How to Prepare for a Road Trip

When the weather is nice, there isn’t much better than hitting the open road and setting off on a road trip. From driving through quiet countryside’s and winding roads to cutting through new towns and tourist attractions, a road trip can offer a completely new travel experience.

The only drawback of going on a road trip is the planning stages. Every successful road trip comes with a solid plan behind it, right from what to pack in the car with you, to the best driving routes, the music, and the road trip buddies!

If you know where you plan to go, don’t hold back from doing some research online beforehand. Ask friends and family who have been there before if they have any advice and work out a route personalized to you and where you want to visit.  

Below, we’ve put together some advice around helping you with the planning process. It’s important to stay safe, have fun and to make it a success!

1.Plan every little detail

In order to have a good time – but a safe time too – put lots of effort into organising and planning the trip from start to finish. Of course, last-minute excursions can be fun and exciting, but you’re likely to run into a few problems.

The most important thing to plan is the route, therefore you should always ensure you have both a GPS sat nav system, as well as a traditional map to hand. Before you set off, look at the route online and use Google Maps for estimated times by putting in the desired time you aim to set off. 

Weather is another factor to plan around. Always check the forecast on the days running up to the trip, as driving in heavy rain will not make an ideal setting.

2. Fully check your car out first

If you must, book your car in with a mechanic first if you know your road trip is going to cover a few days’ worth of driving. It might be that you need an oil change or even new tires. If you don’t know about these issues beforehand, and they happen to come to light halfway through your trip, you’ll find yourself in a tricky situation.

It goes without saying to plan where you will find petrol stations along your route, too. Make sure you set off with a full tank and have mapped out where you will stop when your fuel tank gets low.

3. Take breaks regularly

Long hours in the car driving may seem exciting at first, but it can soon become monotonous and your eyes can quickly get tired.

Before you set off, mark out various place where you will pull in for breaks. If the weather is going to be nice when you are driving, try to stop off near pretty lakes, rivers or country parks, where you can enjoy stretching your legs and going for a walk.

You may just want to place down a picnic rug and enjoy taking time out to read a book, play some games or take time out to put a bet on lottery jackpots.

The important thing here is to remember how important it is that your road trip companions will make great travel friends for you. The road trip can be long, and with regular stop offs for lunch breaks, walks and chill out time, it’s important to spend it with those who you’ll enjoy their company.

4. Have an emergency kit to hand

No one likes to think about the negative, but if you set off without an emergency kit prepared in the car, you could be in trouble should something happen. Even the most basic of emergency kits are useful, like those filled with plasters, bandages and antiseptic wipes.

However, a full emergency kit will give you complete peace of mind. For example, you have a spare tire, a tire gauge, jump leads and a basic set of tools to help you with any car problems.

Your emergency kit should also include items which prepare you for any bad weather. This can include warm clothes, sun cream, blankets, water supplies, a torch, spare chargers, matches, and anything that could help save your life if you were to be stranded.  

5. Clean the car and have breakdown recovery in place

Joining a roadside breakdown recovery program is one of the most important things you can do.  If you happen to break down, you simply call up the company and someone can be out to you to come to the rescue. This can cover everything from fixing flat tires, jump starting the car if the battery dies and there are no other cars around, opening up your doors if you get locked out, and also recue you if you run out of fuel.

It’s worth getting your car cleaned out fully on the inside as well as the outside, so you can enjoy your car trip in the cleanest possible environment.

Above all else, make it a fun time! Plan a great music playlist to play throughout which appeals to all the passengers, bring a selection of your favourite car snacks, and start making some memories!

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