Planning a road trip? Here’s everything you need to know

If you’re thinking of going on a road trip this summer, a little bit of planning can go a long way. Here, comparison site for cheap car insurance,, shares advice that ensures you get the most out of your travels. 

Decide where you want to go

Spontaneity sounds like great fun. After all, what’s more exciting than throwing caution to the wind and driving off into the sunset? 

But the reality is that spontaneity can be stressful, whereas having some sort of plan gives you structure. If you don’t know where you’re going, it could mean missing out on a whole load of other worthwhile attractions along the way.

So, choose your ultimate destination and plan pit stops along the way but leave some room for flexibility too. You never know when you might stumble across a local fayre or unique place of interest worth checking out.   

Prepare for the unexpected

By their nature, unexpected events are unpredictable. Rather than scrabbling around after the event, preparing for them can save you time, hassle and stress. With that in mind, check essentials like:

  • Car oil and coolant
  • Tyre pressure
  • Lights, including indicators and brakes as well as headlights
  • Screenwash and windscreen wipers, ensuring they’re not smearing or dragging
  • Fuel, making sure the tank is topped up and ready for the journey

Pack what you need (and what you hope you don’t)

If you’re going away, you’ll naturally have clothes and toiletries but make sure essentials are close to hand, for instance: phone chargers and spare clothes (especially if you’re travelling with small children).

Essential equipment will vary depending on where you go but for starters, you’ll definitely need your photo driving licence. If you’re travelling to Europe, check what you must keep in your car according to each country’s laws. For example, it may be compulsory to have a warning triangle, reflective jacket, headlight deflectors and a UK car sticker (not GB).

It’s also worth packing (and making sure they’re easily accessible): 

  • Maps (in case sat nav can’t get you where you want to go)
  • Fuel can
  • Torch (and batteries)
  • Sick bags for children (and adults)
  • Water and snacks for the first day or until you can restock 
  • Blankets
  • First aid kit and any medication you need
  • European or global health insurance card, available for free to UK citizens at NHS.UK

Check you’ve got the right car insurance

If you don’t want to spend all your time behind the wheel, decide how you’re going to share the driving. Doing this and arranging suitable car insurance before you set off means you can avoid any last minute panic about whether or not other people are covered to drive the car you’re taking.

If you do decide to share, temporary car insurance could be just what you need. Policies typically provide comprehensive cover for as little as 24 hours up to several weeks. Better still, temporary car cover can be bought as a standalone policy alongside standard annual car insurance so a claim won’t affect your no claims bonus

If you’re venturing to Europe (or even further afield) check your policy covers the places you’re driving through. You should also check what other documentation you’ll need, for example, proof of car insurance and your V5C (logbook). In some countries outside of the EU, you might need to arrange an international driving permit (IDP) too. You can find out exactly what you need at GOV.UK, driving abroad

But if you’re not quite adventure ready and your current car insurance policy is due for renewal soon, take the time to compare dozens of providers at sites like A number of insurers will include EU cover as part of a comprehensive policy or as an optional extra which can save you looking for cover later on. 

Not only that, with mustard’s Cheapest Price Guarantee, you can be confident about getting great value car insurance which means you can spend more of your budget on sightseeing and ice-cream.


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