If you’re staying in Britain for your holiday this year and planning to drive to your destination, allow plenty of time for your journey. The roads become extremely busy during the summer, particularly during the school holidays.
The following tips and website suggestions will help you get the most out of planning your journey:
Plan your route
Plan your journey in advance so you have a firm idea in your head of your route. There are several online route planners such as: the AA (www.theaa.com), the RAC (www.rac.co.uk) or MultiMap (www.multimap.com). Although I use a mixture of these sites, when planning longer routes I tend to use the AA’s site as their route planner gives notification of speed cameras, areas where traffic congestion is likely and motorway service stations – helpful when planning driving breaks particularly if you have children.
Allow time for breaks
When planning your journey, allow extra time for breaks – a fifteen-minute break for every two hours of driving is recommended. Yes, I know you just want to get to your destination as soon as possible, but it’s far too easy to lose concentration if you’ve been driving for too long a period without a break.
Buy Breakdown assistance
No, this is not an advert to sell you breakdown cover, honest, but do make sure you have breakdown assistance, just in case. There’s nothing worse than breaking down on a motorway, especially if you’ve got children in the car. Trust me, I’ve been there! With breakdown assistance you’ll know someone is on their way to rescue you, and you’ll be a top priority if you have children with you.
Carry a map / install satellite navigation
Make sure you’re carrying a map or have satellite navigation, just in case there’s an accident and you get diverted off your planned route.
The Highways Agency website
Check the Highways Agency website for notices of planned road works. There’s also a section which shows real-time disruptions which could be worth checking before you leave the house.
Check the BBC travel website
The travel section of the BBC’s website is a great resource that allows you to select a region or road and instantly identifies travel incidents, such as accidents, road works and problems that have eased or cleared. This is a great site not only for road journeys but also public transport and air travel.
Keep moving website
Another good website for journey planning is Keep Moving. You’ll need to register, but once in you’ll gain access to the ‘jam-cams’, a cheap fuel locator, which identifies locations close to motorways where you can purchase cheaper fuel, you can also set up alerts for possible traffic problems.
The above is just a selection of websites and tips for journey planning. Please feel free to add tips or websites that you find useful in the comment section below.