With UK COVID-19 lockdown restrictions being eased next week, staycations are officially back on the table. While holidays may look a little different this year, the freedom to travel and explore the UK has never been more exciting. To celebrate, we’ve come up with five top tips to ensure you enjoy the best road trip staycation.
1 – Pick and pack wisely
In the UK, we all know how important it is to pack for all weather. Don’t let the weather forecast fool you – be prepared. The great thing about a road trip is that you can take as much as your car can carry!
If you’re hiring a car, make sure to choose one which is suitable for your needs. Think about the size of the car in relation to your group – you’ll know how important this is if you’ve ever had to endure a long journey with your knees crammed into the back of the seat in front, or if you’ve ever reluctantly become the middle passenger in a car which is simply too small to carry three people in the back. We’ve all been there, but the key to this road trip is comfort.
It’s also important to think about the features on offer when hiring a vehicle. If you’re traveling in the winter perhaps a heated steering wheel and seats are important to you. At the very least, we recommend a satellite navigation system, which brings us to tip number…
2 – Utilise Google Maps & sat nav
Nothing can spoil a road trip quicker than when it descends into arguments over directions, or worse, getting lost. Many cars come with built-in sat-nav these days, but google maps work just as well on your mobile. Make sure to enlist the help of a passenger, or a hands-free mobile phone holder so that you aren’t tempted to handle the phone yourself when driving. While the law used to just apply to texting or calling, it is now illegal to hold a phone or sat nav device while driving.
3 – Plan your route
Road trips shouldn’t be stressful, it’s no way to start a holiday. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your staycation by leaving early and sticking to daylight hours, particularly if you are traveling on unfamiliar roads. Make sure to plan your route, including which roads you’ll take to avoid any roadworks or traffic, as well as where the service areas are located along your way. Scheduling in stops during your journey is important to make sure you as the driver have adequate breaks and stay alert for the whole drive, but they are also vital for food, fuel, and toilet visits!
4 – In-car entertainment
Trust us, your passengers will thank you for some in-car entertainment during a road trip. Music, audiobooks, films, and games will all come in handy, especially if you’re traveling with children.
If passengers will be using devices to listen, watch or play, make sure they are fully charged before you set off, and remember to pack the charger for your trip.
5 – Check your vehicle
Prior to your road trip, it is important to carry out some basic car checks. Start with the tyres, checking that each one (including the spare if you have one) has sufficient air pressure, and if there are any signs of wear and tear such as cracks, you should have these replaced before embarking on your journey. Check the fluid levels and top up with any oil, coolant, fuel, and washer fluid if needed. Make sure that the lights and wipers are working well, even if you don’t think you’ll use them. Your car should be in good working order generally so that you can feel confident driving for a long period of time.
Finally, enjoy and remember to be COVID safe!