What Preparations Should You Be Making Before Your Summer Road Trip?

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This summer is promising to be one to remember, with successive heatwaves bringing the hottest temperatures the UK has ever seen – and the best weather in which to enjoy a cross-country road trip holiday! While the scorching heat may not be the best news when it comes to the environment, there’s no reason it can’t go to good use this time round – but if you’ve never planned a road trip before, how should you go about putting one together?

The Car

Before you get too excited about the specifics of your summer road trip plans, you should first ensure that your chosen road trip car is fully road-ready – and not likely to get you into hot water during your trip. Simple maintenance checks can ensure it won’t sputter out on you while you travel; testing the battery will ensure you don’t suffer a dead battery mid-trip, and topping up your oil will keep your engine happy over long stretches.

You should also take the time to check your tyres. Are the tyre treads still legal? Even if they are absolutely fine, you may want to buy a set of cheap Michelin tyres to ensure you won’t suffer a blowout on your trip, or for a reliable spare in the event of a puncture. Whatever you do, make sure your tyre pressure is a-ok – and then again before you set off.

The Route

With your car fit and healthy as can be, you can give your proper attention to the trip planning itself. You will already have an idea of where you’d like to go, but do you know exactly how you’re getting there? Even if your phone’s GPS is going to be your best friend for the trip, you should define and study your route beforehand.

One of the big reasons you’ll want to do this is to identify rest stops and petrol stations along the way. With the route already planned, you’ll know exactly when the next bathroom break is – and you’ll be able to switch drivers more easily. Speaking of which…

The Plan

Past the route, you’ll want to draw up a more comprehensive trip plan with your fellow road-trippers. This plan should include everything, from driver swaps to accommodation plans, in the form of an itinerary. Any accommodation should be booked well in advance, in order to avoid disappointment and an uncomfortable in-car slumber party on the night.

The Packing

Lastly, the packing! Packing is where the real anticipation begins, especially if you’re anticipating scorching heat; there’s nothing more exciting than packing swimwear and sunscreen for a long trip out with friends! But there are also some road-trip essentials that you should make time to pack first.

Putting an emergency bag together can be a good idea, as a ‘just-in-case’ measure. This bag should include power banks for your smartphones and an old keypad burner phone for real emergencies. You should also pack spare blankets, as well as tyre puncture kit and some tools to help you with any minor vehicle difficulties.

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