Is there anything better in life than getting in your car and driving off on a summer motoring holiday? You’re right; there isn’t. Except maybe getting someone else to drive you there while you go for a nap in the back.
If you want a cracking summer holiday then driving all the way from your house to the beach or the countryside or wherever you’re going is one way of making it unforgettable. All that leaves us with it a short list of the things you can’t afford to forget.
A car check up
You won’t head off to foreign lands without getting the car properly checked out, will you? The last thing you want is to have it break down on you while you are far from home and where you understand the mechanics even less than the ones in your home town. You will want to make sure that your breakdown cover is extended to cover the trip if possible but it is even more important give the vehicle a good once over before you start off. You’ll also want to take a first aid kit and some tools when you finally set off.
The local laws
Different traffic laws and signs can cause you a lot of confusion if you aren’t prepared for them. Some of the signs might even be – gasp! – in an inconveniently foreign language. A bit of research before you leave home will let you see what you need to look out for and how to stay out trouble. In addition, remember that there are essentials you need to carry by law – in France, for example, a warning triangle and hi-vis vest are required, and a set of replacement light bulbs and two alcohol breathalyser kits are recommended.
- Check out the requirements for the countries you plan to visit on the AA’s handy compulsory equipment pages
You do know where you’re going, don’t you? It might seem easy when you look at it on a map at home and when we drive close to home it is easy to become lax about route planning. However, let’s imagine you are heading down to the south coast of France for the first time. Take a few wrong left turns here and you could end up having your holiday in Greece or Italy instead. Getting a sat nav system that covers the countries you are going through is a smart move.
Don’t forget that your UK insurance might not automatically cover you where you go. Your UK policy will probably have the legal minimum cover in EU countries and a few other select places but otherwise you will need to ask for a green card.
With all that done, it’s time to grab the sun cream, put on your sunglasses and head off for a wonderful driving adventure.
- What else do you think shouldn’t be missed off the list of essential items for a summer driving holiday?