The best road trips are those that are with friends rather than family and with frequent stops for refreshments, toilet breaks, leg-stretching, back straightening out and neck-flexing.
A touring holiday has the potential for being gleefully surprised by breath-taking beauty on an unplanned route, or the same off-map/off-plan road can find the travelers bickering and sniping over who’s good at map-reading, who’s actually navigating, whether the driver was told about a turn off in time and how quickly they can rectify a mistake in given directions. Friendships will fray, family drama’s will escalate beyond all home-based arguments and arguments will take longer to diffuse when cooped up in a tin-can travelling at 80 mph over hot, dusty, boring roads.
If planned well, the journey will be part of the holiday and the arrival at each destination will be the icing on the cake. A road trip allows for lots of time for friendships to grow and flourish, it being easy to talk during the long periods of sitting together with only the views and the pressure on the bladder to occupy one’s thoughts. Sitting next to each other encourages frank and open conversation and those who don’t know each other well will find sharing confidences and emotions much easier than sitting across from each other, or grouped together as is normally the case in a social situation.
Comfort is a priority and each member of the travel party should take responsibility for bringing along some form of cushioning, pillows, blankets – more than necessary for just themselves would spread goodwill.
Lumbar support for the driver is essential – as is sharing the driving. Aside from children, any adult without a driving license (international if not a US citizen) is a passenger in more than just the obvious way and could be considered a free-loading, parasitic waste of space in the middle of one of those high temperature dust-ups.
The RDK mobility support cushion is an inexpensive essential and clocks up less than a tenner in the UK. It has the benefit of being inflatable, so will pack easily for the flight, or you could even use it for support on the plane over to the US.
Passengers will enjoy the passive part of the journey with good travel pillows supporting necks, backs, shoulders and even under the knees to stop getting really stiff knee-joints. Memory foam cushions are a great way to mould the pillow to the use at a specific time and part of the body.
This one from Daniel comes in its own little bag, although is not cheap at over £40 when adding delivery charges.
Another option for a customized version is to order cushion foam by cutfoam to get something reasonable in price and exactly what is fit for purpose.
In getting cutfoam to supply the inner, you can then choose the fabric to cover the cushion and get the benefits of a better quality of fabric cover, most comfortable – and removeable and washable so that you can still bear for it to be near your nose at the end of the journey.
The old faithful neck-support now comes in many shapes and sizes and this one from The Jet Rest will only set you back around £15 – although the smug sleeping pose might annoy fello w passengers who may be restless.
However you choose to support yourselves physically on a long journey or a road trip, it is important to be considerate of other passengers and understand that each will want to stop at different times, frequencies and locations, that there may be consequences to food types ingested and that sharing the driving will make for a much happier arrival for all travelling.