One of the busiest (and chocolate-fuelled) weekends is ahead. Brits travelling by car this Easter weekend want a safe and stress-free journey.
Whether it’s typically naff weather, traffic jams, or backseat drivers, travelling during the bank holiday can often be more road rage than rest and relaxation.
With more than 50 millions users, the world's largest community-based traffic and navigation app - Waze - has pulled together ten top tips to ensure drivers are prepared for every possible eventuality when hitting the open road this weekend.
1. Inspect your car – Maybe you’re driving a long way, or maybe it’s the first time you’ve taken your vehicle on the motorway for a while. Do a few basic checks to ensure everything’s where it should be. The AA explains what those checks are here.
2. Don’t blame it on the weatherman – Brits love to complain about the weather, and rightly so: it can be pretty unpredictable sometimes. Yellow alerts are in place across the country this weekend, so grab a navigation app with real-time weather and hazard warnings to avoid getting caught out by any biblical floods.
3. Fill ‘er up – It might sound obvious, but not filling up on petrol before a long journey is quite a common mistake. Make sure you have an app that can find the cheapest petrol prices available on your route, on a long trip getting the most bang for your buck is key.
4. Don’t forget about vital fluids – Fuel isn’t the only important liquid that goes into your car. Oil, water and screenwash all need to be topped up, too. Here’s a quick guide on how to check your oil like a pro.
5. Park smart – Find out where the best and cheapest place to park near your destination is - if you don’t know already you can check Parkopedia to find out. The last thing you want is a hefty fine for being parked on double yellows.
6. Pump it up – When was the last time you checked your tyre pressure? Under-inflated tyres are dangerous and expensive; they cause your car to handle unpredictably and lower fuel efficiency. It’s a must-do. Most petrol stations offer self-service facilities to do this.
7. Pack your own lunch – Comedian Bill Bailey once described service stations as ‘cathedrals of despair’ – this is never truer than when you have to fork out big money to feed the family on the road. Pack a few sandwiches, snacks and take plenty of water with you for your journey – even have a picnic if the weather permits it!
8. Time it right – If you can help it, try not to travel at peak times – leave at the crack of dawn or late the night before to avoid the gridlock. Traffic reports on the radio will help, but crowd-sourced traffic and navigation apps are certainly the best for finding the best humanly possible route you can take.
9. Keep it green – On long trips, a little efficiency goes a long way. Take it easy and drive with a little zen in mind – accelerate smoothly, avoid unnecessary braking and minimise gear changes. You’ll save a fair bit on petrol, too.
10. Enjoy yourself – Being safe and savvy needn’t mean taking the fun out of driving. Load up some of your favourite motoring tunes, enjoy the scenery and of course – take plenty of Easter chocolate to share.