5 Tips To Getting Your Car Road Trip Ready

Road through the UK countryside

Are you planning an exciting road trip adventure? Then you have come to the right place, because these are our top 5 tips to get your car road trip ready.

Before you hit the open road, making sure your car is in good condition is crucial to avoid any unexpected breakdowns or disruptions during your journey. By taking a few essential steps to get your car road trip ready, you can enjoy a stress-free and enjoyable travel experience. 

Just as important as making sure your car is ready is making sure that you are ready to enjoy the drive. As the famous saying goes, “It’s about the journey, not the destination”.

This blog post will share valuable tips and insights to help you get ready for the ultimate road trip. So, let’s dive in!

  1. Do a Complete Check of Your Car
  2. Pack Essential Roadside Emergency Equipment
  3. Organise and Clean Your Car
  4. Plan Your Route
  5. Organise Snacks and Entertainment

1. Do a Complete Check of Your Car

Start your road trip preparations by completing a thorough check of your car. Making sure your vehicle is in good condition can seem like an obvious thing to do, but we know it can easily be overlooked!

When going on a long road trip, consider the recovery costs if you break down on the side of the road. That added to the fact that you may need another car to keep your holiday going. All of a sudden, taking the time to look over your car seems like a worthwhile effort. 

Here are some areas that we recommend you check: 

  • Fluid Levels: Ensure that the engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield washer fluid are appropriate.
  • Tire Condition: Check the tire pressure, including the spare tire, and ensure they are correctly inflated. Also, check the tread depth and look for any signs of wear or damage. Consider rotating or replacing the tires if necessary.
  • Battery Health: Check the battery terminals for corrosion and ensure a secure connection. Suppose your battery is older or showing signs of weakness. In that case, it may be worth testing and replacing it before venturing on a long journey.
  • Lights and Signals: Test all exterior lights, including headlights, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights, to ensure they function correctly. Replace any bulbs that are not working.
  • Brakes: Test your brakes to ensure they are in good condition and function optimally. Squeaking or grinding noises, vibrations, or reduced responsiveness may indicate the need for brake service.

Advice on what to check according to the government’s road safety campaign, Think!

While doing a visual inspection yourself is helpful, scheduling a maintenance check with a qualified mechanic may be worth considering. A professional may be able to carry out work that you may be able to do yourself, such as: 

  • Changing the oil
  • Replacing filters
  • Inspecting the belt and hose
  • Checking the Suspension and Steering
  • Checking the cooling system

Take a look at Halfords for a free 5-point car check →

2. Pack Essential Roadside Emergency Equipment

Even with proper vehicle maintenance, preparing for unexpected situations is crucial. Equip your car with essential roadside emergency equipment, including:

  • Spare Tire Kit: Check you have a fully inflated spare tire and the necessary tools to change a tire, such as a jack and a lug wrench.
  • Tire Repair Kit: If you don’t have a spare tire, consider carrying a tire repair kit with a sealant and a portable air compressor. These can temporarily fix minor tire punctures and help you reach the nearest service station.
  • Emergency Kit: Prepare an emergency kit with a first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, reflective triangles, and an essential car toolkit.
  • Roadside Assistance Information: Keep the contact details of your roadside assistance provider handy in case you need to call for help during your journey.

3. Organise and Clean Your Car

Getting the car washed might be more of a personal choice, but consider it like when you get that fresh holiday haircut. It feels like you are just starting things off on the right foot. It might seem crazy, but for us driving a freshly cleaned car makes it feel like it goes better. 

Give your car’s interior a thorough cleaning, including vacuuming the seats and floors, wiping down surfaces, and cleaning the windows. A clean and fresh interior will make your journey more enjoyable.

No one is saying you have to clean it yourself. You can even pop down to the nearest car cleaning service. 

A great tip is to maximise space by using organisers, storage bins, or cargo nets to make things easier to pack and fit in everything that you need. An added bonus is that it will keep your belongings secure and prevent them from shifting during the trip.

4. Plan Your Route

Before venturing on your road trip, plan your route, and research potential pit stops. 

Nowadays, we all know that we will plug the destination into our Sat Nav, and away we go. But taking the time to plan your route may mean you get to visit some extra places that you otherwise would have missed if you were just sat on the motorway.

Identifying rest areas, gas stations, restaurants, and scenic viewpoints that fit in with what you enjoy is a good idea. Most importantly, make sure there are convenient places to take breaks during the journey. Good guidance is to take a 15-minute break every 2 hours, according to the government’s road safety campaignThink!

A well-planned route will help you stay on track and maximise your road trip experience.

5. Organise Snacks and Entertainment

We have saved the most important for last. Nothing makes or breaks a good road trip more than the snacks and entertainment. 

Having a good playlist set up before you set off on your journey can prevent you from trying to play with your phone to find the perfect song while you might be driving. 

When it comes to snacks, everyone has their personal preference, sweet or savoury. Packaging a little bit of both isn’t a bad idea, so you are covered no matter which way the mood takes you. A good tip is to stick to things that are easy to eat so that your attention isn’t distracted from driving. 

These are our top 5 snacks for a road trip: 

  • Beef Jerky / Biltong
  • Percy Pigs
  • Mars Bars (but any chocolate bar will do!)
  • Nuts
  • Apple


A well-prepared and road trip-ready car is critical to an enjoyable and stress-free journey. You can minimise the risk of unexpected issues along the way by conducting thorough vehicle inspections, scheduling professional maintenance checks, and packing essential emergency equipment. Additionally, organising the interior space and planning your route will enhance comfort and ensure a smooth road trip experience. So, gear up, hit the road, and create unforgettable memories as you embark on your next adventure!

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