Road Trip Essential Checklist – Tips To Packing Things For A Long Drive In UK

Road trips are always a great idea, especially in the UK. They help you relax and let off steam, giving you a break from the running race that you have to put up with on a daily basis. Who wouldn’t want to get lost in the beautiful country side’s scenic beauty that the UK has to offer? You can have a lot of fun while on a road trip, but there are certain things that can spoil the experience. In order to really have an epic road trip you always need to be prepared for the worst. This is where the preparation for a long road trip comes into play to help you stay prepared in case of any emergency during the trip.

Long Road Trip Essential Checklist

While preparing your car for a long journey in UK, there are a few pre-checks that need to be done, which can be divided into two categories:

A. Personal Preparation

Personal preparation is where you make sure that you get everything ready, that you would personally use during the duration of the road trips, like snacks, water, electric devices and their chargers, a first-aid kit, etc. This helps you personally.

Having established that, let’s dive into what preparations one could make, personally, while jetting off on a road trip.


1. Road Trip Essentials Packing List

Packing Essentials for your road trip can be classified in a very broad spectrum, based on the definition one personally has. However, there are some items that are universally considered to be essential. So, make sure you pack for your road trip:

a) Important Documents

You never know when you might be stopped, and where you might be stopped, and asked for important documents related to your car, like your driver’s licence and your car insurance details.

b) First Aid Kit

It’s always important to always carry a first aid kit with you, because you never know what might happen.

c) Flashlight

Road trips get tricky at night, and you cannot always rely on your mobile phone, which is why it would be smart to carry a flashlight with you always. It would come in handy during the night, no matter what the situation is.

d) EU Registration Plate Or UK Sticker

Even a car registered in the UK, without a blue EU registration plate, would need to display a UK sticker when driving in EU countries.

e) Food/Snacks

The best part of a long drive – apart from enjoying the journey itself – is the snacks that we get to munch on.

f) Water

It’s always important to stay hydrated, especially in the summer. Water can really get you a long way and keep you from falling ill. Make sure you carry a huge bottle of water and keep re-filling your bottle whenever you can.

g) Basic Necessities

In case you’re out on a multi-day trip, then also make sure that you pack your tooth brush, comb, soap, and a towel.

2. Pack Your Comforters

Once again, each person has a different set of comforters. Here’s a list of a few comforters that one would want to pack.

a) Sunglasses/Hat

If you’re going on a road trip in the summer, or if you’re going to a sunny place in the UK, then it’s always a good idea to carry a pair of sunglasses, and a hat, so that you’re protected from the sun, and stay comfortable. Also, don’t forget to put a sunscreen cream in there.

b) Toiletries/Cosmetics.

Apart from the basic necessities mentioned earlier, more toiletries, as per requirement, can be added to your bag, like face wash, shampoo, etc.

c) Electronic Gadgets

We live in a world where mobile phones have become a necessity. They’re not an option anymore, and with the work from home culture, which has become prevalent in the current day, due to the pandemic, laptops are also becoming necessary these days. So, if you’re packing all these, then make sure you pack their chargers as well. Make sure you pack the chargers of any other electronic items that you might be packing as well.

3. Remember To Share the Drive

While you wouldn’t necessarily have to pack or particularly prepare for this well in advance, it would always be beneficial if you had someone else who could drive, and share the burden along with you, through the journey. This would ease the trip and put less burden on everyone involved.

4. Plan Your Route in Advance

Wherever you’re headed to, be it to France or to the gorgeous Lake District, always plan, by deciding which route to take, depending on which would best suit your requirements and time constraints (if any).

B. Essential Car Maintenance Checks Before Your Road Trip

It is very important to check whether your car, is prepped for the said trip. Preparing your vehicle for long trips can involve a lot of things, ranging from car oil checks to tyre checks, and even an overall performance check.

While this part can get a little tricky, when compared to “personal preparation”, it is also very important, as your entire journey would be spoiled, if you didn’t properly make all the necessary pre-checks, before jetting off on your road trip, in your car.

Here are a few road trip essentials to check in your car before a long drive:

1. Fuel Level

The first and most important thing when it comes to hitting the road on long trips, is making sure that the fuel level of your car is at its most optimum. Even if you start off with less than optimum fuel level, make sure you fill up your fuel tank along the way.

2. Oil Checks

An oil check is highly necessary, as it governs the smooth functioning of your engine. Most modern cars do not need any manual check to make sure there’s enough oil, as your dashboard monitor would indicate if the oil levels are less than optimum.

3. Engine Coolant Check

A healthy coolant is equal to a healthy engine, as a coolant regulates the temperature of the cooling system and keeps your engine healthy. Most modern cars have a closed coolant system, so they don’t need any manual checks. However, if your car is an older model, you might have to manually check its condition.

4. Tyre Pressure Check

Having the exact tyre pressure for your car is very essential, as healthy tyres respond better to shifting gears, brake system and your accelerator.

Always carry a spare tyre, just in case, and make sure you’re aware of how to replace a tyre, should the need for it arise.

