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Things to pack for a long road trip

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Long road trips can be extremely exciting: going somewhere new, seeing old friends or family, or having to get up really early to beat the traffic, there’s something about hitting the road for a long period of time that is particularly exciting (unless, of course, it’s for a business meeting).

Of course, with any lengthy road trip you should carry out a few essential checks before you set off. Under the bonnet you should check water and oil levels and you should check tyre pressure too to ensure you keep your petrol costs to a minimum.

But it’s not just about what you do before you hit the road – there are a few things you should take with you on any long journey. While this will obviously depend on where you’re going, why you’re going there and how long you’re staying, the below list should be a decent starting point when packing for any long car journey.


For the car

We’ve mentioned that you should do some pre-journey checks, but take some oil and a water bottle with you, just in case. In addition, you never know when a jerry can might come in useful.

The chances are that if you’re driving on a long journey, you’ll need to drive back again at some point. Take your foot pump with you to keep your tyres at the right pressure.

A torch is always a good bet. Or alternatively, download a flashlight app for your smartphone which will come in handy if you get lost in the dark. Which leads us onto…

A car charger. Your mobile phone will be crucial if you get lost, breakdown, or simply get bored and need to take a break. If your car doesn’t have a charger built in, buy one that can plug into the car’s cigarette lighter.

For you

Entertainment! No matter how much you love driving, a long car ride will undoubtedly get boring at some point, as will listening to the same radio station. Make sure your phone is loaded with youir favourite podcasts and some albums – and that you’ve got the right lead to plug it in to the car’s stereo system.

If you’ve got kids, hearing them constantly cry “are we there yet?” after the first half an hour on the road will soon bore you, so make sure you pack enough to keep them quiet. Books, particularly Michelin’s ‘I-Spy on a car journey’ will keep them quiet for hours depending on their age, while other games will help occupy their minds too. Of course, depending on their age, you might want to take some nappies too.

Nutrition will of course be important, and unless you want to pay extortionate prices at service stations in this country or try and decipher the menu abroad, taking a packed lunch and bottles of water will keep your family happy and keep you fresh and able to concentrate on driving.

If you can, take a Sat Nav and an A to Z. You never know when you might need the latter if the first one lets you down.

And finally, make sure you’ve got some warm clothes in case the worst comes to the worst and you have to bed down for the night behind the wheel.



published: 13/09/2013 11:00:01

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