June 30, 2021
Our Ten Tips for a Successful Summer Road Trip
With foreign holidays still limited by the long-lingering impact of the pandemic, many of us have UK destinations on our holiday hit list this year. You might be used to hopping on a flight and spending summer holidays hiking in the Himalayas, mooching in the Maldives, or sunbathing in Sardinia, but this year is different and, chances are, you’ve settled for something closer to home. The road trip is enjoying a revival!
But just because you’re holidaying in the UK, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take some time to prepare your car before you head off. It could save time spent at the side of the road waiting for a breakdown truck and a whole world of holiday hassle.
If you drive a company car, you may want to consider a few additional factors too. Your car will have been regularly maintained, despite lockdowns, but you should mention any concerns to your fleet manager or someone at your fleet management company. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
Here are our top tips for a trouble-free tour:
1. Pre-Drive Checks
Carry out a few basic checks a couple of weeks before you’re due to leave. Check the treads and pressures of tyres, make sure the lights and indicators are working, and top up washer and other fluid levels. If you’re short on time, book your car in at your local garage.
2. Cockpit Warning Lights
Address any issues. If a warning light has been flickering for a while, get it checked out. Your holiday companions won’t thank you if you have to spend precious time at the side of the road waiting for a breakdown truck to arrive when you should be relaxing at your holiday destination or soaking up the local sights.
3. Make Space in the Hold
Think about buying and storing a spare tyre if your car doesn’t have one already. It could help you get back on the road with minimum fuss. Don’t forget a jack too! If you really don’t have space for a spare tyre in the boot, then invest in an inflation kit.
4. Safety Briefing
Pack a few essentials, even if you’re tight on space. If the worst does happen, you won’t regret having left an extra pair (or two) of shorts at home in order to make room for some basic safety equipment like a hi-vis vest, a warning triangle and a first aid kit.
5. Drive Path
Plan your journey carefully and factor in rest stops. You and your passengers will need to stretch your legs from time to time and driving when you’re tired is dangerous. Swap drivers every couple of hours if you can (and your company car policy allows).
6. Doors to Manual
Have your car’s manual on board. It may help you make a quick fix (or at least put your mind at risk) should any problems occur.
7. In Cabin Service
Take an in-car bin! You may be fussy about keeping your vehicle clean and tidy, but your passengers might be less particular. When it’s time to hand the car back to your fleet manager, it’ll save time and trouble if the interior has been well cared for and is stain free.
8. Final Checks
Tell your fleet manager that you’re going further afield, just in case you are reaching the limit on your expected annual mileage.
9. Maintaining Communication
Pop a spare in-car phone charger in the glove box (or make sure your passengers bring their own). You will probably need that sat nav to help you pinpoint your holiday destination.
10. In Car Entertainment
Compile a road trip playlist. There’s nothing better and it’ll make the journey seem so much quicker. We have a few recommendations if you’re short on ideas!
“It feels like summer has been a long time coming and we’re all ready for a holiday of some sort,” says Simon Naylor, Wessex Fleet Director. “But we’d urge drivers to take some time to prepare before they hit the open road. Time’s always short when you’re preparing to go away but a bit of forethought can make or break a holiday. When all that’s done though, our message is turn up the music, make the most of the freedom and enjoy the journey!”