Long, arduous car trips are a necessity for many single mums when it comes to holiday time. It just isn’t feasible for many single parent families to fly on a plane, simply due to cost and logistics. So, it’s our cars that get us to our holiday destinations, with, possibly, a little help from a ferry or the Eurotunnel.
As a real road trip veteran, however, I’ve learned a few things – mostly due to bad experiences! So, with the kids about to break up and many single mums getting ready for their summer holidays, I thought I would share my knowledge with you. With a little luck, these car prep tips should help you avoid breakdowns or accidents, whether you’re road tripping across the UK or abroad. Let’s get started!
First of all, create a little checklist of all the tasks you need to complete. There is so much else to consider when you are getting ready for a holiday, that a tick list will, at least, make sure you get everything done. You need to check all your fluids, including oil, antifreeze, wiper fluid and coolant. Give your air filter a check, and ensure it is free from debris – a new, clean air filter will save you a lot of money in fuel.
Put the car in for a service
If you haven’t had a service for a while, I recommend getting one before you holiday. It will identify any areas of the car that might turn into a big problem. When you hit the road and drive long distances, there’s a chance these small problems could turn into something serious. A basic service should reveal any issues – and will give you the chance to fix them before you set off.
At the bare minimum, you should check your owner’s manual and learn your tyres optimum inflation. Keeping your tyres pumped to the right levels is makes your car safer to drive, and is better for fuel efficiency. You might want to consider swapping your tyres for a new set, too. Check the weather conditions wherever you are going and base your decision on what you find. Uniroyal tyres, for example, are well known for being good for wet conditions. The better tyres you buy, the safer and more economical they can be – which are both major concerns for any single mum!
Of course, you will need a lot of fuel to get to your destination. That said, a full tank of petrol or diesel adds a lot of weight to your car, which is going to decrease your fuel efficiency. Plan your route carefully and highlight all the service stations on the way to your destination. If you can try and avoid driving for more than a couple of hours at a time, you will be able to save a decent amount of money. Plus, of course, you will be able to unleash frustrated children and allow them to stretch their legs and get some fresh air.
Read the manual
Finally, read your owner’s manual. It’s not an exciting read, for sure, but it does contain some vital info on how to drive your car efficiently. The time it takes is an investment, because it will save you money in fuel and basic maintenance. Good luck – and have a great road trip!