Ah the summer holidays are here and it’s highly likely that you’ll be bundling everyone into the car and zooming off into the sunset. Well, up or down the A1 at the very least.
Road trips are meant to be fun, right? As a child, road trips meant a VERY long time in the car with no air con, a radio which picked up around 10 stations that had to be adjusted as we got further around the country and cushions in the rear foot well that acted as a bed so my brother and I could sleep.
There were books, eye spy, spot the foreign car and the alphabet game. Oh, and ‘stop teasing your sister’, ‘stop hitting your brother’, ‘it’s her go now’ and (my all time favourite) ‘IF YOU DON’T STOP THAT RIGHT NOW I’M TURNING AROUND/STOPPING THE CAR’. In capitals as it was usually shouted from front seat to back seat. Ah, happy memories.
Children of today have it easy. Tablets with games on, video screens on the headrest, secured by seat belts, access to their own MP3 and headphones so not everyone has to sing ‘the wheels on the bus’. Oh yes, road trip nowadays has a totally different meaning.
Here’s our definitive road trip check list to make sure you have a safe and fun journey whether you’re going 30 miles or 300.
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🚗 Check your squishies. Ok, whatever you call them, make sure there’s plenty of screen wash in the bottle. Nothing worse than hundreds of dead bugs on your screen that you can’t get rid of.
🚗 Check your tyre pressures. We’re sure you know this, but inside your fuel flap or the drivers door there’s a sticker showing the manufacturers ideal pressure settings. Oh, and check the roadworthyness of your tyres too. And your spare, if you have one.
🚗 Going abroad? Check what your destination country requires you to have in your car. For example, France requires, to name a few of the more random requirements, a warning triangle, hi viz jacket, spare bulbs and breathalyser kit…
🚗 Get your documents together. You should have your licence, insurance documents, breakdown and assistance numbers and (if travelling abroad) you might need your V5. It’s no fun if you break down or have an accident and have no way of getting yourself sorted because you don’t have phone and policy numbers to hand.
🚗 Plan your route. Now, we are all for going off grid and having an adventure but have an idea of where you are. Don’t just rely on Sat Nav to get you there – have an actual road atlas in the car too. Sat Nav is great but often just tries to get you back on the road you’ve just gotten off. Be brave, read a map and learn north from south!
🚗 Got kids? Have a Road Trip Box prepared. Include snacks (healthy ones if you can, hyper kids all sugared up in the back of the car is not the best!), entertainment – whether that’s electronic or car games ideas and, definitely, rewards. No kid likes playing games against their sibling and not winning something for being good in the back of the car!
🚗 Anything else (whether you have kids or not)? Spare change for random tolls and treats, sun cream for that one window arm, tissues (go the whole hog – take some kitchen roll too), water and mints. Yep, tic tacs can be your saviour on a long road trip.
🚗 Get your music sorted. Check out our Summer Car Tunes playlist and add a few new songs to your USB.
Missing anything? Pop into any of our Oak Road shops – we’re bound to have what you need for a safe and fun road trip, wherever you’re going. Sorry, but we can’t watch the kids for a week…. 🚗