How to plan a safe Easter staycation trip
Planning a road trip with your family for Easter? Find how how you can keep everyone safe with some essential preparations.
The Easter holidays are the perfect time to have a UK getaway and enjoy the weather as it gets lighter and warmer. There are so many beautiful destinations to check out in the UK, and they are all just a car journey away.
Whether you’ve chosen to head to the coast or the countryside, there are some essential items you’ll want to remember. In this article, the car experts at My Motor World have brought together some essential checks to make and items to pack to make sure that you’re properly prepared for your trip.
It’s essential to do some safety checks on your vehicle, look on dog friendly travel tips, and pack everything you’ll need when you head out on your trip, so use this information as a starting point to ensure that you have everything set up for a fantastic break.
Pack your car safely
While it can be a rush to make sure that everything is packed when you set off on your next staycation, it’s very important to ensure that everything is safely stowed away and won’t fall or slip anywhere during the journey. So, tie things down where needed and don’t be afraid to drive for a short test run around the block to check that your luggage (especially anything attached to the roof racks) doesn’t move when the car is moving.
When packing your car, you should also take note of the weight that it is supposed to carry: your vehicle should come with a recommendation from the manufacturer on how much is safe to carry, and you shouldn’t exceed this.
Weighing your car down too much can make it unbalanced on the road, making it dangerous to complete your journey, especially if it’s long. So, take time to estimate the weight of everything you’re packing, and don’t forget to allow for the people (and pets!) too.
Make sure your passengers are safe
As well as your luggage, you should also take note of safety as it pertains to the passengers you’ll be taking with you. If you’re bringing any children on your staycation, install the booster seats ahead of time and check that the seatbelts will adequately stretch over them, so that your kids will be safe during the drive.
If taking pets with you, plan how you’re going to make them comfortable during the journey too: many dogs will happily lay down on a rug or blanket and sit quietly. But if your dog is likely to be disruptive, get them a special crate for going in the car, or consider buying a vehicle that has boot space that is spacious and light enough for them to sit in.
Do these six vehicle checks
Travelling for a staycation is often when we complete longer drives than our usual commute or run to the shops, so with this in mind, it’s definitely worth carrying out some basic checks on your car.
Complete these six checks with enough time before your trip to carry out any small maintenance tasks you might need to do.
1) Tyre pressure
Ensure that your tyre pressure is correct, using a tyre pressure gauge. Your tyres need to be pressurised enough so that they won’t flatten part way through driving, but not so pressurised that they become more vulnerable to damage or punctures.
2) Windscreen wipers
Ensure that your windscreen wipers are working and have enough fluid; driving without these working is not only annoying, but can obscure your vision and be dangerous.
Ensure that all your lights are working, both on your car’s exterior and in the interior. Most importantly, test your headlights thoroughly so that you can both see and indicate.
4) Air conditioning
You might not usually use your air conditioning over Easter in the UK, but it’s well worth testing just in case you run into hotter weather than you were expecting, especially as your car will typically reach a cosier temperature on longer drives.
5) Oil level
Oil is essential for keeping your vehicle running smoothly, so make sure to check that you have enough. If you think you’ll need more oil, procure it before your trip.
It seems obvious, but the final check you should make the day before your trip is how much petrol you have in your tank. If you’ll need to top up, build time into your route for this, and check the map ahead of time to ensure there are enough stop points if you’re travelling far enough that you might need to fill up on the way.
Check the weather and terrain
As well as checking your travel route for possible stop points such as service stations, you should also make note of the likely weather conditions and terrain you’ll be driving through.
During the Easter holidays, the UK is mostly mild, but it’s worth looking at where you’re driving to in case there are any unexpected features such as heavy rains or wind that might have disturbed the roads you’re planning to use. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, as well as local information on driving routes.
We often like to head out into the countryside on our staycations, and while this makes for beautiful views, sometimes it can mean travelling through smaller roads and country lanes that your vehicle might not usually tackle. So, it’s well worth planning a route with this in mind. If your car is older, you might want to consider adapting the recommended sat-nav route to encompass wider, smoother roads that will be easier to drive on and not require turns that are as sharp.
Enjoy a safe Easter break with your family
Heading out for an Easter staycation is exciting for all the family, but getting everything packed up and your vehicle prepared can be a lot to remember. So, use these tips to carry out some important checks on your vehicle. Always pack with your car’s weight requirements in mind, and conduct any car maintenance tasks ahead of time to make your trip as relaxing and stress-free as possible.
Consider buying any tools or equipment ahead of time too, such as a tyre pressure gauge, and make sure you have the necessary equipment on-hand in case of a breakdown. While this is unlikely to happen, it never hurts to have some jump leads in your car on the off chance you might need them.