Choices rarely get much easier. A bleak, broke January or a sunsoaked, sanguine one? Staring at the usual four walls of the office each day or taking in a varying, forever changing landscape? Perhaps most pertinently, the same daily commute that has worn you down for years, or the open road of limitless possibilities? If your desires are fulfilled in the latter camp, then read on; here are 6 IDEAL tips for the perfect road tip.
THE JOURNEY, NOT THE DESTINATION
The very essence of the road trip is the drive, the sense of throwing off the shackles, that you could head anywhere, anytime. The clue’s in the title of course. So make the most of the journey; it’s where all the fun’s to be had. Be loose with your schedule and leave plenty of room for the impromptu. Truly embrace the freedom of having your own set of wheels and very little on the itinerary.
MAKE YOUR CAR SOMEONE YOU’RE HAPPY TO SPEND TIME WITH
That said, a little foresight in terms of your vehicle will make the trip a far more pleasurable experience. You’re going to be spending a whole lot of time in there, so create a comfortable, fun space before hitting the road. Get some air fresheners in (all that time sitting still…there’s going to be sweating), create a playlist of your favourite tunes – the more driving-themed, the better – and declutter, big time, prior to setting off.
GET YOUR CAR SERVICED
After all that talk of the wind in your hair and sails and a song in your heart, we’re sorry to put the breaks on the fun, but safety matters. Indeed, nothing will put a damper on your road trip like breaking down. So first things first, get your car in the right shape for the rigors of travel. If your car hasn’t been serviced in a while, then get one done well in advance. Even if all is up to date, it’s still worth going to your local garage and getting an experienced mechanic to inspect all the belts, hoses and windscreen wipers. One of the most important aspects to check when getting your car serviced is the tyres. Indeed, proper car tyre maintenance could be the difference between the best road trip of your life or one where you end up in hospital.
Think you know everything about keeping your tyres in tiptop condition? Then take the #TYRECHALLENGE quiz by Kwik Fit. From tyre pressure to general maintenance, rules of the road and replacing tyres, this interactive quiz will reveal just how much you know about your tyres and road safety. We took it and while we consider ourselves savvy road trippers, we’re pretty surprised by our lack of tyre knowledge. Helpfully, the quiz gave our brains a refresh on the basics and helped us get to grips with the tyre knowledge we’re lacking. If you don’t know that in the UK, the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm and how to read your tyre size, then like us, you need to spruce up your knowledge.
PACK LIGHTLY, PACK WISELY
There’s so much to be said for travelling light. It alleviates a burden physically, of course; overloading the vehicle can cause issues with tyre pressure, fuel economy and safety. But having small bags takes a load off the mind, too; less stuff to lose, to organise, to worry about.
So keep your luggage to a minimum and only pack the things you really need. The fact that you’ll be in motion most of the time means you’ll never be far from a convenience store should you really need something you don’t have.
As much as any summer road trip needs the sun to truly cement in sepia those hot and hazy memories, sometimes the scorching temperatures can make being in your car for so long unbearable. Keep it cool and comfortable, then, by always trying to park in the shade and putting up a sunshade or window visor every time you exit the car; if not, it’s like stepping into an oven when you re-enter. Driving in the heat can get pretty unpleasant so make sure your air conditioning works or crack a window open. The low sun in the summer can also cause bad visibility, so make sure you have a pair of sunglasses handy.
GET SOME REST
Driving long distances is a deceptively draining task. Although sedentary, your mind needs to remain focused for extended periods of time. At the same time, the motion and repetitiveness can cause complacency. It’s important, then, to take regular breaks, even if it’s just to stretch your legs, refresh and refocus.