Foreign travel will remain elusive for many Britons this summer, with most people less than keen on the idea of weeks in isolation when they return. Luckily, the UK has a vast array of stunning scenery that’s just calling out to be explored on a road trip, from picturesque rivers and lochs to sandy beaches and rocky coves.
No matter where you decide to go, it’s critical that you’ve packed everything you need and your car (and party) is prepared for the long journey ahead. Here are some tips on making the trip go smoothly:
Share the drive and take breaks
Some people enjoy driving more than others, but the reality is that a road trip will include some very long periods behind the wheel and to stay safe and alert on the roads it is recommended to only drive for around two or three hours at a time before taking a break. If the driving is left up to just one of you then that means stopping off for regular breaks at service stations, but if you want to get there faster and share the load – then share the driving.
If someone in the car is a little nervous to get behind the wheel after a year of being stuck at home, then a quick refresher from instructors at driving schools in Birmingham and beyond could put their mind at ease.
Pack road trip essentials
You should hope for the best but plan for the worst on road trips, so you are ready for whatever is thrown at you. Here are some essential items that you should never forget.
- Important documents – make sure you have your driving license, insurance documents, and breakdown cover information with you in the car.
- Sat nav or download offline maps to your phone – you never know when you will go out of signal
- First aid kit – keep a first-aid kit in your boot that includes plasters, bandages, painkillers, antihistamines, and cortisone cream for insect bites.
- Torch – your phone may have a torch, but a spare one in the car for times when your phone battery runs out is always useful
- Chargers and adapters – you may be relying on your phone for both directions and communication, so you want to make sure you can keep it charged.
- Cash – London may be largely cashless, but that is not true for everywhere and you may need some change for parking.
- Sunglasses – You are hoping for sunshine
- Clothes for the wet and the cold – British weather is notoriously unpredictable.
- Music and games – Everyone needs to stay entertained and awake. Maybe download a few Spotify or Apple Music playlists to your phone for when you go out of signal.
- Drinks and snacks – Make sure you have a couple of litres of water in the boot for emergencies, but also remember that people like to graze during car journeys, so pack some crisps, sweets, and other treats.
Pre-road trip car maintenance checks
We should all be doing regular maintenance checks on our cars, but when you are about to drive a long distance it is critical to give your car a once-over before you hit the road. And make sure you leave enough time to take the car to a mechanic if you do find some issues. You should check:
- Oil – do a dipstick test to make sure your car’s engine has enough lubrication.
- Coolant – check your coolant to make sure your car stays cool in the heat
- Tyres – check the tyre pressure and tread depth on each wheel
- Lights – test to make sure all your lights are working, including break lights, fog lights, and indicators.
- Washer fluid – clean windows will help you see more clearly and avoid any dangers on the road, so make sure the fluid is topped up.
Once you’ve made the right preparations, you’re ready for a fun week or two making the most of the UK’s beautiful scenery and attractions.