With as many as 18 million cars predicted to be on the road in search of a bank holiday break, travel between the 23rd and 25th August this year has the potential to be stressful! Here are our top tips for keeping calm, so you can carry on!
1 – Research your journey
Check for road works, and try and avoid roads that take you near areas of heavy congestion such as airports. Apps for your phone and online journey planners show numerous ways to get from A to B, sometimes the scenic route during busy times can be faster!
2 – Time your journey well
While you may be off on a break, others will still be going to work, so make sure you avoid rush hour traffic. A good tip is to leave early in the morning before many other people are on the road, or after the evening rush, when most people want to be at their destination.
3 – Keep your ears open for traffic reports
Unfortunately accidents do happen. To make sure you avoid tailbacks caused by unfortunate events, enable the Traffic function on your car radio. If you have passengers with you ask someone to use a traffic app which will show real-time incidents and tailbacks with enough time for you to divert your course.
4 – Pack food and drink
If you do get stuck in a jam, being hungry or thirsty just won’t do. It is very important to have plenty of liquid to hand, especially in hot weather. Regular refreshments will help avoid dehydration and fatigue.
5 – Avoid motorway service stations
They may be convenient, but they are costly and full of people! When you plan your journey, find somewhere just off the motorway to stop. A more relaxing break will leave you better refreshed when on a long journey.
6 – Plan a pit stop somewhere nice
Breaking up a long journey by visiting a landmark, beauty spot or a place of interest can be a fun way for everyone to have a rest from being in the car. If you didn’t leave first thing in the morning (or after dinner), it is a fun way to avoid rush hour traffic.
7 – Avoid a breakdown
Of the mechanical kind! Check your vehicle before travelling. Oil, coolant, wiper blades, screenwash and tyres should be on the list. If you have air-con you might want to get it checked before you travel, so you can be sure it will keep you cool on a hot day! If you are hiring a car, consider taking out car hire excess insurance – just in case.
8 – Take in-car entertainment
Whether it is I-spy, or your favourite CD collection – making sure that spirits are high on the journey will make for a more pleasant experience for everyone. Restless children might appreciate magnetic travel games, colouring books and pencils, or even an electronic device to play games on or watch films.
9 – Share the driving
Tiredness causes accidents, and increases stress levels. It is recommended that drivers take a 20 minute rest every 2.5 hours, but for eager holiday makers on a long journey, this advice is often overlooked. If there is another driver in the car, ask to share the driving responsibilities, so when you stop, they can carry on!
10 – Consider public transport
Shock, horror! Catch a train, coach, or maybe even fly! While bank holidays are a busy time for all forms of transport, sometimes being able to sit back and relax while someone else takes care of the journey can be a refreshing experience indeed!