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Planning a road trip

There are many reasons for a road trip, including holidays, family visits or business trips. Long or short, driving can be tiring and stressful, especially if you have young children or no sense of direction. If you’re planning a car journey, either across the UK or abroad, then be prepared for anything with our top tips.

1.  Prep the car

Breaking down on the motorway is quite inconvenient, as is running out of petrol in the middle of nowhere. Make sure that your car has a full tank of petrol and that everything’s topped up under the bonnet. Check all lights are working and pump up your tyres. Make sure your spare tyre (if you have one) is in the car and in good condition.

2.  Find your route

Knowing where you’re going is always useful so sit down with a map or your computer and have a look at the best way to get to your destination. Even if you have a Sat Nav in the car, it’s useful to have a good idea of a few routes in case of traffic or diversions. There are several online route planners and The AA Route Planner and Google Maps are two examples that should get you to the right place.

3.  Pack the car

Car journeys get on everyone’s nerves at some point, no matter how patient we are. Rather than having to keep stopping, make sure you have everything you need beforehand. Fill up with healthy snacks and lots of water. If you have children, then make sure they have books, toys and games consoles to keep them busy and stop them bickering.

4. Check the essentials

Make sure you have all necessary documentation, especially if you’re going abroad, so pack your driving licence, insurance documents and roadside assistance card. Keep your mobile phone charged at all times and consider taking a spare set of keys just in case (although don’t keep them in the car).

5.  Mix it up

Long trips can be dull, so make sure your iPod is fully charged with a good selection of driving music that everyone’s happy with. Rousing classical music, cheesy pop songs and rock ballads are great for road trips, so make sure you sing along loudly and enjoy yourself. If you don’t fancy music, then buy an audio book by your favourite author or download a funny podcast.

6.  Share the driving

If you’re heading off on a trip with your partner or a colleague, then taking turns at the wheel can reduce the risk of accidents. If your trip is a few hundred miles or more and you’re doing all the driving, it’s easy to get tired and lose concentration. If someone else does part of the driving, you can have a quick nap or just rest your eyes.

7.  Plan your stops

It’s not a good idea to drive for more than two hours without a break. Try to plan where you’re going to stop, especially if you’re driving at night as not all petrol stations are 24 hours. If you’re not in a rush, you could find a nice country pub for lunch or have a stroll around a random little village to stretch your legs.

8.  Clear the car

If you’re in the car for a good few hours, or even several days, then your car will quickly fill up with sweet wrappers, empty bottles and crumbs. Try to keep some rubbish bags in the car and try to put all refuse into a bag. That way rubbish can be easily thrown away and your car won’t smell. There’ll also be more room for luggage and feet if floors aren’t covered in debris.

9.  Keep healthy

The weather is getting warmer and being in a hot car for a long time isn’t fun. Make sure you drink plenty of water, wear sunglasses and apply sun cream. Having a first aid kit with Waspeze, anti-histamines, paracetamol etc. is also a good idea for summer driving.

10.   Be patient

Road rage happens to the best of us, but shouting at other drivers won’t get you to your destination any quicker. The same goes for speeding – it’s not worth getting a ticket for the sake of arriving somewhere five minutes sooner. You also need to be patient with your children or partner if they’re driving you to distraction. If you’re getting stressed, pull into the next services or lay-by and take a few minutes to regain your composure.

How can John Lewis Car Insurance help?

Long drives are tiring and stressful, especially if you’re driving on unfamiliar roads or in a foreign country. With John Lewis Car Insurance you don’t need to worry about separate insurance for , as your policy includes up to 90 days cover. We also give you the option of European Breakdown Cover so you’re covered wherever you go.

We like to reward our conscientious drivers so if you’ve held a Car Insurance policy with us for several years, without making a claim, then you could save up to 75% with our No Claims Discount. If your No Claims Discount is protected, then you can also claim twice in three years without affecting your discount.

For further tips and advice, please see our quick guide (PDF).

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John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered in England No. 00233462. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NN. John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Ageas Insurance Limited who are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Ageas Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 354568. Registered office: Ageas House, Hampshire Corporate Park, Templars Way, Eastleigh, SO53 3YA.

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