So a lot of these "hacks" are more useful for people who are on the road for a day or two, but many will still be useful to people who live in their van. Enjoy!
Step 1: Minimize Bathroom Breaks on the Road!
Let's face it, none of us are superhuman enough to hold it in the whole trip, and it doesn't help matters that all of the people in the car are VERY un-synchronized. But all hope is not lost! With a little preparation, you can make it a lot easier to go the whole day without a stop. What's the secret? Carbohydrates! Eat a lot of whole grains the night before your trip and continue to eat carbohydrates throughout the trip and you will see a significant reduction in the frequency of rest stops.
When you consume carbohydrate, the excess energy isn't converted to fat, instead it either goes straight to the muscles in the form of glycogen, or it goes to waste. For every gram of glycogen in your muscles, 2.7 grams of water are also stored. So if you "carb-load" the night before the big day, and then continually consume carbohydrates throughout the trip, you will retain a lot more water.
It is important to make sure to eat whole grains (or at least almost whole grains) as opposed to white bread or sugars as you will soon regret eating that many simple carbohydrates. As long as you eat mostly complex carbohydrates, you won't feel terrible.
Also, it is important to get plenty of nutrients, which is difficult since most of your dinner calories are carbohydrates. So it is not advisable to do this for longer than two days. Be sure to get plenty of vegetables and protein and whatever else you have been neglecting in favor of carbohydrates as soon as the trip is over.
Lastly, the amount of water you retain is dependent upon the amount of carbohydrates you consume, so the more you eat, the more effective this will be. Just be sure not to overdo it, as excess water retention will make you feel a tad bloated.
Step 2: Make Super Ice!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Lemon juice, salt, water, water bottle (optional), re-sealable sandwich bags, and twist ties/rubber bands (optional).
1. Mix one cup of water, 1/4 of a cup of lemon juice, and 4 tablespoons of salt together in a water bottle and shake (you can mix it any way you want, a water bottle is just easier).
2. Pour into a sandwich bag and seal with a twist tie around the top.
3. Put into the freezer and wait. When it emerges frozen and victorious, it will be a lot colder than regular ice.
The lemon juice works because it has a significantly lower freezing temperature than water, so by diluting it, we are getting the best properties of both water and lemon juice.
The salt works because it's dissolved molecules disrupt the water molecules' ability to draw together and bond. Since the salt is now in the way of the freezing process, the temperature at which the water will freeze is significantly lowered, allowing it to get colder, since water usually stops getting colder as soon as it turns into ice.
Ordinary ice rests at 32 deg. Fahrenheit, but this recipe rests just around 8 deg. Fahrenheit.
The twist ties will serve a purpose in hack #3, if you don't want to use that hack and instead want to use them as super ice in your cooler, feel free to freeze them into whatever shape you want.
Since we are using salt to lower the temperature, this will turn into a slush of ice instead of just a solid block.
Step 3: Super Cold AC!
If you take the super ice from hack #2, and hang it in front of your AC vent, it will make the air coming out of it a lot colder. Just wrap a string around the rear view mirror and then tie it around the twist tie on the super ice and you have yourself some COLD air!
I hope I don't have to explain how this works, but just in case, here goes. The air coming out of the vents is cold, but the super ice is colder. When the not-so-cold air comes into contact with the wow-incredibly-cold-wow super ice, it gets some of the coldness.
Step 4: Alleviate Road Sickness!
Let's face it, when road sickness comes, we usually fight it by snacking even though we aren't even remotely hungry. And well this does work, it can often replace the nausea with a lethargy caused by eating WAY too much (trust me, I've been there). But eating isn't the only way to alleviate road sickness, just getting simple exercise can do so much to fight that nausea.
I get it, you're in the car and don't exactly have a built in Planet Fitness waiting for you in the back seat. But there are space effective ways to get exercise while sitting in your seat. My personal favorite is using a resistance band and wrapping in underneath your seat so that both of the handles are in your lap, ready for some arm curls.
This is also useful if you are following the high carb diet from hack #1, as exercise will prevent you from feeling lethargic due to all of the carbs. Not to mention, if you are taking a road trip to the beach, the carbs combined with the workout might help you get in shape just in time.(;
Do pardon the mess on the seat. I guess you can tell I do spend a lot of time on the road, ha.
Step 5: Fight Exhaustion With Wake Up Spray!
You're out on the road the sun goes down, you're eyes go down, but unfortunately, you're speed did not get the memo. You're chances of a crash go up. You're coffee's effect is weakening, and you can no longer distinguish between dreams and reality. But what if there was a fast acting stimulant that you could spray on your face to wake you up? Well, perhaps there is, and you can make it from the stuff in your kitchen!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Water, lemon juice, rosemary, and a spray bottle (you can adjust the proportions to reflect the size you are using if need be).
Shake up 4 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of rosemary in the spray bottle. That's it! Just spray it on your face or arms to give yourself a jolt of energy on the trip.
Some people may have adverse reactions to these ingredients, be sure to test it on yourself before using it extensively. This is also edible, if you feel the need to spray it into your mouth for a sharp awakening.
This also has a very pleasant scent to it.
Step 6: Thanks for Reading!
This was my first Instructable, so feel free to give me tips in the comments, I'd appreciate it.
Also, please note that I am not a professional chemist or anything like that, but I did test all of these hacks myself, and they worked for me.