What to consider before heading off on a last minute road trip

The school holidays are over and holiday season is quickly drawing to a close but that doesn’t mean there’s not enough time to consider a last minute road trip. Why not pack a bag, climb in the car and head off on one last adventure?

The news is that the nice weather is here to stay for a little bit longer so there’s no better time to enjoy the last of the summer sunshine and spend some time relaxing or having fun with family. You could head to the beach, hit the theme parks or even grab the map and head off on a European adventure before the seasons close in. What better way to end the summer…

A spontaneous last-minute getaway means that planning and preparation will be at a minimum but you will want to cover the basics and consider the following before setting off to ensure you have an enjoyable trip.

Book breakdown cover

Nothing would be worse than getting onto the motorway only for your car to break down and you miss your holiday. If you find yourself in this situation and you don’t have breakdown insurance you could find yourself losing out on more than just your holiday, you could also end up with a hefty repair and recovery bill. If you have breakdown cover and something should go wrong then your car will be fixed or depending on your level of cover you could receive a courtesy car to continue your journey – you could even find yourself driving a New MINI Clubman. Breakdown cover is especially important if you’re travelling abroad, there would be nothing worse than your car breaking down in a foreign country and not knowing how you’ll get home.

Ensure your car servicing is up to date

Car servicing is essential to make sure everything is running as it should, this is especially important if you’re heading off on a long drive. Each car needs servicing at regular intervals, this is different for each car but usually annually or every 12,000 miles whichever comes first. Ensuring your car is regularly serviced will keep it running well and fix any minor issues before they cause a problem and this will help your car last for years to come.

Check fluid levels

Part of your regular car maintenance should be to check the level of brake fluid, oil, coolant and water in your car but it’s often an area of car maintenance that gets overlooked. Before heading off on your road trip check the level of fluid for these to ensure your car has sufficient levels, if they’re running low it could result in a problem with your car.

Check your Tyres

Before setting off on your journey it’s imperative to check your tyres to ensure they are roadworthy and at the correct pressure. You should check the tread of each tyre to make sure they are roadworthy and not bald. You should also consult your cars manual to check what the pressure should be on your tyres, bare in mind that tyre pressure can change depending on how loaded your car is so it’s worth referring to the manual for optimum results.

Pack a first aid kit

You never know when you might need a first aid kit so it’s always a good idea to have one to hand, you could put it in the glovebox so it’s accessible should you need it quickly. When you use an item from the kit make sure you replace it as quickly as possible so it’s there if you need it in the future.

Keep safe in an emergency

If you break down it’s important to be safe and be seen by other drivers, especially if you have a problem when driving on the motorway. If you are unable to reach a service station you should pull over onto the hard shoulder where everyone should exit the car away from traffic, you should also put your hazard lights on and your main lights/fog lights if required to make your car as visible as possible. It’s a good idea to also have high visibility jackets for each passenger which you can wear if you break down, this will let other drivers see you and make sure you are as safe as possible.

Research your destination

Okay, so you’re heading off on an impromptu trip and the last thing you want to do is sit down to research but if you’re heading abroad this is a must. You need to familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations of the country you are visiting or you could find yourself in a lot of trouble. Some countries require you to have high visibility jackets for each passenger, that you have a spare set of glasses if you wear glasses, you might need to carry a breathalyser. Rules vary from country to country so make sure you check out the rules for the country you are visiting before you travel.

Do you have any tips for those heading off on a last minute road trip?

*This is a collaborative post

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