Ok so continuing this weeks Nervous traveller series, I am going to share with you how I have learned to deal with being a nervous car traveller.
I think the first thing and the most important thing is that if you have to be a passenger in someone else’s car, then where possible honesty is the best policy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard to be vulnerable in front of people, especially if it’s just getting a lift to someone from work, but I think it’s important to remember a few things.
I grew up in a family where just my dad could drive, which ultimately meant he was in charge in the car. He wasn’t a fan of stopping mid-journey unless either we were on a super-long trip or, of course, if he needed a comfort break. But here’s the thing, people joke before journeys “has everyone been to the loo” with the implication that cars can’t stop between A and B. But of COURSE they can stop and if you need to stop for any reason, just tell your driver. If you have to insist, do so. I think that knowing that this is OK and make the decision to do this, if you need to, can really help anxiety. If you are friends or even friendly with your driver, then it might be worth warning them beforehand, even if you do this by text, then at least everyone knows.
All of the above applies if you ever have to give someone you don’t know a lift and this also makes you nervous. Anxiety around this can happen for many reasons, my personal issue is that I worry I might need to stop and go to the loo, so I am not keen on having new passengers. But in this situation, as the driver, I need to remember that I am in control of the car and if I have to make a detour, it’s not that big of a deal. I can also refuse to take a passenger, if I am not up to it and the world will carry on turning.
In term of navigation, I would always recommend the obvious GPS device in your car. I have had one since 2005, starting off with the original TomTom and then graduating to a Nissan Note with in-built GPS. I have also recently used Waze and TomTom for the iPhone as well as the ever reliable Google Maps. My particular favourite at the moment is Waze as I like the map and it connects to Spotify.
I would also pack the requisite drink & snack for long journeys as you just never know when you might get stuck. Now reading this back, lots of these tips are obvious, but hand reminders if I ever feel my natural anxieties start to get the better of me.
Good luck and do let me know of any car travel tips you have found work for you.
p.s. have you found good travel sickness pills that work for you?