Most people I know have a travel bucket list. It’s essentially a list of places you would love to travel to and for all different reasons of course! No 2 bucket lists will be the same and I’ve seen some pretty damn long ones and some pretty short ones. Of course I also have one (which I will talk about at some point, promise) but one thing I’ve added to my list recently (or a few things) are more road trips rather than just places I’d like to travel.
A lot of people think it’s so much easier to hop onto a plane (or boat) as so much goes into planning a vacation that the least of your worries is the travelling. It’s bad enough that tickets might also cost a bomb and then there’s finding your flights, getting to the airport on time. But actually, it’s much easier to hop in the car and go wherever you please. We recently travelled down to Cornwall (for those who don’t know, I live in Manchester which is approximately 8/9 hours away). I really couldn’t be bothered trying to get a plane down and I really am not a fan of trains, especially with a journey so long. So I drove. I wish I wasn’t the only driver but I did it. I didn’t even look into it, but I knew that the money I saved for petrol was so much cheaper than getting plane tickets for the 3 of us and our luggage, which we also had a lot of. As well as the drive to Cornwall, I also regularly drive to various other locations around the country. We have family in Scotland as well as Liverpool and Nottingham. Back to the point…
I’ve added a few european road trip destinations to my bucket list as I think driving is probably my preferred method of travel (no matter how much road rage I might get haha!) The only thing is, I’ve never driven abroad but I’d definitely give it a shot.
Ring of Kerry – Ireland
This honestly sounds so beautiful! A 200km loop around mountains, countryside, beaches and lakes. What more could you want?!
When I was younger, I visited various areas in Yorkshire a lot. I remember them being so beautiful and so much to take in. Though the roads aren’t quite as impressive as most places, it’s super scenic and a lot of the roads are also fairly quiet too. Peaceful.
The Amalfi Coast – Italy
I’ve never been to Italy but I know it has such wonderful architecture and a vast array of sceneries. The Amalfi coast takes you through various destinations, travelling through different towns and also admiring the views.
Before you go on a road trip however, you should definitely prep your car so there are no unnecessary stops or blips on the way. Before a road trip, I always make sure my car is pretty upto scratch so it can take me wherever I need to go and it can handle my family, luggage and different driving conditions. Some things to check before you set off should be;
- Tyres. Tyres are pretty sturdy things and I think we can all take them for granted sometimes. I went a few years without even knowing how to change a tyre. So before you go anywhere, make sure the air pressure is full and that the tread depth is legal. The legal limit for a minimum tyre tread depth is 1.6mm however, to ensure safety, it is advised that you change your tyres before they reach this. A good way to check your depth is to use a 20p coin. If you slot it in between the grooves of the main part of your tyre, you will see if either the outer band of the coin is covered or is completely visible. If completely visible, your tread is too low and you should probably think about changing your tyre.
- Lights. Have a check if all your lights and bulbs are working correctly. If someone can help you, get them to check each and every one of your lights when you switch them on one by one. If your bulbs haven’t been replaced in a while, it might be a good idea to get them replaced before a long journey to save being pulled over or any problems in difficult light.
- Car Safety Checks. Another thing to check before any road trip, are that all your car safety checks are upto date and valid. Does your car need MOT testing? Is the insurance upto date and the road tax valid? Have you checked that you are allowed to drive where you are intending to? For the UK, you wouldn’t usually need anything extra, but you may need to tell your insurance if you are driving to another country or get additional insurance for that period of time, they may also have their own road tax you may need.
- Under the Hood. I usually make sure everything is topped up and working great. Usually you can get a general check done at Halfords, Kwik Fit or Equipe (to name a few) and they will make sure your tyres are road worthy and your battery is running smoothly. I would also make sure your oil is of a good level for the journey you will need (maybe buy an extra bottle just in case, they’re usually around £10). Top up your windscreen wash and get your brake fluid checked.
- Plan your Journey. So I know I’ve mentioned this in another post, but it is a really good idea to check out your journey before you make it. How long is your journey going to take? Can you make any stops for food, going to the bathroom, stretching your legs? If another driver is going with you, will you swap over part way or do different sections of the journey each to give each other a rest? If you have a family, make sure you have provisions to keep them occupied if possible. Maybe make up some in car games (I used to play I-Spy a lot and counting different colours/types of vehicles on the road). Also, is there anywhere you could get fuel if needed? Most people might use Sat Navs when driving but a road map still comes in super handy so it’s always a good idea to have one or get one for the place you are travelling to.
Do you have any other tips for preparing for a journey and have you added any road trips to your bucket list?