NINE TIPS FOR LONG ROAD TRIPS

1

Plan your journey and route ahead of time. Get directions sent straight to your car or phone with Destination Download.*

2

Make sure your car is road ready. Use On-Demand Vehicle Diagnostics to check oil and fluid levels, brakes, electrics, tyre pressures and other key systems. And don’t forget tyre treads – the minimum legal depth in Europe is 1.6mm although many road organisations recommend 3mm.1

3

Don’t drive tired. Get a good night’s sleep before you set off (at least seven hours) and try to avoid driving between 2am-6am and 2pm-4pm2, times when people are naturally drowsy. But anytime you’re yawning or struggling to stay awake, pull over and stop in a safe place, and get out for a breath of fresh air.

4

How long should you drive in a day? In Europe, it’s generally agreed between 9 and 10 hours.3 But stop every two hours or 200km4 and take a 15-minute break – let everyone get out and stretch their legs. If you can, share the driving.

5

Wear soft, loose clothing and comfy shoes. Keep some thin blankets in the car for your passengers and use a pillow for your back. On brighter days, you could also think about applying sunscreen to your face and hands, and keeping some sunglasses handy.

6

Fuel yourself: take vitamin-packed, healthy snacks – carrots and almonds are two examples and granola bars are a healthier option than chocolate. Make sure everyone has a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and, if you’re driving, chew sugar-free gum, as it can increase blood flow to the brain and help you concentrate.5

7

Keep everyone entertained with an in-car Wi-Fi ** package, which lets you connect up to seven devices. If you’re driving, use your hands-free in-car tech to listen to a comedy podcast or audiobook. Laughing will lift your mood and help you stay awake.6

8

Many motorways in Europe don’t allow trucks at weekends so it could be a good time to travel on them as they’re less busy.7

9

Don’t rush and don’t stress if you’re running late. You’ll feel better and you could save 10% on fuel costs if you drive at 60mph instead of 70mph.8

*Please note that some features are not available on all models
**Wi-Fi data services are provided by and require an additional account with Vodafone and Vodafone’s partner networks. Wi-Fi trial has time limit and capped data allowance. Charges apply thereafter. 4G coverage not available everywhere. Coverage, speed and availability may vary dependent on time, location and weather conditions.

  1. https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/tyres/checking-tyre-tread/
  2. https://www.greenflag.com/advice/driving/fatigue
  3. https://www.gov.uk/drivers-hours/eu-rules.
  4. http://drivingergonomics.lboro.ac.uk/faq.html
  5. https://www.runyourfleet.com/blog/2019/03/6-tips-for-driver-performance/
  6. https://cdltrainingspot.com/26-ways-to-stay-awake-while-driving-long-distances/
  7. https://www.aviva.co.uk/insurance/motor/car-insurance/driving-long-distances-with-children/
  8. https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/how-to-save-fuel-when-driving

SEVEN THINGS TO HELP YOU BEAT MOTION SICKNESS

Why do you get it? It happens when your eyes see one thing and your inner ear senses something else when you’re travelling as a passenger. Your brain gets confused and you end up feeling sick.1

It mostly affects children aged two to 12, adults who get migraines, and pregnant women, but anyone can suffer from it.

1

Before you travel, have some ginger either in a tablet, biscuit or tea.2 Ginger ale that contains real ginger can also work. But ginger shouldn’t be used by anyone taking blood thinners.3

2

You can also buy over-the-counter medicines to help prevent travel sickness (but check the label for side effects), while motion sickness patches and wristbands work for some people.

3

Don’t travel in the back seat. It can be a bumpier ride and you’ll feel more swaying as the car corners. In fact, it’s the worst place for motion sickness for 75% of sufferers.4 Either drive or ride in the passenger seat up front.

4

Don’t read or watch your mobile while you’re travelling. Listen to music or an audiobook; stimulating another sense may stop you feeling sick.

