Summer is almost here! It’s the perfect time to dust off those old paper maps and go on an adventure. However, it’s surprising how many people forget to check the essentials before they leave, especially if it’s a long trip to the other side of the country. And no, we’re not just talking about your driving licence and insurance documents. (Though they’re especially important!) We’re talking about the little bits and bobs that could enhance your next trip in your favourite vehicle.
First Things First – Check Your Tyres!
Are your tyres inflated to the correct level? Have you checked for damage and punctures before the journey begins? Have you got summer tyres? A quick 5-minute test could save you hours of pain and heartache, as your beloved car refuses to move due to a problem that could’ve been spotted earlier.
As one of the biggest brands in the tyre industry today, Bridgestone provides a range of summer tyres that could be perfect for your vehicle. These include the Turanza T001 and Potenza S001 models, which offer fuel-saving and road-gripping performance that’s sure to enhance your journey.
It’s also important to check the tread depth of your tyres, which should be at least 1.6mm across the central ¾ of the tyre. According to the RAC, the difference in braking distance between 3mm and 1.6mm can be as much as 44%, so it’s best to get them changed earlier. Braking is pretty important, as we’re sure you’re aware, so it’s always best to safe. Tyres from Bridgestone could solve this problem, and we have plenty of them!
Stay Safe – Prepare for Emergencies
Now, we don’t want to put a downer on your trip, but you should be thinking about safety before you get in the car, turn the ignition, and drive off into the sunset. Both roadside emergency kits and first aid kits are important, as they’ll give you peace of mind even if you don’t have a breakdown.
Thankfully, the RAC has you covered. They offer a range of breakdown kits and equipment, including tyre inflators and battery boosters. You’ll find all the safety equipment you need in the premium kits, including warning triangles, high-visibility vests and a small first aid kit too. You won’t have to worry about an unexpected breakdown, as you’ll be covered should the worst happen. Just make sure that you have the correct insurance too!
Let There be Light – Bring a Torch and Spare Bulbs
The night is dark and full of terrors, especially if you’re driving a car on a small country road. A torch could solve all your problems. Need to lift up your car bonnet to check the water or oil levels? Use the torch. Dropped your keys near a badly lit petrol station? Use the torch. Encountered a wild bear in the wilderness? Try to keep your distance and put the torch away. Don’t be silly.
You should also invest in a set of spare bulbs for your car too. You might not know where the nearest shop or petrol station is, and mechanics can be few and far between in rural areas. Bulbs are easy to fit, providing you know how, so it’s best to watch some YouTube videos and buy a bulb kit to remain safe and legal on the roads.
Full Power – Stay Online and On Time
It’s possible that your phone is your most important possession, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it’s no good on a long road trip without plenty of power. We’d advise bringing a power bank to juice it up a bit, or bringing your standard USB charger, which should plug directly into most cars. A hands-free kit is essential too, whether you’re using it as a Sat Nav or talking to your loved ones that haven’t seen you since you got behind the wheel. Really, you should call them.
We’d also advise bringing some booster cables too, in case your car collapses out of excitement due to the change in scenery. You may need to flag down another motorist to help, so make sure that you’re aware of your surroundings. However, many booster kits now come with their own batteries, which is especially handy if you’re only taking one vehicle.
Relax and Unwind – Comfort is Key
Even the comfiest cars can seem cramped after a long road trip, so it’s best to bring some complementary items to ensure that you’re snug as a bug in a rug. Blankets are a great bet, especially if you’re rotating drivers throughout the trip. You’ll also want to bring sunglasses to avoid excessive eye strain and a reusable water bottle of good ol’ H20 to stay hydrated. Don’t forget the window shades too for an unrivalled nap on the road. Now that’s what we call comfort.
Sunscreen is especially important in the summer months, and don’t forget your trusty toothbrush and toothpaste. And last, but definitely not least, please remember to bring some form of medicine, such as paracetamol. If you’re going to a different country, you’ll have to check the rules and regulations regarding this. The NHS has some essential information on that.
Entertainment is Everything – We Like to Laugh
From your favourite book to travel games that you can play in the car, you should take time to relax away from the wheel. A camera is an obvious essential for all those social media worthy shots too, and your passengers are sure to appreciate a great music playlist. Once all the safety points are checked over (once or twice) you can focus on the fun, and that’s what a road trip should be about.