Top tips to prepare for long journeys

Whether it be visiting friends and family afar, or exploring a new place, long car journeys can be a challenge. So here, we’ve compiled some top tips you can use to prepare for them. From planning your route to packing the essentials, follow these pointers and your journey will hopefully be as stress-free as possible.


Top tips to prepare for long journeys image

Plan your route

Preparation is key when it comes to travelling during busy periods such as bank holidays to make sure you avoid heavy traffic and long wait times. Plan your desired route and travel time beforehand, to avoid travelling in peak times to keep your chances of hitting heavy traffic to a minimum. Where possible, you should also try to avoid the busiest roads as these will be used the most this weekend and are likely to be the most traffic-heavy. 


Keep refreshed

When travelling for long periods remember to have regular breaks. The Highway Code recommends that you take a 15-minute break every two hours. Take use of the motorway service stations you pass along your route to ensure you don’t get fatigued!


Pack the essentials

Ensure your car is packed with the essentials well before you set off on your travels to make sure you don’t forget anything. Some of the key essentials to pack are:

  • Important documents: Remember your driving licence, car insurance details and have the number for breakdown services to hand

  • Loose change: Keeping some coins in your car will ensure that you’re prepared in case you run into tolls or parking charges

  • First-aid kit: Include plasters and bandages in case of minor bumps or scratches

  • Car manual: for any mishaps whilst driving it is a good idea to have your car’s manual to hand

  • Food and Drink: Ensure to pack enough water and snacks for your journey to stay hydrated throughout and to avoid fatigue as much as possible

  • Sunglasses: When driving in sunny weather, ensure to have sunglasses to hand so your vision is not compromised, and your eyes are sheltered from the glare.


Car maintenance checks

It is important to perform some basic car maintenance checks beforehand to guarantee that your car is ready for the long journey:

  • Tyre pressure: To check your tyre pressure, ensure you know your car’s recommended pressure levels, this can often be found in your owner’s manual or in the fuel cap. Once you’re aware of these, simply set the air machine to the recommended level, whether this be one you use at home or at a petrol station, and then attach the air pressure gauge to your tyre valve.

  • Lights: Having defective lights can affect road safety as they affect how visible you are to other drivers. Make sure that both your headlights and backlights are working sufficiently, get a friend or neighbour to help you check this if needs be.

  • Oil: Having too little oil will cause your car to break down as the engine doesn’t get enough lubrication. To check your car’s oil, perform a dipstick test. With the engine off, open the car’s hood and locate the dipstick. Pull it out from the engine and wipe away any oil with a cloth. Check the oil level when reinserted and ensure that it remains between the minimum and maximum oil levels as indicated on the stick.


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