The essentials for any UK road trip
It’s summer; it’s time to throw caution to the wind and take advantage of the UK’s thrilling plethora of sights, many of which are within driving distance of you. Don’t be scared and settle for a weekend in front of the TV, take a road trip; they’re easier than you think…
Road trips don’t require you to devise an itinerary to follow neurotically, but every destination requires preparation. You need to pack the appropriate supplies and research the weather. If it’s hot for example, remember the sun tan lotion and pack lots of water – don’t leave your weekend up to chance! Spontaneity is arguably the fuel of fun, but planning your road trip will help identify and eliminate the possible pressure points a road trip can present.
Importantly, make sure you know where you’re travelling to and how long it will take. If you haven’t already, get some UK breakdown cover; if you do experience problems, at least your road trip will be back on track quickly. Using Google maps, an iPhone GPS app, or a Sat Nav will also prevent you from getting lost and hopefully avoid any traffic jams. If you’re driving through cities then research when they are busiest to ensure you travel against peak traffic or outside peak times. Such simple considerations are often overlooked but will save you time and prevent stress.
Know your destination
Don’t just assume, learn the basics; knowing the opening and closing times of your destination will help you plan your road trip and avoid disappointment. The internet provides a wealth of information about every attraction. Imagine visiting a theme park and being stuck in boring queues all day. If you’d researched online you’d have learnt that the queue’s for the most popular rides are shortest in the first and last hours that the park is open, giving you more time to explore and relax throughout the day.
Knowing your destination could also save you money. For example, theme parks apply discounts when you book online, and special 2 for 1 vouchers are often promoted on fizzy drink bottles; you’ll save money where others won’t, meaning it’s you who can afford those expensive queue jump passes!
Each road trip will also feature some attractions you and your accompanying friends and/or family are desperate to see, and some things you personally aren’t. Don’t wait till you’re there to debate the day; that will waste time! Identify everyone’s needs before travelling and you’ll ensure you have enough time to see everything.
Treat your road trip like a mini holiday. When travelling abroad we make a point of revelling in a different culture and trying new things. That attitude is often lost when considering the UK, which we can take for granted. It’s our homeland, we already know everything about it, and nothing surprises us, you may think. Wrong. The UK has arguably more attractions and history then any other country in the EU, and yet we often overlook this to save for trips abroad where the only attraction is the constant heat. Revel in the UK’s diverse culture, try new foods and search for beautiful views; enjoy yourself!