Travel Tip: Lay Off The Caffeine

In my last travel trip, I talked about not being able to see it all in a single trip. One of the main limitations that causes this is the limited amount of time you have to travel. In most cases, you want to jam as many things as you can in this time and often you see sleeping as something that is unproductive to your goals of the trip.

While many people don’t consider caffeine a drug, it is in fact a drug and is essentially the most used and abused drug on the market. I mean walk into a gas station. What do you see? There’s a bunch of different ways to get your fix. You have the classic method of drinking coffee. If you want something sweeter, you go over to the soda section. If soda isn’t potent enough, there’s energy drinks to really kick you into gear. If you’re not in the mood to drink anything, just down a caffeine pill. Any of these methods will kick you into gear and allow you to ignore the little requirement of sleep your body seems to always want to impose on your at the most inconvenient times.

I’m not saying to become a complete teetotaler of caffeine. I personally still use it and it can be a useful tool to keep you awake in certain situations that would otherwise be dangerous. What I am saying is like any drug, you need to learn moderation and knowing when it is and isn’t appropriate to take it. The biggest thing is knowing when to lay off of the caffeine.

If you’ve read this blog, you know one of the local products I search for is coffee. I’m not one to typically turn down a good cup (or two) of coffee in the morning. I do find that this will give you a little pep in the morning that typically wears off as time goes on.

I used to be one of those people who would chug energy drinks as I tried to push myself as far as possible. When I’d start getting tired, I’d crank out some more caffeine to keep me going as I drove through the night. Eventually, the caffeine wouldn’t do much, so I’d find a place to sleep. A major issue with this is, even though I was physically exhausted, my brain was still wired by the caffeine and it made it difficult to sleep. I have since learned that it’s best to stop drinking caffeinated beverages after early afternoon if you don’t want to get this wired feeling.

Another issue I have found is you get used to being pepped up all the time with caffeine and it’s no longer a quick pick me up, but something you have to depend on. Like I said, caffeine is a drug. It’s one of the only socially accepted drugs out there and is readily available. These two things make it very easy to get hooked on it and now you need it to push you through the day.

It’s tempting to use caffeine as a crutch to push you to do more when you’re tired. I have done it in the past and I know I will do it in the future. There’s nothing wrong with a good cup of coffee in the morning or a pick me up to prevent a dangerous situation from occurring. It just shouldn’t be used as a given and become necessary for you to function normally while you travel. Plain and simple, know when to lay off the caffeine.

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