The warmer weather is on its way, so now is the perfect time to get out and have an adventure! If you want to avoid airport hassles, hitting the road is a great alternative. In our Auto Advance guest post, here are some tips for planning your road trip…
Choosing your destinations
Do you fancy somewhere new that you’ve never been to before, or does the thought of returning to previous resorts and favourite landmarks appeal to you? It’s easy to find yourself spoiled for choice – the United Kingdom is an interesting mix of busy cities, remote countryside and gorgeous coastal destinations. Some of our favourite UK road destinations include the Scottish Highlands, the Peak District, the Cornish Riviera and the Jurassic Coast. If you’re stuck for inspiration, this fun – and surprisingly accurate – tool from Visit Britain will help.
What’s on the way?
One of the best things about a road trip is you can go off the beaten path and find something amazing. Once you’ve decided on your destination, plan the route you’re going to take to get there making sure to include other places you can visit or things you can do along the way.
Research locations of interest between your starting and finishing points and use these to plot your route. These could be activities, landmarks, attractions, towns, or photo opportunities – anything that will help you create some great experiences and memories.
Itinerary and budget
So you’ve got your route, you have your destination. Now you need to work out how long your trip will take and whether you plan to camp, stay in hostels or hotels, or sofa surf at friends’ houses. Maybe you fancy trying out AirBnB? Build a list and start to book your rooms in advance. Building a detailed itinerary will also enable you to work out costs, how much stuff you’ll need to pack, what size of the vehicle will be big enough etc.
Prep and planning
Finally, bring everything together: do a trial run of packing your bags to make sure everything will fit into your car safely (do you need a roof box or trailer?). To keep you entertained on the road put together some playlists or CDs for the trip – get your passengers involved in the song choices though; you don’t want to be belting out a Lady Gaga medley while you’re driving a car full of Metallica fans. If you’re heading abroad, make sure you know the rules of the road for that country – the side of the road to drive on, how speed is measured, any other idiosyncrasies. Need some more tips? I used this great guide on how to plan a perfect summer RV road trip.
Before you leave
Nothing cuts a road trip short faster than your car breaking down, so make sure your car is up to the task. Take your car in for a service and explain that you’re planning a road trip, so the garage can check everything over. Identifying problems in good time gives you chance to get them fixed or find another mode of transportation. We also think it’s a good idea to dig out your breakdown insurance details to see what you’re covered for, and upgrade it if necessary. Before you set off, take a moment to check your oil and water levels as well as your fuel. Make sure your spare tyre and the equipment to fit it are all present and correct. Right, now you’re ready to go!