Summer is here and whether it is a road trip abroad with family and friends, or a journey on the road across the country to meet relatives – it is good to be prepared. We’ve gathered top 10 summer driving tips for long distance journeys so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the drive.
1. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition.
Check your oil, tyres, fluids, cooling, and air-conditioning … and of course petrol. Also make sure to remember your insurance papers, driving license and passport if you are heading abroad. If you are a member of a roadside assistance organisation be sure you have the phone number to use when calling from abroad.
2. Plan your journey in advance.
Decide what time you want to leave, where you want to go and places you want to visit along the way. CoPilot Live makes it easy for you to to plan your journey and easily calculate the total distance and time required. It also helps you find useful places on-route, with thousands of preinstalled Points of Interest such as hotels, car parks and petrol stations. Plus, the in-built Wikipedia Search can help you find and navigate to nearby attractions.
*CoPilot Tip: use Plan/Edit Trip to plan your detailed Itinerary. You can add up to 50 stops! CoPilot’s ‘Optimise Stops’ feature automatically re-orders your itinerary into the most efficient route.
3. Prepare your entertainment and snacks for the journey.
Prepare your summer road trip play list in your mobile device, go to supermarket and get snacks and drinks for the journey, and pack some tissues and a plastic bag for the rubbish. Make sure you have sunglasses and enough water for everyone.
4. If driving abroad, make sure to check the local driving laws in advance.
The local laws vary from country to country – even in the European Union – and it is vital to know the local laws to avoid trouble in a foreign country. In most of Europe it is a legal requirement to pack a first aid kit and a warning triangle. Make sure to avoid silly mistakes, such as not buckling your seatbelt or drinking “just a small beer” - in some countries there is a strict 0% drink-driving policy.
*CoPilot Tip: make sure you have ‘Speed Limit alerts’ enabled so you’ll always know what the local speed limit is, no matter where you travel
5. Keep your eye on your petrol tank.
During the journey, do not wait until your tank is almost empty, but plan to stop at a petrol station when you have a quarter of a tank left.
*CoPilot Tip: use the pre-installed points of interest to find the next petrol station when you start to run low.
6. Stay hydrated.
Drink a lot of water during few days before your journey, and drink slowly regularly instead of drinking a lot at once. Especially in summer, the temperature in the car may become excessive and it is important to drink to avoid dehydration.
7. Do not drive when you are tired.
Make sure to sleep well before the journey, share the driving, and stop for breaks regularly. When driving long distances, it’s a good idea to go to sleep within an hour of your normal sleep schedule. Whether or not you know it, more tired you are the slower your reaction time is. Energy drinks with caffeine bring your energy levels high momentarily, but after the high there is the low and you might end up feeling even more tired. Instead, open the window and get some fresh air.
*CoPilot Tip: plan rest stops along your route – whether a service station or an overnight stop on-route
8. Avoid heavy meals, excessive salt and excessive sugar.
Do not eat heavy meals during the journey, as these will bring your blood sugar down and make you feel tired. Instead, drink water, eat light meals and healthy snacks regularly.
9. When travelling with children, plan entertainment and make sure to stop regularly.
Pack games, drawing books, music, and favourite toys, and think of different games you could play together e.g. spotting different colour cars, or number plate game etc. Stop for snacks and toilet breaks, but also for fun. Check if there is something your children would be interested in along the journey.
10. Have fun!
Ultimately a road trip can be as much about enjoying the journey as getting to the destination. If you notice something fun on the way: stop, explore and discover!
If you have any other long haul driving tips or summer tips, we would be happy to hear your comments.