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Monday, 22 May 2017

Always Be Prepared!

Hannah Barnes

Last weekend I went to Wales. Or at least, I told everyone I was going to Wales...only to discover that the road trip I had planned wouldn’t actually take me across the border.

Despite lots of lovely welsh signs and our proximity to everyone’s favourite welsh town; Barry, it actually turns out that the Air B n B myself and a group of friends had booked, was right here in merry old England. Although it did have a tree house. So one can’t really complain.

Like everyone, I’m prone to cocking things up every now and again (say, planning a trip to Wales and ending up in England). But I firmly believe that if we can learn from our mistakes, they’re well worth making. And this most recent cock up was far from the worst I’ve made in relation to a road trip. You'll have to stay until the end to hear that.

Which is why this time, I came prepared. Here are a few of my tips for getting yourself, and your car, ready for your next road trip.

Get Yourself a Map

With sat navs seemingly making our lives so much easier, it’s difficult to understand how our parents and grandparents got around. It turns out though, that they had these things called maps, and that reading a map isn’t all that difficult. Also, you can read a map anywhere, which is perfect for when the signal on your sat nav disappears, slap bang in the middle of nowhere. Want to get there? Get a map. And yes, Mr Cartographer – you can have that one.

Check Your Tyres

Your tyres can seriously affect a whole range of things when taking a trip out in your car. Whether for a longer road trip or a short journey, it’s always worth checking your tyres and replacing them where necessary. Not only will this improve your safety, by giving you a much better grip on the roads surface as you travel along, it’ll also help give you a much smoother, and more economical driving. You want to look out for any puncture marks in the tyres, ensure the air pressure within them is correct and most importantly never head out in your car on a set of bald tyres. If you’re in Manchester (hi friend!) Point S offer cheap but reliable tyres, you can order online here – giving you absolutely no excuse.

Create a Playlist

Radio signals fading in and out, the same news bulletin every hour, on the hour and that annoying song they won’t stop playing: no one wants to take a long trip at the mercy of the radio. Make yourself a playlist and plug your phone into the car stereo. Or go old school and burn yourself a car ride’s worth of CDs. Anything to keep things upbeat, even in the worst of traffic jams.

Stock Up On Snacks

Don’t get hit by service station surcharges – unless you just can’t resist the lure of the Starbuck's mermaid – pack all your favourite snacks for the road ahead. You can make yourself some sandwiches and put together a packed lunch, you big bore, or simply make like an unsupervised child at a birthday party and fill the back seat with as many share bags and juice cartons as you can wedge in. Your childhood self will be so proud.

Seriously though, get those tyres checked and if in doubt, get them changed, because there is honestly no point in wasting a whole night of your much anticipated break (or your spontaneous jaunt to spot the northern lights) stuck in a ditch at the side of the road. All because it happened to rain a little yesterday and you hadn’t had the foresight to check the tread on your *very bald* tyres. And yes, that right there is another example of me cocking something up. But hey, nobody’s perfect. And roadside recovery did eventually find us.

Have you had a hilarious road trip experience? What did you learn? Hit me up in the comments section!


Hannah Barnes / Author & Editor

I keep myself busy with my small business; The Loft Gifts, the period poverty charity I run; The Crimson Wave, writing here and for vaious platforms and a growing menagerie of household pets.


  1. That sounds like something I would do! Just before our wedding my husband booked us a spa weekend in Tenby and thought he would avoid going over the bridge and paying a toll but we got totally lost and it ended up taking us 5 extra hours to get there!!

  2. Oh no! What an adventure - at least you got to see a bit more of the countryside on your travels.

    We had a great time all the same!

  3. I think good playlists definitely make the road trip! I'll be driving down with one of my best friends soon from London -Bournemouth so looking forward to that! x


    1. That sounds like a great drive, I hope you get to go via some scenic routes. The perfect playlist + the perfect route = the best road trips!


  4. I love a good road trip playlist- definitely makes the experience memorable. I have never had one go wrong yet but there is time!

    Sarah |

    1. I hope you never do! Although it does make for some great laughs along the way!

  5. I don't drive myself but I am always the one fully prepared with snacks and a rad playlist whenever I go anywhere in friends cars. If you don't have a bloated belly from eating a whole pack of digestives and a sore throat from singing at the top of your lungs, was it even a road trip bro?

    Rebecca, xo

  6. I'm sorry to laugh, but this made me chuckle! What a funny mistake to make. At least you had actually booked something! Did you make it over the border into Barry at all, or just stay in England after all?



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