Road trip 101: Fall back in love with driving once again

If you are something of a petrolhead, but you find the only times you drive are to ferry the kids to school, to do the grocery shop or to commute to work, you might find yourself falling out of love with driving. Driving your car has become nothing but a chore or a means to an end, and you no longer get the same pleasure from your motor as you once did. No longer do you put the pedal to the metal for thrills, and you can’t remember the last time you enjoyed a long, leisurely drive just for fun.

It’s time to consider how you can fall back in love with driving. The simplest way to do this is by taking a road trip. It doesn’t have to be far, out of the country or for an extended period of time. Even a weekend away in your car can be the perfect remedy for those people who are starting to hate the set of wheels on their driveway. While driving is nothing more than a daily need-to-do activity for many people, for some who adore their motors, driving is a hobby and a pleasure. Take a look at how you can plan the perfect road trip to help you fall back in love with driving.

WHAT CAR?

If you are heading on a road trip for a few days, you might not want to take the vehicle that you drive day in, day out. Instead, use this opportunity to hire something a little different or a car that you’ve always fancied having a drive of. Perhaps you fancy a sporty little number, a convertible, an SUV or even a VW campervan. Whatever sort of motor floats your boat, use this road trip as the perfect opportunity to drive it. Plenty of rental firms have weekend special offers meaning that you could be driving the car of your dreams for much less than you think.

Driving something a little bit different from the norm can help you fall in love with driving again, as you have to learn how to handle the car, you need to work out its braking, and it’s horsepower. You never know, you might love the vehicle that you drive so much, that you trade in your motor at home for the one you took a road trip in.

You might even choose to keep your accommodation attached to the motor you are driving to save money. Perhaps you fancy towing a caravan. This can be ideal if you are taking your young brood along with you for the ride. You have the freedom to pull up at a campsite or two and hunker down for the night in a tent or caravan. Alternatively, you could hire a large RV. Recreational vehicles are great for national parks and difficult terrain. If you want to go off road, you can do so safely in an RV. Many are so well equipped they are like a home away from home.

WHERE TO?

When planning your road trip, you need to consider where you are going. You could choose to venture to the tourist hotspots – perhaps a national park or two, or maybe a coastal drive, or perhaps mountainous terrain might be a challenging drive. Try to keep off the highways and go off the beaten track to test yourself in your car. Cruise control is boring and doesn’t allow you to flex your driving muscles. Country lanes, mountain roads, and smaller, less frequented routes are more exciting to drive.

You must plan a route before you set off. Yes, you might be spontaneous, but if you don’t check your route, you might find yourself in traffic, being diverted because of roadworks, or stuck because you didn’t account for weather. Even if you aren’t the planning type, it’s vital that you have a skeleton plan. Go old school with a large map and highlight your proposed route. Work out where you can take stops every two to three hours for a decent rest break, and plan your accommodation along the way.

Remember, this is a road trip, not a 72 hour long drive, so make some time to see some sights, eat and enjoy some tourist activities. Coastal drives can be ideal as they are relaxing and you can spend some time catching some rays on the beach. Alternatively, if you are a culture vulture, a stop in a city could be perfect to unwind in a museum or two. This is a vacation as much as it is a drive so enjoy both aspects to your trip. Being on holiday should make driving your car more pleasurable as you are more free to do what you want when you want.

SAFETY CHECKS

Before you head out on any long journey, you should be completing the basic safety checks on your vehicle. If you find yourself checking your tire pressures only to see rips, tears and low threads, it might be time to get yourself some brand new tires to keep you safe on your journey. If you’re heading somewhere cold, extra grip might be worthwhile. Consider your tire options depending on your destination.

Check the fluids in your car. Do you have enough oil, antifreeze, brake fluid and screen wash? Keep extra with you in the trunk of your car just in case. Ensure that all of your lights are working and keep a couple of bulbs spare. Be sensible and consider what would happen if your car did break down. While unlikely, you need to make sure that you are safe and warm if holed up for the night somewhere isolated. Keep a red warning triangle, shovel, blankets, water, and food with you at all times. At the very least, you will be comfortable while you wait for the breakdown services to reach you.

A road trip is a great way to see the country in which you live and on a budget. At the same time, dedicating some of your free time to a hobby that you once loved can help you fall in love with it all over again. Driving shouldn’t be a chore and your car shouldn’t simply be a tool to get you from A to B. As a petrol head, you know how much cars inspire you and give you pleasure. Hire a new vehicle and start planning your road trip to help you put the pedal to the metal and adore driving once again.


Photo Credit: Nissan

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