Road trip

What you need to check before a road trip

Staycations have been on the rise in recent years as traditional summer holidays abroad have lost their appeal as more Brits chose to indulge in the locations the United Kingdom has to offer. Going away often results in spending a week turning our noses up at the cuisine and designating hours hunting for the British pubs. Therefore, although it may be somewhat of an overused cliché, there’s no place like home.

You’re going to want to make sure your journey is as comfortable and as stress free as can be when driving the length and breadth of Britain during your staycation. With that in mind, we are here to help you ensure you’ve considered all the essential checks before hitting the road this summer.

Firstly: Tyres

Not only is there the risk of having a potentially flat tyre explode whilst travelling 70mph along a motorway, there is other risks you must take into account. Automotive testing has found that an underinflated tyre can increase your fuel consumption by around five percent. So not only will your fuel bill be much heftier that it should be, you’re also doing more damage to the environment, therefore bringing a car tyre pump is advised.

Obtaining a blow out or puncture is a driver’s worst nightmare. Not only does it put you at a serious risk of crashing and causing detrimental harm to other road users, it’s a nightmare to get fixed and is likely to damage the rim. Handling levels are massively affected by tyres that are underinflated as well, with stopping distances increased and steering taking a similar knock. A car tyre pump is easily stored in the boot, taking up limited space and will seem like a priceless purchase when you’re stood on the hard shoulder.

Checking what comes as standard with your car appears to be a given, therefore it is essential this check is done. Marketed as a space saver, most car manufactures in recent years have opted out of providing consumers with a full-size spare wheel, and in its place, you will find tyre sealant foam. Be comfortable that you know how to use it before heading off into the abyss, and if it’s a spare wheel, learn how to use a jack.

Secondly, the Engine

When making sure yourself is well fed before the journey, why not make sure to check your car is well fed too? An engine check takes a few minutes but could save hundreds of pounds. Grab a bit of kitchen roll, pull out your engines dip stick, wipe away the oil and re-dip it to check your levels. If you’re running low, top it up. Most of us will ever only venture under the bonnet as soon as something goes wrong e.g. a Vesuvius-like cloud bellowing from the engine. Despite an exact timescale of how often you should check your oil not existing, experts suggest if you’re a regular driver you should check it at least once per month. Let your oil run too low or use the wrong one and you could be looking at serious damage to your car’s components.

Thirdly, Keep it clean

Since you’re going to be spending a large proportion of your time visiting the country’s most idyllic locations, it’s unlikely you’re going to be spending all of your time driving down a motorway. Therefore, ensure you have your washer bottles topped up. Country roads that lead to some of the nicest camp sites are also used on a daily basis by tractors and other farm machinery, which are likely to spray muck over the roads. Following Google maps can be tricky enough, never mind having to do so with darkened out, dirt covered windows.

And fourth, the creature comforts…

When you’ve checked your car and are certain it is running without any hitches, you must think about yourself to help guarantee the journey is as enjoyable as can be. Due to the fact the radio can become ridiculously repetitive, it may be worth considering setting yourself up with a lengthy playlist to help you on the road. If you fancy a few laughs along the way, a nice addition to Spotify as of late is the Best of British Comedy playlist, which includes a range of excerpts from stand up shows and BBC series Mock the Week.

In order to avoid spending unnecessary sums of money on motorway services overly priced sandwiches and being asked the questions ‘Are we there yet’ every 10 minutes, it is advised you pack a snack or two, perhaps even a picnic. It’s important that you don’t overlook drinks either – remember to take plenty of cold and hot drinks such as water and fair trade coffee to keep you hydrated on your trip.

Since the ever-increasing number of Brits are choosing the good honest British views over sunny holidays in Spain, buckle up, fill the tank and get prepared for your summer staycation.


About the Authior

Jonny Gilpin is a copywriter for digital marketing agency, Mediaworks. Originally from Northern Ireland, but now based in Newcastle, he specialises in current affairs, lifestyle, and sport.



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