Travelling in Spring
As we approach the midway point of spring, the weather here in Queensland continues to get hotter and more humid with each passing day.
Whether we realise it or not, the increase in temperature does impact on several aspects of travelling from point A to point B, whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure. Failing to account for these spring-inspired variables can make a simple trip more problematic than what it needs to be.
Chances are you would already be taking fluids with you during a spring or summer trip, but the importance of having water with you is absolutely paramount when dealing with high temperatures and excessive humidity. When you combine the two, it makes it very easy for you to rapidly become dehydrated and, as a result, sick or exhausted. Whether it’s water or products such as Powerade, you’ll want fluids that are there to keep you hydrated. This will help stave off dehydration and the health risks it can cause.
Sugar / energy
While fluids keep you hydrated, you’ll also need energy. Sugar is one great way to have shorts bursts of energy, to keep you more alert while driving. However, obviously sugar won’t work for everyone dependent on medical conditions or other possible health-related factors. What you need to make sure of is that you have some source of energy on you, be it snacks, sandwiches, stopping off for meals or even getting some shut-eye. The more time you spend in the sun, the more lethargic it’ll tend to make you feel.
This one doesn’t need much of an explanation. In Australia, the spring sun can often be as strong – if not worse – than many other countries’ summer sun. To avoid severe sunburn, keep sunscreen on you at all times and remember to reapply it every few hours.
Keep an eye on your engine
As conditions are harder and temperatures more fierce, that naturally means that your engine is going to get hotter quicker. Provided your vehicle is in good condition, it’s unlikely your engine will overheat, but the chances are still far more likely than they are during the end of autumn and all of winter. Regardless of whether your vehicle is likely to overheat, stop from time to time so that both you and it can recover.
Be mindful of air conditioning
It’s a given that in the hotter months you’re more than likely going to use your air conditioner. This is certainly something we encourage, but it’s also to be mindful of a couple of things. First of all, there’s fuel consumption. The longer your air conditioning is on, the quicker your fuel will be consumed.
A second factor is the matter of recycled air versus incoming air. While recycled air helps keep unpleasant exterior smells (such other cars’ fumes, fertiliser, etc.), it also allows carbon dioxide to build up, which leads to tiredness. So from time to time be sure to change to incoming air or at least wind your windows down for a few minutes to get some fresh air in.
The final factor has to do with how air conditioners work. Without getting too complicated, air conditioning effectively removes the moisture from the air and replaces it with drier cool (or hot) air. Because the moisture is removed, it also means your skin dries out and you will become dehydrated. So while it will make your trip more pleasant, you will need to drink more water to remain properly hydrated.
What other tips do you believe are worth mentioning when travelling in spring? Share your pointers in the comments below.