36877123 - distracted exhausted tired woman driving a car late at night.Let’s say you’ve planned your road trip for months now. You’ve checked off all the checkboxes on your to-do list, packed everything you could possibly need and you’re ready to go. But by the time you reach your destination, you are exhausted and cranky.

What is it about driving that makes us so tired?

Obviously, if you are driving late at night, then part of the problem is that your body is wired to sleep. And if you are driving in the afternoon, especially if you had a big mid-day meal, then your body is also likely to be ready for some rest. But more than those natural inclinations for rest, driving is a tiring activity. Driving takes concentration and focus, so it is a mentally draining activity. It is also physically draining. That same mental stress takes a toll on your body. So if you want to arrive safely at your destination and feel like you are ready to enjoy yourself, these tips can help:

1. Take regular breaks. Stop every couple of hours. Get out of the car, walk and stretch. Try a few yoga stretches.

2. Have a snack – preferably while you are stopped. Lots of people snack while they drive. But snacking can cause problems if you choose foods that are messy or difficult to eat. Opt for foods that are easy to handle (and healthy). Consider snacks like apples, cheese sticks, pretzels and granola bars.

3. Schedule in some activities. You are probably anxious to reach your final destination. But why not make the most of the trip and visit some interesting tourist or historical sites along the way?

4. Take a nap. Stop at a rest area and, well, rest. Recline your seat or even stretch out in the back seat and take a little nap. Even a short nap can help you feel refreshed.

Long car trips can be exhausting, but they can also be fun and exciting. Keep these suggestions in mind so that you are ready to enjoy your time away.