How to plan a long road trip

Road trips can create memories that will last forever. There’s nothing quite like packing up the car, picking up your mates and heading towards the horizon. Whether it is for a UK trip or a jaunt across Europe, you’ll never forget how much fun you had on a road trip. To make sure you are ready for most eventualities, then run through our checklist which can help you avoid any potential pitfalls you may encounter:

Plan your stops

Embarking on a long trip can seem daunting, but by breaking it down into manageable chunks, with rest stops and stopovers, can make life easier. Get out your map or route planner and discover places where you will be happy to stop and explore over a couple of days to refresh your batteries. This will help build up excitement for your impending trip and ensure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew on what will be an enjoyable but exhausting journey.

Pack the driving essentials

The best drivers are always prepared with the vital documents and driving essentials, especially on a long trip. Have your driving license, logbook, car insurance documents and vital numbers handy; as well as your green card (proof you have insurance when abroad). If you are planning on heading to Europe then make sure you have your GB stickers displayed on your license plates; as well as a reflective jacket and a warning triangle in the boot (a requirement in many countries). For added peace of mind have a first aid kit with you, a torch and some loose change.

Pack those creature comforts

You are going to be spending a lot of time in your car so you need to be prepared for anything. Pack suitable clothes in case of cold weather, sunglasses and essential toiletries to keep you fresh at all times. Make sure you have food and drink in the car as you are bound to encounter rough patches of bad traffic at some point. To stave off boredom get your music and audio books ready for extended period on long straight motorways.

Prepare your car

So you’ve prepared yourself for how you will cope with long stretches in the car, but have you made sure your vehicle is in tip top condition and ready for the exertions you’re going to put it through? Engine-wise check your car’s oil, coolant and washer fluid and be sure to keep them topped up ready for a long journey. Correct your tyre pressures, given that you will have more heavy gear and people in your car than ordinarily, and check the tread too. Be sure to inspect your lights too so you don’t get pulled over for something avoidable like a faulty light.

Get the right cover

You’re going to be travelling vast distances on your road trip, perhaps taking in many countries, so having the right insurance and breakdown cover is vital. Most policies will include some European travel but do check that you are fully covered when out of the country for a long period. If you are breaking up the driving between you and your friends then make sure they have the right level of cover to allow them to drive your car and be comprehensively insured just in case.

Tick all these off your list and you are set for the trip of a lifetime! Enjoy…

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