Whether you’re driving your family to a UK holiday destination this summer or heading to an airport or ferry for an overseas vacation, you need certain items in your car to make the first stage of your break run smoothly.
The things you need in your car this summer holidays can be broken down into three categories:
- Items that make life easier for you.
- Things that allow your kids to have fun.
- Important items (no fun at all, but a situation may arise when you’re glad you brought them along).
So, let’s get the basics out of the way first.
Basic items you need in your car
Unlike some other countries – France, for instance – the UK has no laws about what you must carry in your car. However, having your driving documents to hand can prevent total disruption of your journey.
A police officer can ask to see your driving licence at any time in the UK. If you can’t produce it immediately, you can be asked to take it to a police station within seven days. Failing to do this is an offence. The same applies to insurance and MOT certificates.
Be prepared for the unexpected!
In the event of a breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances, certain items can minimise trouble and help to keep you safe. These include:
- Hazard triangle.
- Spare tyre and a jack.
- First-aid kit.
- Bottles of water.
- Mobile phone and charger.
- Jump leads.
Before setting off, you can help to avoid a breakdown by carrying out a few basic checks on your car, including brakes and disc pads, engine oil levels, and tyre pressure and tread.
Taking the stress out of your journey
For peace of mind, have something like a pencil case in the glovebox to keep in one place useful little items you would otherwise be fumbling about for, such as:
- Small notepad and pen.
- Spare change.
- Spare housekey.
Other things you need in your car this summer holidays to help make life easier include:
- Bin bags.
- Paper towels.
- Wet wipes.
- Insect repellent.
Don’t forget the travel rug
It’s also a good idea to have a travel rug handy for:
- An en-route picnic.
- Protective wrapping for fragile items.
- Helping to keep the car interior clean.
A travel rug will also come in handy should you break down at night.
Keeping your car interior clean
You don’t want to be driving to your summer holidays in a messy vehicle. A basic cleaning kit in the car boot will be indispensable to clear up any spills that occur – and if you have kids in the car, they probably will!
If you have the following items to hand, you can have your car interior looking spick and span again in no time:
- Small amount of general detergent, some water and a soft cloth, to clean upholstery.
- Plastic bags for disposing of any mess.
- A roll of paper towel to mop up liquid spills.
It’s not just your car that can get untidy while you’re on your way to your summer holidays. Kids have a habit of finding a way to make themselves messy as well as the car, so you might want to make sure you have a change of clothing for them.
How to keep the kids happy on the way to your summer holidays
Kids need certain things in the car to avoid the onset of boredom and fractious behaviour, particularly when heading for a summer holiday. Keeping your kids happy will also make life easier for you.
While traditional car games like I-Spy still have their place in the digital world, your kids will expect at least a few tech gadgets in the car to keep them entertained with films, games, music and book downloads.
It doesn’t have to be all tech orientated, though, especially if you have younger children, who can be kept amused with a few small toys and colouring and reading/picture books.
Whatever age your kids, you’ll want to stock up for your journey with some of their favourite snacks and drinks. One word of warning, though: watch their sugar intake. Relieving boredom is one thing but having your kids getting hyperactive in the back seat is another matter entirely!
What’s the best way to pack all the things I need in the car this summer holidays?
How you pack your car boot with luggage for your summer holidays can make a big difference. Put larger items such as suitcases in first, followed by handheld luggage. This will leave room to fit in smaller items.
When packing other things you need in the car for your summer holidays, make sure your view through the rear window isn’t obscured by large items, which should also be packed securely to prevent them flying around in the car.