Going on a long car journey can be an exciting prospect. It may mean you are going on holiday or going to visit friends or family. But whatever the reason for the trip might be, it is important to plan ahead. If you don't, it will be very likely be more stressful than it would be otherwise.
Here are some tips on how to plan your journey successfully.
Consider the destination you are heading for and when you want to get there. You may be passing through towns, cities or traffic and accident black spots en route. Try and work out a route that takes you away from most of these if you can.
Alternatively you can plan your journey at a time of day when you will miss most of the traffic. Some people like to get up early and drive to their destination before the rush hour. This can be a good idea – providing you get enough sleep so you are ready to drive.
This is best done the day before. Check the tyres, oil and water and ensure they are all fine. You may wish to fill up with diesel or petrol the day before as well, so you can get on your way quickly without having to stop.
Giving your car the once over is the best way to make sure it is fit to drive.
No one wants to be in a situation where they need blankets, hot drinks or food. But if you break down or you run into bad weather, you may need to stop for a while. It is better to have blankets and other supplies in the car and not need them than it is to run into trouble and have nothing to fall back on. Pack other sensible items such as a first aid kit and an emergency triangle too.
Even if you are planning to stop en route to your destination, ensure you pack some drinks and snacks to take with you. This is particularly important if you are travelling with the whole family and you have children in the car. They are not as patient as adults when it comes to waiting for the next service station!
It's probably unwise to pack your luggage into your car until you are ready to leave, just in case someone sees you and tries to break in. But you should at least have everything packed and ready to go. Make a tidy pile near the front door (without obstructing it) and ensure the bags that need to go at the bottom are first in line to be taken out.
It isn't wise to drive too far without taking a break. Even though you will have food and drink in the car, you should still stop for a coffee and the chance to stretch your legs on your car journey. Always pay attention to how you are feeling. If you are starting to lose concentration and you need to take a break, pull over at the next service station. In the meantime you may benefit from winding your window down to get a blast of fresh air.
Do you have any further tips on planning for a long journey? If you do, be sure to share them with us below! Now that you're prepared, why not calculate how much petrol will cost for your journey?