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5 Ways to Get Road Trip Ready

June 23, 2015

While road trips are an acceptable getaway any time of year, there’s nothing quite like hitting the road in the height of summer – and as the weather begins to warm up, we’re getting exciting about our first road trip of the season.

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If you’re planning your next adventure and looking for some direction, we’ve got some ideas guaranteed to make sure you’re 100% road trip ready.

1. Find your travel inspiration

If you’re looking for some inspiration, start by learning about other people’s experiences and use this insight to inform your adventure. From planning your route to handy pit stops, travel blogs can help you make the most of your time on the road – a fact which editor of A Luxury Travel Blog, Paul Johnson, knows all too well:

“Travellers can learn a great deal by reading about the travel experiences of others, and travel blogs and travel review sites can be the perfect medium for this. They’ll give you insights into what a destination is like at different times of year, inside information on little-known restaurants and bars, top tips on how to escape the crowds and advice on scams to look out for. Information is also updated far more regularly than is possible with a traditional guidebook, and you can read a range of opinions rather than those of just one author.”

Before you head out on the open road, visit A Luxury Travel Blog for unique travellers’ narratives from the ones who’ve been there, done that and paid the petrol bill!

2. A touch of tech

Pitched as ‘the app for every driver’, the Automatic app is a must-have companion for any road trip. Available via the App Store or Google Play, Automatic comes packed with handy features – including fuel costs, route maps and MPG – and uses Bluetooth to record and display details of your journeys. Plug the adapter into your car’s diagnostics port and it’ll unlock the data from your car’s on-board computer and use Bluetooth to connect it to your phone. Long live smartphone technology.

3. Snacks, stories and soundtracks

No good road trip is complete without the 3 Ss. Whether your journey’s scheduled to take 2 hours or 2 days, you’ll want to make sure you’re stocked up with plenty of snacks (Doritos, soft mints and Haribos are some of our favourites). The longer the journey, the more stories you’ll need to keep you all entertained (and your designated driver awake!) – and you’ll make many more of these as you go. Don’t even think about switching on the engine until you’ve compiled the perfect road trip playlist. This will be the soundtrack to your journey, full of songs guaranteed to give you summertime vibes every time. The only rule here is that your playlist cover should be hand-drawn – and that’s non-negotiable.

4. Stock up your boot

Whether you’re taking a camping trip or heading to a hotel, you’ll want to make sure your boot is stocked with all your road trip essentials – and adopting a ‘prepare for anything’ approach is best. Blankets, water, a petrol can and a torch are necessities – beyond that, remember that your luggage needs to fit in there, too. Your boot cargo should reflect the nature of your trip – so try and anticipate any issues beforehand to make sure your journey is a safe one as well as a fun one.

5. The final check

You’re almost ready to embark on your big adventure, there’s just one thing left to check – your car. The last thing you need is a bald tyre ruining your road trip and here’s how you can avoid the otherwise inevitable.

Fuel – this might seem obvious, but make sure your car has plenty of juice before you head off on a long stretch – and make sure you know the difference between the petrol and diesel pumps. No one needs to make that costly mistake.

Oil – engine oil works as your car’s blood – keeping it healthy and functional – so check if you need an oil change before you hit the road. This is also an ideal time to check brake fluid and engine coolant.

Water – running out of water will cause your engine to overheat and give up – and maybe even leave you stranded halfway to your destination. Top it up.

Windscreen wash – it might be summer, but in Britain we can’t be too careful. Make sure you have plenty of windscreen wash so that, even if hailstone hits, you’re guaranteed a safe view of the road.

Tyres – bald tyres are dangerous and they’re illegal. If you’d like to keep criminal activity to a minimum, get your tyres checked.

Lights – faulty or broken lights can also get you into trouble with the law, as well as making you less visible on the road and putting you at risk of accidents. Bulbs are relatively low-cost and could save you from an expensive bump with another car.

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If you’re the furthest thing from a petrolhead and don’t know your fuel tank from your transmission, head to a garage where the experts will be happy to check your car is road trip ready.

So what are you waiting for? Top up your tank, load up the boot and hit the road!

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.