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Top tips for surviving a long car journey

Are you excited for an upcoming road trip, but worried about the long hours? Here’s how you can survive a long car journey!
There’s no doubt that the freedom of travel is an amazing feeling, with the notion of experiencing new cultures and exploring a different part of the world nothing short of unbeatable. However, when we reach a breath-taking destination, it can be all too easy to forget the long and often boring hours that come beforehand.
Road tripping in a comfortable, reliable car is a fantastic way to see the world, and whilst you may have covered all of the essentials, such as having a full MOT, purchasing tyre insurance, and checking over your tyres before you start your journey, it can be easy to forget that much needed in-car entertainment, particularly if the kids are in tow.
Heading out on an epic, but long, family adventure? Here’s some things to consider:

1. Take it in turns to drive

If possible, this can be a lifesaver. If you have a road trip partner that is also insured to drive your vehicle, swapping yourselves between the driver’s seat means you won’t have to cover the long miles single handedly. Fix together a schedule so that you’re both driving for equal amounts of time; planning where to stop on your trip, to switch the person behind the wheel. As well as hard work, driving tired is notoriously dangerous and shouldn’t be done under any circumstances; so, even if you don’t have anyone else on board that can help you out, you should make regular stops to recharge and grab a coffee when needed.

2. Always carry snacks

Whether you’re travelling with hungry kids or not, refreshments are a road trip essential. From traffic jams to accidents and breakdowns, sometimes you can be on the road for longer than you thought, and everyone’s going to get hungry. Even if you are able to stop, service stations can be a little on the pricey side to feed several people and, besides, everyone loves a car picnic, right? If you’re travelling through the night and into the morning, pack things like breakfast muffins, croissants and of course, coffee in a thermos, to re-fuel everyone for the new day ahead. If you’re driving into the afternoon, pack sandwiches along with bags of crisps, veg sticks and some biscuits as a sweet treat. Finger foods work best when space is limited! Although it’s not strictly against the law to eat and drink when you’re driving, you must remain in full control of your vehicle at all times, and be fully aware of what is happening on the road and with other road users around you, so it’s usually better to make a stop when you plan to eat.

3. Check your car is up to the job

Before setting out on a road trip, it’s essential that you check your car is prepared for the journey. Checks can include everything from oil and tyre pressure right through to making sure you have the correct insurance. As well as adding all the drivers to your motor insurance, it’s worth getting a tyre insurance upon purchasing new tyres. PSA’s Tyre Insurance cover will ensure you’re protected from any accidental damage – perfect for those travelling on a budget!  As well as internal checks on your vehicle, it’s important to check that every light and signal is working, as this is a legal requirement when driving on the road.
Road tripping in a comfortable, reliable car is a fantastic way to see the world, and whilst you may have covered all of the essentials, such as purchasing excess insurance.

4. Tablet devices – your new best friend

If you’re travelling with children, iPads or other tablet devices are your hassle-free entertainment source. Ensure you download plenty of films and interactive games before you go (it’s unlikely that you’ll have perfect internet service for the entire trip) so that when the excitement dies down and boredom kicks in, you’ll have something to distract them until you reach your destination. Don’t forget an in-car charger!

5. Old-school games

Relying on electronic entertainment might not be healthy for the entire trip and old-school group car games are a great way to keep spirits up! You can try the classic i-spy (note: can be a little frustrating with children), name that wildlife, spot the red car, who am i? – the list and possibilities are endless – and the designated driver can get involved too!

6. Sat navs are essential

Lastly, having a working and reliable satellite navigation system, that is up to date with the roads on which you are travelling, is essential to avoid any wrong turns that might potentially add hours onto your journey. Most sat navs can also determine whether there are any roadworks that will potentially cause delays and some can even detect heavy traffic in particular areas, providing you with an alternative route. If you’re travelling abroad and are unfamiliar with the directions, having a sat nav means you can travel without worrying about getting lost. Whether it’s built into your vehicle or your phone or you’ve bought a separate device, these clever little screens are well worth the investment.
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