Whether you’re taking the car on a short trip or one that’s much longer, there are still some things you need to do to make sure you’re prepared, safe, comfortable and free from any potential problems that may arise. Here are few ideas to get that trip safely on the road.
Check your vehicle
Without a vehicle in tip-top condition, you can’t expect any road trip to go too smoothly. So never skimp on the pre-car check-ups. Check wipers, fluid levels, your battery, the tires and assess any oil change requirements. Whether you’ve got an old banger or a posh BMW, a BMW service is just as important, as problems can still crop up on new or modern vehicles. So, don’t think that the young age of your motor won’t let you down.
Plan your route
It’s a good idea to have a rough plan in mind as to which directions you need to be heading in. Have a decent map in your car, but also make the most of satnav equipment and a GPS navigation system, which can help you track the nearest petrol station or avoid congested routes.
If you’re going afar and there’s a few of you in your vehicle, then you need to make sure that you pack the car well. You need to be able to get at things when you need them, but also to pack them safely, so you can see out of the rear windows, and that things won’t topple over every time you turn a corner or open the boot. If you’re carrying items on top of the roof, then make sure they are securely fastened.
Stock up supplies
Make sure you have enough supplies in your car to keep you going for the journey. Snacks and water will keep you refreshed along the route, and always take that little bit extra in case you get caught up in traffic snarls. Have an emergency or medical kit in the car, with basic first aid equipment, should you need it.
Take a break
Driving long distances can be extremely tiring, so always schedule in a rest break. There are plenty of places you can stop en-route, to stretch your legs, go to the loo or have a quick snack. Taking regular breaks makes driving much safer, so as soon as you feel tiredness creeping in, have a rest.
Pacify the kids
If you have any young travellers in-situ, then try to bear in mind that they’ll probably get fed up not too far into the journey. There’s only so much ‘I spy’ you can play, so make sure you bring enough toys or games to keep them occupied for the length of the journey.
At certain times of the day, such as rush hour, you’ll probably find traffic moving much slower, and you could well get caught up in it. Your journey time might also be slowed down by road works or accidents, so always factor in that extra bit of time before setting off. If you have to be somewhere at a particular time, for example, to catch a flight, then don’t cut it fine by leaving late; you never know what sort of road and journey conditions you’ll come across along the way.