How to prepare for a long road trip

Date posted: April 30, 2014

A summer road trip is a memorable and fun experience for most, but going unprepared can leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouth who is involved. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a car with a group of your friends for hours, bored out of your mind, so be prepared and follow these tips to ensure that your trip goes off without a hitch!

Ensure your car is up to it

If your car has been reliable for several years, now more than ever is the time to have a good look over it. Make sure the oil and water is topped up, the tyres have enough tread and are pumped up properly, and that you’ve got anything fixed on the car that needs it.

You should also invest in breakdown insurance if you haven’t got any, as there’s nothing worse than breaking down at the side of the road with a car full of people and no backup plan!

Plan your route

It’s all to easy to rely on GPS and satnavs to tell you where to go, but familiarising yourself with the route means that there are no unexpected surprises on the way. Look at the route you’ve planned out beforehand and note any places of interest or areas you think you may need to be aware of, such as if the route leads you down a country lane or through a complicated one way system.

It’s particularly useful to have a backup paper map in case batteries die, or you’re in an area that doesn’t have great mobile phone signal.

Take breaks

Driving for a long time can be boring, especially if you’re doing a lot of motorway driving, and that can be dangerous. What’s more, your passengers will want to get out and stretch their legs, so making regular stops is the ideal way to ensure the mood in the car remains happy. Use the time to  refresh yourself for the next leg of your journey.

If possible, you may want to switch drivers if your trip is particularly long, to give yourself a rest. A fresh pair of eyes is also ideal if you’re travelling for a long time and are at risk of tiring.

Make sure everyone is comfortable

Provide mini fans if the weather is particularly hot, so everyone can have their own personal air conditioner, and blankets if the weather may turn cold. Ensure that there is a water supply in the car so everyone can stay hydrated, and keep a supply of travelling snacks so that you don’t have to make frequent stops to quench everyone’s hunger and thirst.

Decide on a playlist before you set off too – you don’t want to be distracted by everyone arguing over what they want to listen to on the radio! And if all else fails, have a few backup car games to play: they may be cheesy but they will keep the morale up if you’ve been travelling for hours.

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