Don’t forget this before you set off! The ultimate summer road trip checklist

Maddy McKennaon 10 August 2021
road trip in van

Are you planning a road trip with your mates this summer? Here's everything you need to know before you set off to make sure you have the best trip ever.

With clubs reopening after numerous months, England playing in the finals of the Euros and festivals back on, things are looking up.

If you’ve got a friend with a car, or you’re lucky enough to own one yourself, make the most of your freedom before term starts by setting off on the ultimate summer road trip. But before you leave, here is our guide of everything you need to make it epic. 

Before you go:

1. Do your research

Unless you’re wild and opt to set off with no real direction, you’ll probably want to think through your route before hitting that accelerate pedal. 

Research picturesque routes around the UK, such as along the Jurassic Coast or through the Scottish Highlands (if you’re venturing that far!) Websites like Secret Escapes, Conde Nast Traveller and Lonely Planet are great places to start. 

2. Plan the route

Once you know where you’re headed, work out how many days you’ll be away and your budget. There’s nothing worse than arriving hangry without money to buy a burger and chips!

3. Make a note of key landmarks and roads along your chosen route

If your sat nav or navigational skills fail you, note all the key roads you need to take to reach your destination before you set off. Marking out all sightseeing spots, hotels/hostels, and any other points of interest is a good way to stay on the right track when it comes to driving. Plus, if you get totally lost, you can always ask for help, and referencing the landmarks will help!

4. Pack light

When driving across the country, you want to make sure your car is as safe and comfortable as possible. Try to stick to one bag each, plus a bag for essential snacks! It’s unlikely you’ll have a massive boot for five suitcases, so remind your passengers that you’re limited on space. Our only exception is snacks - a road trip isn’t the same without snacks… And lots of them!

As long as you have all the necessities, like water and food, you should be all set to go. Oh, and remember to bring water bottles, sun cream and cards to play at the stops!

On the trip:

1. Create a banging playlist

To make sure no one gets bored on the road, make a collaborative playlist. Let the whole group contribute songs, so you’ve got a mixture of genres. Once you’re in the car, all there is to do is assign a DJ to blast those tunes!

2. Stock up on snacks 

Not only should you be stocking up on chocolate bars and popcorn, but water too, especially in the summer heat. By being stocked up before you set off, you won’t have to stop as often and could save a bit of money in the long run (a win-win for students). And remember to always refill your water bottles when you stop at service stations!

3. Make memories

Lastly, just have fun. Whether you’re exploring the UK with your new friends from university or your oldest and best friends from school, it’s likely you haven’t seen them enough lately due to the pandemic. So, let your hair down (especially if you’re lucky enough to have access to a convertible) and make some memories!

Are you planning a road trip this summer but stuck on what activities to do? Check out our list of things you can do on uber hot days.

Maddy McKennaon 10 August 2021