Preparations for Adventurous Road Trips in the UK

December 14, 2018

It’s fair to say that the options are endless when planning a road trip in the UK. But as any savvy, adventurous traveller knows, not all roads are created equal.

The United Kingdom has nearly 400,000 kilometres of roads weaving through cities and countryside.

Whether you’re heading to specific attraction, or looking to head off into the unknown for an adventurous weekend, there’s always an element of research and preparation needed.

There are two ways to take part in a road trip – the dull way, when you drive from motorway to motorway as the world passes by your window, or the active way – which forces you to pull over and explore the world that surrounds you.

Whatever your definition of adventure is, road trips enable you to learn new things, meet different people, and most importantly – enjoy the trip, not just the destination.

Know Where to Stop

When going on an adventurous road trip, do some research first. Find out where the best places to stop and undertake some adventures.

The UK is full of adventurous activities and stunning landscapes, but mostly you’ll have to go off the beaten track to find them.

At least in the UK, if you miss something it’ll never be too far to get back, but it’s still a good idea to ensure you have a plan where you want to be and when.

Planning your stops accordingly will help the trip run more smoothly, and help avoid the dreadful prospect of getting lost in the middle of nowhere.

Socialise With the Locals

Road trips are designed to take you far away from home and to bring you out of your comfort zone.

Often the best way to see an unfamiliar place is through the eyes of someone who lives there. Stop at the local pub and make conversation. You’ll be surprised by what you can learn about a place from the people who call it home.

Hidden spots for food, or secret hiking trails await you once you start to talk with people.

It should come as no shock that many people love being a tour guide for visitors, so take advantage of the hospitality and enjoy your stop from a local’s point of view.

Be Spontaneous

While having planned stops are important, don’t be too afraid to stop and explore sights of interest, or take a scenic cliff-side hike on a whim. Usually, you’ll be glad you did.

And if you prepared properly, you will have the gear and mindset to be able to handle most unexpected challenges that get thrown your way.

Being flexible and quick on your feet are valuable traits to have as an adventurous road tripper. You won’t be too focused on your destination and therefore miss out on a lot of what makes a great journey.

Make sure you have a mix of spontaneity, as well as some pre-planned highlights such as coastal walks around the UK.

Utilise Technology to Your Advantage

While relying completely on modern technology can take some of the fun out of a trip, it does help when you need to find good food in a pinch, or to check the latest weather reports.

GPS navigation can also be tremendously useful in determining your drive time, and if you will encounter any delays on the motorways. Not to mention that driving blind can often lead to getting lost, which can be a dangerous situation to find yourself in.

There are a ton of apps and websites that are made specifically for road trips, which help you find fun points of interest, stations to stop for fuel, and a place to grab food and a drink.

Don’t be surprised when the app makes suggestions to take a detour along the way, as they can also use GPS navigation to determine if you’re near any places that it thinks might make an interesting stop.

Prepare your Vehicle

Know the limitations of your vehicle.

You need to make sure you are heading of in a vehicle comfortably able to make the desired trip.

  • Begin your trip with a clean car, both inside and out. This always helps with organisation.
  • Keep a small garbage bag inside the car.
  • Pack a fire extinguisher.
  • Always fill your gas tank when it is half full. Don’t wait too long.
  • Try not to put luggage over the car. It creates air friction and slows you down
  • Bring towels for cleaning dirty windshields, spills, etc.

You should make a checklist of items to pack in a car survival kit.

  • A chain or think towing rope
  • Electric charger wire
  • Screw drivers and wrenches of different sizes
  • Bunjee cords
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Flashlight
  • A water bucket in case you need to use a river or lake for emergency coolant.
  • Make sure your owner’s manual is handy.

Before go, make one final check of the following:

  • Tyre condition.
  • Check tyre tread and look for signs of damage.
  • Tire pressure.
  • Wipers and wiper fluid. When the rain falls, you don’t want to discover your wipers are useless, or that you’re our of water.
  • Coolant.
  • Fuses and Horn.
  • High and low beam headlights.
  • Oil, power steering and brake fluid.
  • Loose cables Heater and air conditioner, if making a seasonal trip.

Your Co-Pilot

Travelling with at least one other person is highly recommended on a road trip. It’s safer, and simply more fun.

You can take turns driving when one gets too tired, which allows you to cover more ground.  Good conversation usually makes for a good road trip, so make sure that you travel with someone that you won’t mind spending hours on end in a car with. It also helps if you share the same interests.

An adventurous road trip isn’t for just anyone. Avoid travelling with people who do not like to get out of the car and find fun adventure along the way.

Those who have the entire trip planned down to the minute, usually won’t be as much fun when you want to make those curious, unplanned stops. You need to pick your travel companion wisely.

Good Music is Key

Get enough music to cover the trip.

This may sound a little obvious, but  having a great playlist to listen to can help boost your moral when the motorway has been whizzing by for what seems like an endless amount of time.

In addition to keeping you sane, having the right music can put you in the mood to want to go out and be active on the trip.

High-energy music will keep the mood light, and get you mentally prepared for the arduous cliff-side hike you’re about to take.

Make sure you and your passengers all agree on the music, because nothing is worse than when one person isn’t as “into it” as everyone else is.

 

When looking back on your road trip, the best memories won’t come from sitting in your car. It will be the time where you pulled off the motorway and forced yourself to explore and really experience an area..

Make sure you are prepared for whatever the road may throw at you, but most importantly, just have fun!