How To Prepare For A Road Trip This Summer
June 21st has passed, which means it’s officially summer time in the UK! With that in mind, millions of friends and families across the country are planning road trips to enjoy the long days and warmer weather. From journeys to airports and ferry ports, long drives to music festivals, camping holidays and everything else, you can’t beat a good road trip, but it’s important to make sure you’re prepared…
On that note, we’ve gathered the most important tips and checks you should be practicing before setting off and hitting the road. From mapping out the drive to checking the weather, checking around the car and staying comfortable, this is how to prepare for a road trip this summer.
Plan Your Route
While spontaneity has its charm, taking a few moments to plan your route before setting off can save you time, reduce stress, and ensure a more enjoyable experience on the road! Mapping out your route can also save you fuel, because why get lost when you could plan the most efficient and direct route? Understanding your journey can also help predict the traffic conditions on the road, and knowing when off-peak times are can save you hours of sitting in bumper-to-bumper queues.
Safety is always key when embarking on a car journey, and planning your route help familiarize yourself with the road conditions, potential hazards, and any construction or maintenance work along the way. This means the driver can make more informed decisions and take necessary precautions. Moving on to more exciting reasons to plan your route, while the destination is the primary focus, planning your route opens up opportunities to discover hidden gems and points of interest along the way… Who doesn’t love an adventure?
Weather and Road Reports
Not having to worry about the weather this summer would be lovely, but unfortunately, that can’t be the case in the UK! Checking the forecast before a long journey is important for several reasons, firstly, adverse conditions like heavy rain, snow, or fog can significantly impair visibility and create slippery road surfaces, increasing the risk of accidents. By staying up to date with the forecast, drivers can anticipate and prepare for these conditions, adjust their driving behaviour accordingly and avoid dangerous situations.
Secondly, knowing the weather forecast allows travellers to plan their trips more effectively. If a severe weather warning is issued for the intended route or destination, it offers an opportunity to reconsider the timing or even postpone the journey. This can prevent unnecessary travel delays, inconveniences, or even cancellations due to extreme weather. Being aware of the weather forecast also helps drivers to prepare the necessary equipment and supplies. For instance, if rain is expected, drivers may choose to carry umbrellas or raincoats for themselves and passengers, ensuring their comfort and well-being.
Essential Car Checks
To ensure comfort and safety throughout your road trip, there are several key areas of your vehicle you need to check. Remembering these checks means your car is less likely to suffer from mechanical issues and breakdowns, and your journey will generally be much smoother.
- Tyres: Check the tyre pressure to ensure they’re properly inflated according to the manufacturer's recommendation. Check for any signs of wear or damage and make sure the spare tyre is in good condition just in case you need it.
- Fluids: Check the levels of engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, and washer fluid. Top up if necessary and ensure there are no leaks.
- Lights: Test all the lights of your car, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, indicators, and hazard lights. Make sure to replace any bulbs that are not working properly.
- Brakes: Ensure the brakes are in good working order. If you notice any signs of grinding, squealing, or reduced braking performance, then have them inspected by a professional, don’t risk it!
- Wipers and Windshield: Inspect the condition of the windshield wipers, and replace them if they’re worn out. Make sure the windshield is clean and free from cracks or chips that may obstruct the driver's view.
- Emergency Kit: Ensure you have a well-stocked emergency kit in your car, including items such as a spare tyre, jack, jump cables, a torch, and first aid kit.
To find out more about the key checks you should be making before a long journey, then check out our recent Car Checks Guide on the Tangelo Blog!
Comfort Is Key
Preparing for a long car trip involves more than the basic checks, and health and safety, it’s also about ensuring everyone in the car is happy and comfortable! Including everything from fresh drinks and snacks, to board games, pillows and everything else, we’ve put a short list of comfort essentials together for your next road trip:
- Sunglasses: Long exposure to the sun can dazzle both the driver and their passengers, and no one wants a headache whilst sat in a car for hours on end. So make sure to pack appropriate eyewear to ensure everyone’s comfort and safety.
- Toiletries: From tissues to hand gel, wet wipes, aerosols and everything else… Staying fresh on a long car trip can really add to your enjoyment and comfort. Avoid feeling sticky and uncomfortable, especially if you’re eating in the car, and make sure to bring all you need to keep everyone on board happy.
- Drinks and Snacks: Whether it’s a short journey or hours long, a bottle of water is key. Fresh drinks keep the driver hydrated and the passengers comfortable, and it saves the need of pulling over to pay service station prices. The same applies for food! If you’ve got time, prepare a bag of snacks, sandwiches, fresh fruit, or whatever it is that will keep you all fuelled and alert. Try to save the snacks, we all know how easy it is to open the home-made sandwiches within 15 minutes of leaving the house…
- Entertainment: Including books, magazines, tablets, board games, music and more, entertainment is key when it comes to passing the time on long road trips, especially if there are little ones on board! So whatever it is you think will keep them relaxed and content, prepare the entertainment essentials so your journey passes quicker, and easier.
Are You Covered?
Even if you have prepared your car properly, checked all the key areas before setting off, and planned your route, you never know what a road trip has in store… Which is why it’s always best to ensure you’re covered in the case of a breakdown.
With that in mind, you’ll be pleased to hear that every car at Tangelo comes with a free RAC three-month warranty, and if you’re in need of longer cover, we also offer two levels of RAC Extended Warranty:
- Platinum Plus: The highest level of RAC warranty which covers mechanical and electric component failure, carbonisation failure, and wear and tear coverage.
- Platinum: Covers mechanical and electrical component failure.
And if that wasn’t enough, every single Tangelo car comes with 12 months of complimentary RAC Breakdown Cover. This cover offers a 24/7 service of mobile mechanics who, if they can’t fix your problem roadside, will take your car to the garage and organise a taxi home for everyone on board!
Tangelo Auto Centre
To ensure the reliability and performance of your car ahead of a long journey, we always recommend falling into the habit of booking a service once a year. Not only will this ease your mind before a long drive, but it saves you money down the line by avoiding any deteriorating issues and breakages. And that’s where Tangelo Auto Centre steps in!
A full car service at Tangelo Auto Centre costs £250*, and whilst customers are able to pay this in one go, as a Bumper Partner we also offer the chance to spread payments in interest-free instalments. Setting up a Bumper account is quick and easy, in fact, it takes most customers no more than a couple of minutes…
When it comes to paying with Bumper, simply provide us with your Bumper Code, you’ll then receive a link to set up the payment plan, here you can choose the length of time to spread the cost over, or a repayment date that works for you. To find out more about what’s included in a Tangelo Service, check out our recent blog; What is a car service?
*Depending on the age of your vehicle, the cover will vary. Prices are inclusive of VAT. Information and prices correct at time of publishing January 2023.