Road trips have become an extremely popular form of a holiday travel recently, especially for younger groups of friends. As international holidays become logistically nightmarish and prohibitively expensive to boot, more people are turning to the open road to discover the best of Britain and beyond.
Whether you’re exploring some of the UK’s most renowned road trip routes, or going off the beaten track for a week of exploring with your friends, you’ll need to plan carefully. Here’s how you should do just that.
Plan – and Learn – the Route
Your road trip’s route is a fundamentally important facet of your overall trip, and one that should be ironed out as early as possible. You may already have a clear idea of the various destinations you’ll be visiting, but how you’ll connect them is crucial.
Firstly, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with the roads between your planned stops in order to account for any potential setbacks – whether accidents or road closures that cause you to alter your route. You’ll also want to take note of any petrol and service stations between each stop, for rest breaks and re-fuelling.
Sort Your Car
Next, you’ll need to devote some attention to the other fundamentally important part of your road trip: your car. You’ll be putting your car through its paces with friends or family in tow; it is vitally important that your car is in the best possible condition, for their safety as well as to ensure the trip goes as smoothly as possible.
If you’re nearing your MOT date, you might want to book an MOT online in advance. This way, any car issues can be uncovered and fixed before your trip, and you won’t need to worry about certification for another year. This might also be a good time to collect your relevant ownership and insurance paperwork, especially if you’re planning on crossing a border.
With your car sorted, you can start to get excited about the trip itself – and there’s no better way to do this than to start packing. The packing process can be equal parts thrilling and nerve-wracking though, especially if you’re unsure of exactly what you’ll need to bring along.
Starting the packing process a few days ahead of the trip will give you ample time to pack everything you’ll need, including things you might have forgotten. Amongst the summer clothes and snacks, you will also need to bring some emergency items such as a battery pack for charging phones. A car emergency kit with tools and safety equipment can also be a big help to bring along.
Lastly, you’ll have a little bit of people-wrangling to perform before the trip begins in earnest. As well as figuring out your route for picking up other participants in your road trip, you’ll need to think about division of responsibilities.
For particularly long stretches of driving, you may need to switch drivers for safety. Do your designated drivers have insurance to use your car, and do you have a plan for when to take breaks? Perhaps most importantly though, you’ll need to put someone in charge of the car playlist…