Are you taking a road trip this year? As we move into spring and thoughts turn to how we’ll spend our summer holidays, many of us are likely to want to hit the road and see the sights.
There are plenty of places to visit, too. Take your pick from rugged coastal roads that lead to fairytale castles and pretty pebbled beaches surrounded by picture-postcard houses.
However, whether you’re going away with your partner, friends or your family, there is a lot to think about before you set off. Road trips involve a lot of planning. To help, here’s a checklist to make sure you’re ready.
Pack the essentials
Having some key items in your car is always a good idea but especially if you’re off on a long road trip. While you’d hope that you won’t break down or get stuck because of the weather, it’s always worth being prepared.
Some of the essentials to stash in your motor include:
• GPS – having a sat nav in place, either in your car or on your phone, is useful as it will be up to date – usually detailing things like current traffic congestion and roadworks – and tell you where to go next.
• Paper map – while GPS is the technologically advanced option, it’s good to always having a paper map to fall back on should you not be able to get a signal wherever you are.
• Torch – if your car breaks down or you have a flat tyre and need to swap to a robust alternative, you’ll need to be able to see what you’re doing. Invest in a waterproof torch so that you can take a look under the bonnet in all weather conditions.
• Chargers for phones – you might be on the road for a while before you reach your destination, so having a phone charger cable that you can plug into the USB socket can be exactly what you need to power up your mobile, especially if you’re relying on it for GPS.
• Blankets and change of clothes – these are useful in case you’re in the car for a while.
• Food and drinks – even some simple snacks will come in handy if you’re stuck in traffic.
• Toilet paper and first aid kit – hopefully no one will be hurt on your road trip, but it’s always good to be prepared.
As well as packing the essentials, you’ll also need to do the following:
• Have documents ready – you’ll need paperwork for your trip. This includes driver’s licence, insurance papers, car manual, and breakdown cover documents. Have this to hand in your car.
• Check the motor – before you hit the road, it’s important that your car is running smoothly. Check things like the tyres, windscreen wipers and oil and coolant levels. If you’d feel more comfortable, it may be worth getting it serviced before you set off.
• Take tools – in case of a breakdown, have things like a jack, wrench and wheel chock in your car so that you’re prepared.
Where are you going for your road trip this year?