Drives Travel Advice

What To Consider When Planning Your First Road Trip

Road Trip Advice

We do love a good road trip. Whether that is driving from Orlando to Miami and Key West or around Iceland with its breathtaking scenery. Wherever you go on a road trip there are certain things you need to consider before you shoot off on your travels.


Route Planning
First, plan your route. In the olden days, this would have been with a map, and of course, you can go old school and still plan your route that way, but today a Sat Nav or Google Maps is your friend. Well, not your real friend, that would be weird!

We have found that if you buy a Sat Nav then, as well as the cost of buying it, it also needs to be updated on a regular basis and this can often cost too. These days we prefer to use Google Maps on a smartphone as its free to use. It also gets updates when you are on the route so you can find out if there are traffic jams and it can divert you easily. Simple.

It’s always worth looking at the route beforehand to plan any stops, and if the route is long, overnight stays. Again Google Maps is your friend here, and also Trip Advisor can help you plan what to do at your stop, including give you recommended restaurants and hotels. Never take what TripAdvisor says 100 percent though as some reviews can be rigged. Compare with other travel or restaurant review sites and trust your gut instinct.

Car Care

Classic Car Roadtrip
You may be aware of what you need in your car in the country you live in, but always check what you need in the car if you are travelling abroad. Every country has slightly different laws. If you are hiring a car in the country you are driving in, then it should be ready and legal for you. If you are taking your car over a border then check what you need.

When driving your own car then there are some sensible precautions you need to take before you start your trip.

  • Check that your tyres are safe and legal with enough pressure. If not buy them from a reputable company like Kwik Fit.
  • Check that your battery is in good condition.
  • Check your oil levels and consider topping it up.
  • Check that your wipers work properly and that the rubber is in good condition. If not replace.
  • Check your coolant level and see if it needs topping up.

Take an emergency kit which should include things like a warning triangle, jump leads, first aid kit, torch, spare tyre and jack, extendable wheel wrench, blanket and water. A high visibility vest is also worth considering in case you break down. You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road in the dark without being easily seen.
Car Breakdown

Something else worth considering is investing in breakdown cover, as this can help you get out of a jam and which will add peace of mind.


Big Donut
Food and drink should be as mess free as possible. Bottles of water and healthy (and unhealthy snacks) add a boost of energy and help prevent boredom. Of course, you can buy these en route but if you buy them beforehand from places like Poundland you can save money as petrol stations, especially along the motorways, are never that cheap.

Good snacks include trail mix, cereal bars and dried fruit but I must admit Mr W always ends up eating crisps and chocolate!

Tech Or No Tech

Car Tech
Technology can be a lifesaver if you are travelling with kids, so be sure to take the tablet or smartphone with downloaded games, films and apps. Of course, don’t forget the headphones, chargers and travel adaptors too.

If you want to avoid the kids (and adults) being glued to the tech the whole time then plan some games in advance such as ISpy, and bring books or magazines to read. Maybe let the kids make their own playlist for the car and why not have a sing-a-long like the Griswalds in European Vacation!

The last thing, consider a travel tablet for those that get sick easily. The last thing you want is sick all over the car. Yuck! Oh and don’t forget the wet wipes for those moments.

We hope these tips will help you prepare for your first road trip. Have fun!


What To Consider When Planning Your First Road Trip

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  • Nichola - Globalmouse
    January 29, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Great tips! We love a good road trip and have travelled around everywhere from Oman to Iceland. We always take lots of audio books which really help.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 2, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Audio books are great aren’t they?

  • Oliver
    January 29, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    These are some brilliant tips! My partner usually drives so I don’t have to worry about half of these things but still good to know! Thanks 🙂

    Oliver x

  • Olivia
    January 29, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    That doughnut looks like a fab snack for a journey. Totally agree that getting your car checked over first is key, nothing worse than breaking down in a place you do not know! X

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 2, 2018 at 10:19 am

      It is from Universal Studios, a bit sticky, and probably the worst snack to take for the mess, ha!

    January 29, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    This is an excellent post with lots of good tips. I totally agree that checking your car over to see its road worthy is a must as is having all the extras for emergency too.

  • Evelyne CulturEatz
    January 30, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Lots of great tips. I have done several road trips, some alone. I remember printing a pile of google maps for a trip pre smartphones.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 2, 2018 at 10:21 am

      We used to plan routes with the AA routefinder but now Google maps is so easy to use on your smart phone.

  • Sally - My Custard Pie
    February 2, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Such very useful practical advice

  • Louise
    February 2, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Many great tips! I love road trips and my boyfriend and I often spend a lot of hours in a car, when visiting my in-laws in South of France! One thing that is totally necessary when driving in the warmer contries…. an aircondition system, that works! 😀

    X Louise