may not go according to plan, but if you and the rest of the family are prepared for it, it usually doesn’t feel as bad when it does. In fact, a large part of our psychological well-being lies in the practical things,” says Emma Alvius.

She points out that practical preparations can include packing extra necessities like entertainment, food and drink to keep everyone full and occupied if the drive drags on.

Read more: Tips and tricks for a holiday in an electric car

Stay in a good mood

On road trips, we often spend many hours on the road in a packed car. With delays such as punctures or traffic jams, it can sometimes be hard to keep your spirits up, and you might take it out on other motorists.

The psychologist warns against letting irritation lead to shouting at other drivers - it creates a bad atmosphere in the car and increases the risk of accidents.

“It’s easy to get frustrated if you are waiting in a queue, which can lead to inappropriate behaviour towards other road users and passengers. You can remedy this by focusing on staying in a good mood from home. For example, with good music, podcasts or audio books. Channel your attention to something else, which can help you better deal with the situation,” says Emma.

Keep a cool head and allocate roles in advance

Should a critical situation arise during the trip, it’s essential to keep a cool head and think of alternative solutions.

“If the car needs to be repaired on the way, find out what is nearby to keep the family busy while the car is being fixed. And of course, it’s good to check beforehand that you have the right insurance. It’s also a good idea to have the phone number of your insurance company handy, so you can get help quickly if something goes wrong,” says Emma Alvius.

If you are travelling with children, it’s an excellent idea to allocate roles at home. So, the adult who is not behind the wheel is responsible for the children and their needs, while the driver can focus on driving and practical matters should unforeseen situations arise.

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