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Car Trip Tips From Someone Who Loves to Travel by Car - Holiday and Travel Tips - Your Cottage
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Car Trip Tips From Someone Who Loves to Travel by Car

I have fond memories of summer holidays from my childhood - like most of our family holidays meant car trips.

Nothing was more exciting then getting in the car and going someplace new. As a kid I didn't have to do the driving or worry about road conditions and traffic jams, all I had to do was get comfortable in the back seat and look out of the window. It didn't matter where we were going, whether for a day trip or for a week or two of holiday. We would drive through old villages, stunning countryside, big towns and little towns... there was always something new to see. My mum always prepared something yummy to eat to keep us quiet at the back. She also planned some exciting games that kept us occupied and did I mention quiet!? I loved travelling by car and I still do and I also love driving.

Recently my boyfriend and I drove from Farnham in Surrey to Barmouth in Gwynedd and back again in a long weekend away. It was delightful. We spent quality time together, sometimes alone in our thoughts or we'd chat away the drive time recalling our favourite childhood memories and favourite movies. We talked about our childhood, revealing stories that neither of us had known about the other, even after all our years together. It's something about a road trip that seems to bring back memories.

Planning for a road trip is just as important as any other trip. As with all good journeys it starts with good planning and preparation. So to help get your road trip off on the right track, I'll share my simple list of things that I do both before I leave, while driving and things I do along the way.

Before I leave...

  • I make sure that my car in good condition before leaving. I let my partner or dad :o) check the lights, condition of the belt, fluids. They also make sure that the tyres are properly inflated at the right pressure (right tyre pressure means safer driving and better fuel consumption) and that a spare tyre is useable.

  • Don't forget a first aid kit. I refresh my first aid help every three years. You never know what can happen and it's worth knowing what to do if you are in a situation where you need help someone.

  • Store the luggage safely so it won't move around while I drive or have to stop suddenly. I try to pack sensibly, trying not to take too many things with me.

  • I Prepare an 'Essential Comfort Road Pack'.Read more

  • I plan where we are going, where we can stop for breaks or for fuel, how longs it will take to get there and also alternative route for in case of road accidents or traffic jams.

  • I check the state of the road and weather before I go.

  • Put all the things like driving licence, money, bookings confirmation, tickets on a safe but easily reachable (and memorable - the times I hid important documents and spent ages looking for them!).

  • Get maps, guides and travel brochures ahead. Surf the internet to find local attractions and places to visit.

  • If you are travelling with children make sure to have proper car seats for children and make sure they're fasten properly. To find out more about carrying children safely click here.

While I am on a road...

  • Always obey the local traffic rules and The Highway Code... Don't speed! It's better to get there late than have an accident.

  • Have a break every two hours. It's a good idea to plan the breaks ahead. We always try to find new interesting places where we can stop along the way like national parks, cathedral, ruins of old castle... anything really.

  • Always stop when you feel sleepy.

  • Share the driving with someone else if you can.

  • If you are towing a trailer, pull over and let the traffic past if the queue starts to build behind you.

Things I do along the way...

  • When I take a break I always make sure I stop in a safe place. Because we have a big dog we try to stop somewhere a bit further from a road so she can stretch her legs without worrying she will jump in a road.

  • If you have to leave your car somewhere make sure it's safe and secure.

  • Top Tip! Make sure you have a car keys with you and you don't lock yourself out as it happened to me times and times before.

  • Another One! Make sure you switch the headlights off!

Most importantly have fun and enjoy yourself wherever you are!

By Lucie Nedvedova


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