Summer is upon us, and given the stream of heat waves that keep hitting us, it seemingly isn’t going to be over anytime soon. The (sometimes insufferable) heat, paired with the cost of living crisis, has seen many of us itching to get away from our stuffy homes but in a cost-effective manner in order to save our pennies. A road trip is an ideal solution to cheaper holidaying, whilst also being heaps of fun. If you’re thinking of hitting the roads for a memorable trip in your whip, you may wish to review our checklist before you get behind the wheel.
The first thing to make sure is that your vehicle is road-trip-ready. It is highly advisable to take it to be serviced so that a professional can inspect its engine oil, lights, tyres, exhausts, brakes, steering, fluid and coolant levels, suspension, battery – need we go on? There’s no question that your safety is a top priority, so it is of the utmost importance to see that your vehicle will not fail you when you’re out on the roads. If you haven’t got it already, make sure you invest in a roadside recovery service to save a whole lot of trouble should you break down during your journey.
On another safety-related note, remember to stow a First Aid kit in your car in case of minor injuries along the journey.
Make it Eco-Friendly
Since road tripping can be pretty costly in terms of fuel, not to mention that it isn’t the most environmentally-friendly way to travel, why not rent an EV? You may have never previously thought of a road trip as being compatible with an electric car, but hear us out.
Going electric could make for a transformative experience, as charging an EV costs considerably less than filling your car with petrol or diesel. Another factor that makes an EV a compelling choice to serve as your road trip vehicle is that they provide an altogether smoother driving experience, thanks to the lack of noise (due to the lack of engine) and the firmer suspension compared to that of a petrol or diesel model.
The idea of charging the EV is a source of concern for many road users. It’s quite simple: every time you stop, just place your car on charge as you would your mobile phone, and leave it to garner some battery. Whether you leave it to charge overnight as you sleep or you use EV charging stations as you stretch your legs and go for a coffee in a service station, charging doesn’t have to be a stressful exercise. Even less stressful: locating a fast-charging station can be done easily via an EV charging application on your smartphone.
Going electric also means zero emissions as you drive, making your holiday much greener than it would have been in a regular vehicle – how many more reasons must we provide before you’re convinced?
Have Your Audio Entertainment Ready
It is a good idea to have your entertainment pre-planned and downloaded before setting out on a road trip in case of ropey data that may prevent you from streaming. Start a shared playlist with your travel buddies consisting of your favourite on-the-road anthems, podcasts and audiobooks to make the time pass quickly while driving to your destinations.
Just make sure that if it’s a podcast or audiobook, the voice isn’t too soothing – we don’t want the driver being too relaxed on the road! The more grating the voice, the better.
Protect Your Posture
It is easy to slip into a slouch when driving, but the last thing you want or need during a road trip is a sore back. Make sure you are checking your posture every so often and getting regular breaks off the motorway to walk around between lengthy periods of driving.
For those extra concerned about protecting their backs, there are plenty of posture-correcting tools out there to keep your back in check as you drive.
Divide and Conquer
Road trips are better if the labour is divided equally among the travellers. This means making sure that there isn’t only one designated driver nor one strong navigator on the trip. Take turns doing these tasks to allow everyone a break.
Get someone to be in charge of bringing the snacks and another to bring blankets and cushions – whatever you feel your road trip needs, divvy up the chores equally.
Account for the Boring Stuff
Though dull, the administrative side of road tripping is a necessary evil. Have a think about how you’ll navigate yourself: will it be Google maps? Or a trusty A to Z? If you’re going digital, you may want to pre-download some of your routes to save on data and battery and perhaps have a backup physical map tucked in the glove compartment should the online map fail you.
Have you checked the weather forecast for your trip? If you’re voyaging around the UK, you never know what the weather will bring. If the sun is set to blaze, bear in mind items like strong sunglasses and reflective sun shades for when the car is parked up so as to prevent the car from overheating. Remember to account for lashing rain as well, by checking that your windscreen wipers work properly before heading off.
It is also a good idea to have some awareness of toll roads so you can avoid them where possible, as well as know where the better service stations are situated.
Deciding to go on a road trip might just be one of the best decisions you make – few adventures quite compare. However, before zooming off into the sunset, it is vital to make sure you’re well-equipped. Don’t let the smaller things drive you crazy while trying to enjoy yourself out on the roads– ensure you do the groundwork first!