5. Lights Check

The most important lights that you need to check are working properly are main beam headlights, dipped beam and indicators, as these do the heavy lifting when on a long road trip. They show other drivers in front of you, beside you and behind you, that you are present, avoiding any unfortunate circumstance. If you think there’s a faulty bulb in any of these areas, make sure you get it replaced or fixed, before you get on with your road trip.

6. Tyre Tread Depth Checks

Worn out tyres are not exactly a good idea for long road trips, as they can seriously affect your car’s handling, braking and safety as a whole. Before your road trip, make sure that your tyre treads have a minimum depth of 1.6mm across the central three quarters using a measuring gauge. If your tread is between 1.6mm and 3mm, consider replacing your tyres before your trip.

7. Windscreen Check

This includes checking whether your windscreen wipers and your screen wash are working well or not. While you may not think much of them at first, they do come very much in handy, and are very important while planning for a road trip. Also make sure that there are no cracks in your windshield, while you’re at it.

8. Driving Mode Checks

Most modern cars come with a variety of driving modes, based on where you’re driving your car. There’s a mode for when you’re driving in heavy traffic, one for when you’re driving in light traffic, so on. So, make sure that you’re well versed with your driving modes prior to setting off on your road trip.

9. Brake System Check

The brake system of your car literally makes or breaks (pun intended) your journey. A smooth and wonderful road trip can only be achieved when your brakes are functioning at their best. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a fun trip, with the driver constantly worrying. So, make sure that you get your brakes looked at, before starting your road trip.

10. Emergency Kit

An emergency should contain components like flares, jumper cables, warm blankets, flashlights, first-aid box and water. Restock all the items if you do not already have them in your kit.

11. Battery Check

Make sure there’s enough charging in your car’s battery, and if there isn’t, then take it as your cue to get it charged fully, immediately. In case you own an electronic vehicle, then this might be the first and foremost thing that you would have to concentrate on. always make sure that your car is fully charged before you start your road trip.

12. Breakdown Cover

Having a breakdown cover is more than just a good idea as it not only gives you a peace of mind, but also eases you up, in case you end up stranded somewhere, due to some unfortunate event. A breakdown cover service provider always makes sure that they trace you and get you to safety, and also make sure that your car is attended to, as soon as possible, and that your car’s problem is fixed.

In case you’re wondering where to get your car checked, to make sure it’s in the perfect condition, stopping by your local garage shop should do the trick.

Covid Precautions to Take on Your Road Trip

Thanks to the covid pandemic, we all now need a new set of items to pack with us, when planning to even step out of the house. Having said that, do not forget to pack sanitizers, disposable gloves, handy wipes, and of course, the most important of the lot – face masks. Make sure you put one on before you start your trip and that you pack a few more as well.

Final Checks to Do for Your Long Road Journey

Most of what you need to be prepared with, when planning for a road trip, has been covered above, but there are a few final checks that you would need to make, before starting off, to make sure that everything’s perfectly in place.

Apart from making sure – double checking – that your car is in the perfect condition, here are a few things to do:

1. Road Works

Getting stuck along the way, due to some work going on the road could cause a major bummer to your energy, while on a road trip. Hence, make sure that you check if there are any road works going on in your preferred route, and always re-route for a better experience if there are any works going on.

2. Weather Conditions

While there’s nothing you could particularly do about this, as it is naturally occurring, you could always get prepared in one way or another. If there’s a storm forecast, or a wind forecast in any of the locations that you might be passing through, you could at least plan your breaks accordingly.

3. Plan Breaks

Talking about breaks, as much as it is important to reach your destination as soon as you can, it is also important to not rush things. Plan breaks during your trip, at regular intervals, so that you are not stressed out at the ned of it, due to excessive driving, and reach your destination feeling energised and fantastic.

4. Make Sure Your Paperwork Is Accessible

Packing your necessary paperwork forms the first step toward being completely ready for the trip and making sure that it is accessible completes it. You never know when you might need to produce your paperwork, so make sure it is always within reaching distance.

Most Common Problems During a Road Trip

Facing reality, there have been several instances where road trips have gone awfully wrong due to some or the other unfortunate event. Here are some of the most common problems that can be encountered during a road trip:

1. Tyre failure

2. Dead battery

3. Engine failure

4. Wiper and windshield failure

5. Empty fuel tank

6. Problem with your brakes

Most of these are the pre-checks one needs to cover, before starting on their trip. You must make sure that every part of your car is in the perfect condition, to avoid facing any problem, while on your trip.

How Is a Car Warranty Going to Help You When Planning a Road Trip?

It is natural to wonder how a car warranty comes into play when planning for a road trip. However, it does have a huge role to play in it. A car warranty not only provides a safety net in case of any repairs needed for your car but also has breakdown cover included like the Warranty Direct cover. A breakdown cover comes to your rescue should you be stranded somewhere.

The Warranty Direct Gold cover warranty policy, will keep your car covered in case of any kind of repairs or breakdown required during your long road trip.

On the whole, while going on a road trip is a fun and enjoyable experience, it is always important to make sure you’re prepared enough before you begin your journey. Having a car warranty can always come in handy. Apart from that, follow the above tips can also help you very much, and all these put together make sure you have one of the best road trip experiences ever.

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