I have been fortunate enough to have visited many of England's counties. Some have been road trips and most have been for holidays. And plenty of our road trips have been spontaneous days out. So I feel I am slightly a pro when it comes to spending time on the road heading for new adventures.
Below I list some of my greatest tips from our experiences to set you up for your next road trip.
Unless you are already a true pro at getting to your destination, you will need to set this up before anything else. It's a bit of a priority so make sure it has had all updates available to ensure there will be no hidden surprises along the way, and of course double checking that the postcode you're entering is the correct one.
I remember one particular road trip that ended up with an extra 2 hours on our journey just because I put the wrong postcode in, yes tut tut I hear you, my passengers at the time had never been so happy to get home and safe that night.
As this will be your very first time at your chosen end goal, do you really know anything about the area? Is there significant parking? Are there public toilets available? And what is that one and only pub really like in the village? It doesn't take 5 minutes just to have a read up about where you're going.
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As you know music is part of my life, it's always there for you no matter what mood. And there are some great tunes for a road trip out there. Set the playlist up the night before and also bear in mind the audience. Who will be listening? What genres or bands are your co-passengers' favourites? Classic sing alongs are highly recommended. Music can really make the journey a lot more serene and happier.
Fluids for both you and the car. There's nothing worse than having a dry mouth from all that singing and snacking and there's no services ahead on the road. Water is the best fluid to keep in the car all the time. Fizzy drinks may quench the thirst but your belly may not be thankful for it later.
Fluids for the car are just as important, checking the levels of water and oil prior to the road trip is the best way forward. Keeping extras in the car will put minds at ease and you just never know if they'll be needed. I remember we had to help out a fellow road tripper once, stopped on the side of the road and needed water for the car. It got him to the nearest station anyway, and his passenger was so grateful for the fresh bottle of water we gave her too.
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Games to play
We always turn to that simple and easy game of eye spy but apart from trees, the sky and things in the car there isn't much past that. But it does keep everyone occupied.
Another favourite is the alphabet game, where one person starts with an item beginning with A and the next repeats it but adding an item beginning with B and so on and so on. The alphabet can even be for different items, such as animals, colours or things found at the seaside.
Then there is the obvious ‘Would you rather’ game. Asking it as a question that gives two possible replies. For example: Would you rather be invisible or fly? Would you rather live without tv forever or your phone? The kids love it.
You could make the ‘car bingo game’ for passengers too. Before the road trip, prepare a chart of maybe 8 things that you would spot on the journey, everytime someone spots it they can cross it off their chart and maybe organise some prizes for one line and a full house.
- Poundland are offering this great cutlery set in a tin all ready to use. Keep these safe in the car, you never know when they will come in handy.
- A picnic blanket is also very useful to have in the car, if you stop at a beauty spot there is nothing better than taking a rest to admire. Or, if any passengers are cold (of which there is always that one person) they can wrap up.
- Carry some extra usb type chargers for phones, because you never know.
Q: What is your favourite road trip memory, either from your childhood or as an adult?