So you’re about to embark on a road trip, and you’ve planned everything down to the smallest detail. You’ve got your stops mapped out, your snacks packed, your mix CDs made and you’re ready to hit the road. You start driving, only to realize that having several people crammed in a car driving in the heat isn’t quite as much fun as you thought it would be, solely because you’re not sure if that horrendous stench of onions and vinegar is coming from you or your girlfriend sitting in the seat next to you.
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This road trip disaster scenario is all too common, and it is entirely preventable. Road tripping doesn’t have to be plagued with putrid smells and the uncomfortable feeling of knowing you smell less than pleasant. These helpful tips and tricks will help prevent a variety of unpleasant smells on your next road trip and keep everyone in the car smelling fresh for the duration of the drive.
Ban Shoes from the Car
My boyfriend is in a band, and when he came home from touring the Southwest this spring I heard more complaining about the smell of feet in the tour van than I ever wanted to hear. Combine a few people in a small space with extreme heat and humidity for 10-15 hours at a time and you’re sure to become overwhelmed with the scent of stinky feet even if everyone is wearing socks and are not traveling musicians. To prevent this from happening on your next road trip, opt to enforce a strict “no shoes” policy and have everyone wear rubber sandals or flip flops when in the car instead. This way you will not have bacteria building up in your socks and shoes when you sweat. Keep shoes, socks and boots securely packed away in luggage outside of the main car area, such as in your trunk or a trailer if you are traveling with one.
Bring Baby Wipes
Baby wipes are a must when traveling long distance by car, especially if your road trip will occur during the summer months or take you through a hot, humid area. Baby wipes have a nice fresh fragrance to them that will counteract body odor as you sweat in the heat. Just bring a package along and wipe yourselves down with one or two wipes every time you need to freshen up.
Keep Deodorant in the Car
When my best friend and I took a road trip to Arizona last summer, we decided to keep our deodorants in the main car area instead of packing them with our luggage in the trunk. This ended up being a life saver as soon as we hit the Phoenix Valley and were hit by a wave of 115 degree heat, especially because we had put deodorant on before leaving Denver almost 13 hours earlier. Keeping your deodorant close by will make freshening up with a new application quick and easy without having to make any extra stops on your road trip.
Steer Away from Gas Causing Foods
When packing snacks and stopping for meals, avoid foods known for causing flatulence such as beans. If you are even slightly lactose-intolerant, keep away from foods containing dairy. This way you will not have to deal with any of the inconveniences of gas such as the smell or having to stop for frequent bathroom breaks.
Keep the Car Ventilated
Letting in some fresh air periodically will eliminate the smell of stale air that accompanies sitting in a car for hours at a time. Open your car’s air vents to allow air to stream through, or crack the windows for a few minutes instead of running the AC non stop.