If you’re hitting the road this summer, it’s important to get organised. Even though it might be tempting to pack your bags and go as soon as the day comes around, being prepared helps you to deal with any unexpected hiccups along the way.
Whether you’re heading away with your partner, a close friend, or the whole family, it’s always worth knowing how to make your holiday run as smoothly as possible.
Road Tripping: Why Holiday by Car?
Embarking on a road trip can be one of the most memorable ways to spend the summer holidays. In many cases, it will also be cheaper than flying abroad with the whole family – and should give you more freedom over your chosen activities and destinations too. Wherever you’re headed next, check our top tips below to stay one step ahead on the journey.
5 Essential Reminders for a Road Rrip
- Plan your itinerary first
When you’re heading away on a road trip, you should never leave without a plan. While there might be diversions along the way to sites of interest, restaurants, or beaches, you’ll need to have an idea of where you’re headed next.
With a planned route, you can stick to a schedule for each destination. Include a bit of leeway on your plan for sightseeing and picnic spots – and then allow yourself to take the moments as they come. Don’t forget to book or reserve your spot at popular attractions further in advance, either.
- Check your car before you leave
According to the Which? 2021 car survey, almost half of all breakdowns in the UK happen at home, either on the doorway or just before setting off. The last thing you’d want is not to be able to set off on your holiday at all, so it’s always worth doing some essential maintenance checks.
Along with a quick check of your screen wash, engine oil and coolant levels, make sure you have sufficient tyre tread depth and pressure too. And since you’re likely to be driving in the heat, booking a car air conditioning regas will ensure that your car keeps you cool and comfortable for the entire duration of your holiday.
- Keep yourself sun-safe
Getting active in the summer is incredible, but you should never underestimate the danger of intense heat and sunshine. Try to keep yourself cool by wearing breathable layers, seeking some shade, and using your air-conditioning in the car.
When you’re outside, make sure to apply sunscreen every two to three hours, especially if you’re normally prone to sunburn. Keep your eyes safe from those harmful rays with a sturdy pair of sunglasses, preferably with a high UV rating.
Lastly, make sure you’re drinking enough water while you’re on the move. To reduce the need for buying bottled water, you can buy large water storage containers to keep in your boot.
- Take regular breaks
It’s easy to get carried away with the adventure and forget that driving takes a toll on both your mind and your body. Make sure you take scheduled breaks on the way – and if you and your travel companion are both insured on the car, why not take it turns to drive?
It’s estimated that over a quarter of UK holidaymakers go for five hours at a time while driving abroad, but this is a dangerous habit to get into. Rather than feeling determined to reach your destination as quickly as possible, you should take short, 15-minute breaks for around every two hours of driving.
- Keep some essentials in the car
Last, but not least, you should always try and prepare for emergencies. Keeping a screwdriver and a towbar wiring kit is always sensible, along with checking that your car is already equipped with an emergency triangle, wheel locking nut, and basic tools.
Where your own health is concerned, try to pack basic supplies too. These might include a small first-aid kit, insect repellent, and over-the-counter medicines.