Ok – so Summer has been and gone and it's still April…but being an eternal optimist I know it’ll be back! So have a look at the tips below to help you make the most of your warm weather journeys for when that day does come!
1.Have a Plan
Avoid journey stress by planning in advance. It’s a good idea to roughly know the route you aim to take, think about how much time you have and what you might choose to do en route. This doesn’t need to be strictly adhered to – but it does reduce time and stress and can be helpful for children to know roughly how long each part of the journey might take and when pit stops are coming up!
This is important for you AND your car! The last thing you need is a car breaking down in in the middle of a hot day journey so ensure that you check and maintain fluid levels: engine coolant, engine oil, windscreen wash and fuel!
Check the tread and pressure of your car tyres before heading off on your adventure. It is quick and easy to do and reduces the chances of breakdown or accident. Make sure that your spare wheel is in roadworthy condition - just in case! If your tyres do not come up to standard, a £2500 fine and 3 licence points could be coming your way.
4.In car Entertainment
Have a think about games which you can play in the car to keep children occupied and make the journey fun – part of the adventure. En route to Dover from Edinburgh one year we were astounded at how entertaining it was to be the first to spot the famous Stobart Trucks in their Green livery !! (FYI 72 before we got bored) Have a look HERE for some free games ideas.
There is no guarantee that a car will not break down, whatever its age/condition. Travel with a breakdown triangle, a blanket, a torch, high visibility jackets, mobile phone, a map and your breakdown cover contact information – hopefully it will never be needed but definitely best to be prepared.
6.Packing The Car
Ok – I’m being honest in saying that this comes from personal experience. Driving from Edinburgh to Alnwick and with only another 20 minutes to go before we arrived at the cottage there, we realised that all of our daughter’s luggage was still lying in her room! Steve had very efficiently been packing the car as I placed individual bits of luggage in the hall – on asking “is that everything?” – of course he said “yes!”. Note to self – put everything together before putting it in the car and make sure that things you will need to hand (wet wipes, drinks, tissues) are handy!
7.Stop For A Picnic
Holidays in our house begin as soon as we climb into the car. The UK has many beautiful places to stop (especially so when the sun is shining!) so take a picnic, stretch your legs and enjoy. A 15 minute break is recommended for every 2 hours of driving, so bear this in mind too.
8. Motorway Vs Scenic Route
Scenic routes win hands down over motorway driving in terms of interest and discovery and often means that holiday traffic jams can be avoided.
9.Check For Cheaper Fuel
It is not difficult to save significantly on fuel expenses if you plan fuel stops in advance. Check out where petrol is cheapest on your holiday route, the extra holiday money will buy a few ice creams and treats for the family. Petrol Prices Link
10.Help To Prevent Travel Sickness
There is not much worse than children (or adults) feeling nauseous or vomiting in the back of the car. Over the counter anti-sickness pills can work well as can travel bands – a kind of bracelet which puts gentle pressure on acupuncture points. Ginger is known for its gentle settling properties and my granddad swore by barley sugar!
We hope these hints help you enjoy the Summer Motoring!