Does your work involve lengthy car journeys? Are you planning a road trip as part of your summer break? Whatever the reason behind your prolonged time on the road, make your next drive one to remember with these tips.
How to ensure your vehicle is ready for a long trip
There are various questions you need to ask yourself before setting off on a long car journey. Ensure your vehicle is prepared for the trip by checking the following:
- Oil – Does your car have enough oil to last the miles you are set to travel? You should check your oil at least once a month to ensure everything is in order. To learn how to check and re-fill your oil, check out this oil top up guide.
- Screen wash – The last thing you need is to drive down a dusty road and not have any window wash left in your vehicle. It’s always wise to carry extra oil and screen wash in your boot, but it’s certainly worth checking before you set off that you have enough to last the journey.
- Fuel – Arguably the most important factor – do you have enough petrol, diesel or charge to get you to your destination, or at least to the nearest fuel station? You should follow our tips to ensure maximum fuel efficiency when behind the wheel, as well as plan your route according to when you expect to need to fill up.
- Your seat – Driving in a badly adjusted seat can easily turn a pleasant drive into an uncomfortable and somewhat painful experience. Before you start the ignition, ensure you are as comfortable and relaxed as possible. This brings us to our next section…
Ensure you’re ready for a lengthy drive
Now that your vehicle is ready for the occasion, it’s important to make sure you are too. Follow these tips and your trip will run extremely smoothly.
- Sleep – It is recommended that you get at least 7 hours sleep in the two nights leading up to your lengthy drive. This promises to enhance your concentration levels and reduce the potential for drowsiness.
- Hydration – Remember to pack a couple of drinks in your car to avoid getting dry-mouth on the motorway, miles away from any service stations. We’ve all been there!
- Prepare for the worst – If you were to breakdown on your trip, would you know what to do? Do you have the necessary cover? And most importantly, do you have the essentials in your car to ensure you remain safe? Everyone thinks it won’t happen to them – and most of the time they’re right – but you don’t want to be caught totally and utterly unprepared if you have any issues with your vehicle.
- Chew gum – It has been proven that “chewing gum enhances alertness and attention while driving”.
- Healthy food/snacks – The chances are high that you’ll pass plenty of service stations on your journey. But if you want to avoid the high costs and waiting time associated with eating at these places, you ought to pack some food with you. Try out these 10 healthy snacks for the road to ensure your trip remains nutritious, convenient and cost-effective.
Keeping you and your passengers entertained on a road trip
- A treat for the ears – Make sure you are sorted in terms of audio for your trip. Do you want to be inspired or taught something new? Why not try a podcast? Alternatively, if you’d prefer to listen to music, make sure your favourite radio stations are pre-set on your infotainment system, or your playlist is nailed down to a tee. If you’re travelling with passengers, it is definitely worth all agreeing on something to listen to.
- Games – Travelling with others? Why not try out a fun driving game? These can make a long drive fly by, especially if you have kids in the back!
- Accessories – Speaking of travelling with the young’uns, you may want to try some of our recommended car accessories for parents to ensure your children are entertained (and not a major distraction!) throughout the journey.
Other useful tips for long car journeys
- Share driving responsibilities – If it’s a very long journey, have you considered sharing the drive with one of your passengers? This way, you ensure the person behind the wheel remains focused throughout, and each driver has time to relax or even sleep. There are plenty of companies that can offer insurance for a day if your passenger is not covered on your vehicle, too.
- Plan stops – Navigation has never been easier with Google Maps, which promises to get you to your destination the most convenient and often quickest way possible. It can also be used to plan stops – whether you choose these based on places of interest, distance travelled or time in the car is completely up to you. Remember, the longer the drive, the longer your stops should be. The Highway Code recommends taking a break of at least 15 minutes every two hours.
- Charge phone – If you’re reliant on your phone for navigation, music or any other driving apps, make sure its battery is full before setting off. It is probably worth purchasing an in-car charging accessory or wireless charger, too. Having a usable phone is also useful for any potential emergencies.