Unfortunately, with long-distance driving comes potential issues that the drivers will encounter while on the road. Unlike those iconic movies with equally epic moments where they are travelling down the road and all just seem so perfect, it isn’t always going to be the case with your journey. There may come a point in the trip where your car will just suddenly halt to a stop in a highway, letting you know that it has just about used up your last drop of fuel because you forgot to refill at the last stop.
Of course, issues like these are highly preventable, if you just know what needs done before piling into your car. Here are some very helpful road trip tips that will keep your engine running the next time you embark in some long distance driving.
Plan your best trip ahead
There’s really no substitute to good old planning ahead when it comes to journeys like these. The last thing you want is to push through with a trip when you are more than deadbeat. There’s a reason the authorities and other concerned organisations have made sure that signs telling you to rest when tired on the main roads across the country. After all, tiredness can really kill. When you’re not paying close attention to the road, what’s ahead of you or behind you can kill you or it could be the other way around.
You don’t want an accident to mar the fun of the journey so making sure that preparations about road safety have been laid out before you set out is always the best way of getting things done. Always remember that most drivers can function with minimal sleep. Add to that the fact that the UK has some rather tricky driving terrains and that’s just an unfortunate accident waiting to happen if you still insist at being behind the wheels when you can barely keep your eyes open.
Decide what your route is going to be. Consider the stops you wish to make or how many you intend to do. Determine your specific destination as well. When making a decision, see to it that you will test and look into the capacity of your vehicle fuel-wise so it will be easier for you to determine which stops will be ideal for refuelling your tank.
If you have doubts that your current car may be capable of driving long distances, it is never a bad idea to consider another vehicle for the journey. There are cars that are just not meant to travel for long periods of time. Luckily, the market offers a whole range of more capable cars. All you have to do is research and consider the financing options we offer so you get a new set of wheels in time for your planned trip.
Share drive burden
Going for a long distance drive isn’t just something that the drivers can take on. It’s important to understand early on about road safety, before you start the journey, to acknowledge that it isn’t an easy task. This is why it doesn’t hurt to get a buddy to come along and to share and help the driver out with taking over behind the wheel at some point so every time you feel tired and need a bit of a rest, you can.
When you’re tired, your concentration will be affected and instead of paying attention to the road, your mind might be all over the place. You won’t be as alert as well which means that you’re likely going to end up missing details on the road that might endanger your life and that of the passengers with you. This is the reason that having somebody that can take over for you, when the situation calls for it, is always ideal to bring another driver.
Stay prepared for a long distance trip
Start the journey by determining what on-the-road essentials you need. Create a checklist to ensure that you won’t end up forgetting anything while on the roads. See to it that you take note of essential documents that you need as well. For instance, don’t forget to bring along your driving license. Don’t forget your car insurance details like breakdown cover as well. You’ll save yourself from unnecessary embarrassment when you got all the necessary papers with you in the event that you may be asked to show the insurance to them.
If you intend to cover a bit more distance, make sure that you will consider taking a look at road safety and what your car insurance details say. This is because there may be limitations to the coverage of the plan of your insurance like breakdown cover as far as location foes. This ensures that in the event where there are certain limitations to it, you get the chance to make updates to the plan to ensure that by the time you start the journey on the roads, you know that you will get the ideal coverage you need.
Among the essentials you need to prepare include:
- A sat-nav: You don’t want to drive blind, and that’s exactly what you’re doing when you embark on a road trip minus a sat-nav. It is easier and less stressful to figure out how to get safe from one location to another when you got your route laid out for you. On top of that, the sat-nav can easily give you an idea where the service stations are so you know where to stop when you need a bit of servicing done. At the same time, they will also help remind you about the speed limitations you must observe while driving cars.
- A road map: it doesn’t hurt to have a physical back-up that you can use in the event that your technology doesn’t work.
- A torch or a few of them: You’ll definitely need a light source to make it easier for you to check what’s going on under the car or under the bonnet.
- A first aid kit: You don’t want to forget something as important as a first aid kit. Make sure that you have bandages, plasters, bandages, and other crucial items that will make it easier for you to deal with anything untoward during the journey.
- Loose change: You’d want to have some loose change ready in the event that you need to pass through tolls and you need some change to pay.
- Stickers: You might want to stick a GB sticker on the car or get a plate with the EU registration on so overseas travel will be so hassle-free. If travelling in an EU country, make sure that your GB sticker is on full display.
Get the car all set and ready
A vehicle check-up before heading out on a long journey is always the way to go. You want to make sure that everything is all set and road safety ready before you turn the ignition on.
Make sure that the tank is filled. If you intend to traverse a rather remote location, it is always prudent to have a jerry can be added to your boot. This your insurance that you’re ready for whatever might happen along the way. You can’t always expect that there will be fuel stops in these areas.
See to it too that you will not forget to check the following:
- Engine oil: See to it that the oil pan is replenished and is at the maximum line. You can use the dipstick to determine how much engine oil you actually have to determine the levels. If you think that there’s a need to do some oil change for the vehicle, make sure to refer to the car manual to get it done right.
- Screenwash: Just like the engine oil, see to it that it’s filled to the maximum.
- Tyre pressure: Always check what your manual says when it comes to the proper pressure. Check to see if the car tyres aren’t showing considerable signs of wear. It is essential for the tyre tread depth to be at least 1.6 mm and this should be for 75% of all the tyres. Otherwise, you may want to get them replaced first before heading out.
- Check to see the lights are working: This means checking not only the indicator lights but also the lights for fog, reverse and head, among others.
- Brakes: You don’t want the brakes to feel spongey. You don’t want them grinding or squeaky as well. If it registers any of these, see to it that you have them checked ahead of time to make the necessary adjustments.
It is always a good practice to have extra screenwash, engine oil as well as other fluids like brake fluid, coolants and many others in the boot. You’ll never know when you need them so it’s best to keep them handy.
Driving comforts tips
Despite making sure that the journey has been meticulously planned, nothing can make the drive more comfortable than packing some food and refreshments. Make sure to include some chewing gum and mint as well as they help keep your concentration while you drive.
Among the most important long-distance extras you should definitely consider include:
- Warm clothes: You’ll find that it is always colder when travelling late at night or early in the morning. Make sure to pack some jumpers to keep you cosy and warm. It doesn’t hurt to keep a magazine, spare pair of walking boots and some willies in the boot is a good idea too. Make sure that you’ll have a spare raincoat as well. These items can come in quite handy for potential breakdowns and those instances when you may want to wander along the roadside to stretch your legs.
- Sunglasses: You’d want to have the means to keep the glare of the sun off from your eyes as you drive. So, having a pair or two handy is always advised.
- Toiletries and sun cream: There’s no telling when you’re likely going to need some toilet roll or hand gel. Having them in your seats available anytime you need to use them is always very helpful.
- Driving music: your drive isn’t going to be as fun and interesting without the right driving soundtrack on. You want to be having a good time when behind the wheel. Music is definitely going to help ensure that.
Ready to get behind the wheel and get things started? Get all set and ready for your long journey ahead and get everything paid out before you head out to the road so the trip is going to be nothing comfortable safe and most importantly, fun.