5

If you’re feeling sick, the natural thing is to close your eyes. This can help, but try staring at the horizon or the road ahead5 instead and you’ll hopefully start to feel better. And don’t look at moving objects like passing cars.

6

Avoid spicy, rich, heavy foods but eat something light. Travelling on an empty stomach can also give you motion sickness. Eat plain, dry crackers – they reduce the saliva in your mouth which can make you feel sick and sip water while you munch. Peppermint sweets or peppermint oil as an aromatherapy can help get rid of nausea, and liquorice root is a natural stomach calmer.6

7

Focus on your breathing – breathe in and out slowly and regularly. The air con may keep you cool but you need to breathe fresh air, so open the window.




If all else fails, remember this: nearly 80% of NASA astronauts experience motion sickness during space flight7 – so you’re in good company.

  1. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/motion-sickness#1
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/motion-sickness/
  3. http://www.motion-sickness-guru.com/ginger-for-motion-sickness.html
  4. https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/know-how/how-to-treat-and-prevent-motion-sickness/
  5. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/travel/how-to-deal-with-motion-sickness.html
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/motion-sickness-remedies#natura-lremedies
  7. https://www.plexusmd.com/md/post/long-term-spaceflight-‘squeezes’-the-brain-/30774

THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE BLUE ONSTAR BUTTON

We think there’s no substitute for a human connection. When you push the blue OnStar button, you’re through to someone who’s ready to help, 24/7.

We asked some of our people what they think it takes to be an OnStar Advisor and here’s what they said:

Bruno Vagenin

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Speaks Portuguese, English and Spanish
Favourite car-eoke song: All My Life – Foo Fighters

What makes a good OnStar Advisor?
“Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. That way, you can really understand the needs of each customer.“

What’s the best part of your job?
“The feeling I get from helping someone and making them happy.”

What’s your favourite OnStar service?
“Ignition blocking when a car’s been stolen. Other rescue services don’t have it. It’s great to tell a customer we’ve helped get their car back.”

Nour Thwany

Born in Algeria
Speaks English, French and Swedish
Favourite car-eoke song: 4 Non Blondes – What’s Up

What makes a good OnStar Advisor?
“Patience and empathy; you have to understand what the customer is going through. And you have to stay calm.”

What’s the best part of your job?
“The variety. Every call and every day is different, so it’s always interesting. And I enjoy working with my colleagues who are all from different backgrounds and places.”

What was your most memorable call?
“When I received a call where a small child was locked in a car. As a mother, I could identify with the situation. I was so happy to help a vulnerable child.”

Rakshan Mollova

Born in Bulgaria
Speaks Bulgarian and English
Favourite car-eoke song: Losing My Religion – R.E.M.

What makes a good OnStar Advisor?
“Most of all, patience. And quickly understanding a customer’s problem or how OnStar can help. Being a caring person is important, too.”

What’s the best part of your job?
“Helping customers and making sure they have a good experience when they call OnStar.”

Which OnStar service is your favourite?
“Automatic Crash Response, I think. If you’re alone in your car and have a crash, it’s a relief to know someone is there for you. Helping customers when this happens is very satisfying and gives me a good feeling.”

Hrvoje Bistricic

Born in Rijeka, Croatia
Speaks Croatian and English
Favourite car-eoke song: Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart

What makes a good OnStar Advisor?
“You need to be capable, efficient and listen carefully to customers to see how you can help. And it’s important to show empathy when they’re in a difficult or stressful situation.”

What’s the best part of your job?
“Using all my languages in lots of different situations. And understanding what our customers need to sort the problem and make them feel better.”

What was your most memorable call?
One of our customers reported an accident where two people in a car were hurt and immobilised. She was fine to begin with but became upset. I think it was the shock and the stress that affected her. The police thanked her and disconnected from the call but I carried on talking to the customer to reassure her that everything would be all right. I think she appreciated that.”