Right now, it’s probably safe to say that most of you could use a holiday. I certainly know that I could.
In fact, as I write this, I’m in the process of doing some research for when my next trip is going to be. For my next trip, though, I’m thinking of doing something a little different, as I plan on driving to my next holiday destination, instead of sailing or flying.
For a lot of people, I’ve found that one of the most stressful parts about going on holiday is the travel to get there, especially if you plan on flying.
Every time I fly there’s always some issue. I’ve had flights delayed, flights cancelled, detours, fire alarms in the airport, and much more besides. I also always seem to get ill on the return flight home.
These are just some of the reasons why I’ve decided to drive to my next holiday, and it’s why I’m going to talk to you about travelling to your next holiday by car.
Check out these se7en handy tips and your journey will be a doddle.
Make sure you have your car serviced beforehand
Right, the first tip I’m going to share with you today is all about getting your car serviced before heading off on your jollies.
I’ve no idea how far you’re going to be driving because I don’t know where you live, or where you’re driving to. What I am fairly confident about, though, is the fact that you’ll be clocking up hundreds of miles.
Even if your car had a service not too long ago, you should still get it serviced before you drive on holiday.
Servicing your car before a long journey will help reduce the risk of a mechanical failure, a puncture, or any other issues that you will ideally want to avoid.
Servicing the car will improve its efficiency and safety, as well as its longevity.
Make sure you take plenty of breaks
This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by just how many people attempt to drive hundreds upon hundreds of miles in one go, without any breaks in between.
Driving for a prolonged period of time is not only detrimental to you, but it could also potentially put other road users at risk too, even if you are confident you don’t feel tired.
Prolonged periods at anything will result in lapses in concentration and focus, and you don’t need me to tell you how dangerous that could be.
You should get a credit card
Not everybody reading this will be using their own car on holiday, as a lot of people will instead be hiring cars once they reach their destinations.
If you plan on hiring a car on holiday, you should really have a credit card handy, even if you never use it. The reason for this is due to the fact that a lot of overseas hire companies require a credit card when you pick your vehicle up.
This is often so that they can ring-fence potential excess charges, in the event that there is damage to the car, it’s stolen, or if you’re involved in an accident.
Apply for an international driving permit
Remember, different countries have different rules, laws, and regulations. Because of this, you should consider applying for what is known as an IDP, or International Driving Permit.
This is because, in some countries, as well as a valid driving licence, you may also be required to produce this separate permit.
You can apply for this permit with the RAC, the AA, or at your nearest Post Office.
It is valid for 12 months and doesn’t cost much more than a cup of coffee, at just £5.50.
Before you travel abroad by car, check whether the country you plan on driving to requires an IDP.
Plan your route
Back in my day, if you wanted to plan a journey in advance, you’d have to take out a good old-fashioned road map, glasses, a pen and notepad, and spend the next hour or so meticulously planning your journey.
Nowadays, thanks to the technological wizardry that we can enjoy thanks to smart phones and the internet, we can plan your journey with your phone, tablet, or computer, in a matter of seconds.
Resist the urge to just enter the destination in the satnav or your phone’s maps setting, and instead plan your route in advance.
This will help you to choose the route that suits you the most and you can also avoid unnecessary detours that satnavs are prone to take you down.
Always expect the unexpected
In life, things very rarely run smoothly, and that includes long car journeys.
One of the best tips anyone can have when it comes to planning a long car journey is to always expect the unexpected and never to expect to arrive on time.
If your journey is estimated to take 7 hours, to be on the safe side, it is probably best to estimate as much as 9 hours, as delays are not inevitable, but highly likely. Remember about taking breaks, especially if something beautiful catches your eye!
Pack the essentials
Like I mentioned before when talking about expecting the unexpected, the last tip I’m going to share with you today is all about packing the essentials for your journey.
You can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to find a service station or somewhere to grab some food, which is why you should pack some snacks just in case you get hungry.
Packing food is important, not just for keeping hunger at bay, but also for your safety as low blood sugar levels due to a lack of food could impair your driving.
As well as food, bring some bottles of water, a cool bag, a torch, a blanket, and maybe even a portable phone charger or two, just in case your battery dies.
As the saying goes ‘fail to prepare, and you are preparing to fail’.
This advice should offer some pointers for your next road trip. I’m curious what do you feel I missed from this list. Please let me know in a comment.
Until the next road trip, stay safe and don’t stop wandering!
Even if it’s just in your imagination for now.