For most, the May Bank Holiday brings the start of summer and a chance to get away for a long weekend. Whether it’s a campsite, hotel break or cross-country road trip, the UK roads swell during bank holidays as we head to our destinations.
For some people, this can mean driving much further than their standard commute. Driving across the country can be difficult if you don’t go prepared, so we’ve compiled a list of top tips for long distance driving to make your journey a breeze.
Check your vehicle condition
Before you embark on a journey, make sure your car is going to handle long distance by ensuring your tyres are correctly inflated, your oil levels are topped up and your screen wash is filled. Check the condition of your spare tyre before setting off as well.
Imagine the scenario — you and your family have a camping trip to get to, but you’re late because you had to stay a bit later at work and you’re trying to make up on some lost time. Don’t be tempted to continually drive to your destination.
Tiredness on the road is one of the main dangers of distance driving – so ensure you take plenty of breaks at service stations. You should also open a window to let fresh air in now and then, which will help keep you alert.
When you’re heading off on a long journey, it’s best to get your route planned ahead of time. You should already have any music you’re going to be playing on your trip planned, a general route in mind and a map or GPS of the area.
Pack an emergency kit
When you’re heading off outside of your usual drive, you’ll need to be prepared. In the event of a breakdown, you need to be ready. If you’re driving into the Scottish Highlands to camp, for example, there are parts of a road which could take a while to be found. You don’t need much in your kit – just a tyre inflator, spare engine oil, emergency blanket, map or GPS device and some food and water.
Keep an eye on your speed
Open motorways have a tendency to create a phantom speed effect, where you don’t feel like you’re going very fast but can quickly head over the speed limit. If any police cars or cameras notice you, you could incur a fine – or get into an accident.
Entertain the kids
Distractions can be fatal in a car, and there’s nothing more distracting than your children growing impatient with a long journey and becoming distracting. Pack entertainment to keep them busy, or purchase a car with built-in screens to allow them to watch movies during the drive.