I am always looking for spontaneous adventure! Next week is my birthday and I’ve looked at so many ideas from driving to Disneyland Paris, to hopping on a ferry to Ireland or Amsterdam. There are themeparks to visit, restaurants to eat at and shops to go shopping – all of these would require me driving there and I’m absolutely fine with that. I just love a last minute decision. Age UK (charity) recently posted these tips, but I wanted to share mine with you!
For the cheapest offers, plan in advance! I know I said spontaneous adventures are my favourite, but a couple of years ago we went to Disneyland Paris and planning in advance definitely saved us a heap of money. We got a cheap Travelodge on the way out, a cheap offer on the actual holiday and also planning meant we could save! Our Travelodge on the night out, was £30 compared to the last minute one on the way back (£80!). Our holiday was £1 for the Ferry travel and £400 for the holiday, compared to the usual cost of about £1000 on the Disneyland Paris website.
Break up the journey and takes lots of stops! As with above, road trips are all very well but to really enjoy it, breaking it up (and ultimately extending the holiday) can make it way more enjoyable. Travel a large part of your journey and then do an overnight stopover. Set off early the next day fresh and ready for another good long drive. Likewise on the way home, do a good chunk of the driving but stop and sleep before finishing your journey fresh in the morning. Everyone gets tired and for the passengers in the car, they can sleep anyway. However its important that the driver definitely catches a few Zzzzs.
Always pack food and drink for the trip. Of course its always good to stop for a coffee break or even McDonalds but ensuring you have food and drink for the journey is also a good tip. Kids get hungry and thirsty easily anyway but its always good to have something to keep you refreshed. No matter where you’re road tripping to, you’re always subject to traffic jams! You don’t want to get caught out in two hours of traffic with nothing to eat or drink!
Take a SatNav or smartphone capable of navigation. Okay so technology isn’t foolproof but in this day and age its definitely a lot easier to have some sort of navigation helping you. As a driver its impossible to concentrate on the road and read a map, and road signs aren’t always that useful. A good SatNav will keep you alert and listening, while also helping you to get where you’re going. It might not be the best route, the fastest route or even the most sensible, but chances are it will stop you getting lost – or if you get lost, help you get unlost!
Keep an eye on petrol and prices! Petrol is incredibly expensive and so if you’re taking a road trip the costs can add up. Try not to leave buying petrol to the last minute as the chances are you’ll pay through the nose for it. Petrol stations near to airports, docks etc are likely to be more expensive as they know people often need petrol before immediately going somewhere or immediately coming back. Fill the car whenever you find it somewhere cheap and make the most of the lower price. Also cars tend to run better on the top end of the tank than they do on the bottom end!
Change your plans if necessary. As with all the advice above, change your plans if necessary. We originally planned our road trip to Paris with an overnight stay beforehand but a drive straight through the night on the way home. However when we got back to Dover I realised I was too tired to drive us home and instead we checked into a Travelodge (the expensive one). It may well have cost us twice as much as the pre-booked Travelodge, but it possibly saved our lives if I’d have driven tired.
This weekend we’re traveling down to London and I can’t wait! We leave at 8pm Friday night (so a day time nap is on the cards) and we’re staying Friday night and Saturday in Travelodges. We’re going to MCM Comic Con and also to see Phantom of the Opera. This is my birthday treat and I can’t wait!