5 Summer Road Trip Essentials

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last six weeks (which given the blisteringly hot nights, doesn’t sound like the worst idea), you’ll be only too aware of the Great British Heatwave of 2018. That’s right, a British Heatwave. As unlikely as that might sound, that’s the reality we’ve been living. The grass is scorched, people are sweating profusely (although seemingly not enough to water the grass) and cars are becoming fiercely hot.

The weather has brought with it endless opportunities for getting out there, enjoying the sunshine (responsibly) and exploring our fair isle. But whether you’re hot-footing it to the beach or taking in some sites further inland, the heat is making it difficult to get there comfortably.

With that said, these are our road trip essentials to help keep you cool, calm and hopefully not too sweaty this summer…

Dress for the drive

The single biggest factor that’ll affect your comfort while driving in the heat is the clothing you choose to wear. We recommend light coloured, airy clothes you can move freely in and that can be easily layered on and off.

In terms of your footwear, it’s not actually illegal to drive barefoot, but in terms of safety, it’s not recommended as you may struggle to operate the pedals safely. We recommend a shoe with a thin, flexible sole such as a canvas pump or a slip-on deck shoe. No flip-flops please as their inherently floppy nature means it can take twice the time to move your foot from the accelerator to the brake.

Prepare properly

For a comfortable drive on a hot summer’s day, it’s essential you make a few preparations before you leave the house:

  • If the car doesn’t have air conditioning or it’s in desperate need of a recharge, take a cold damp cloth and drape it over the air vents to create your own.
  • Take a hand-held fan or spray bottle filled with cold water to give yourself a refreshing spritz.
  • Freeze bottles of water before the journey so everyone has their own cooling icepack. Once it melts, drink the cold water to keep you hydrated.

Air conditioning vs. open windows

Of all our summer road trip essentials, this is the most likely to provoke a heated debate. If you have artic-strength air conditioning then that’ll be difficult to beat, particularly when in traffic or driving through built-up areas. However, it’s actually more fuel efficient to drive with your windows open than the air conditioning on. So, once you’re out on the open road, opening the windows will create a refreshing breeze and could be the most cost-effective approach to take.

Cooling parked cars

Getting into a hot car can feel like stepping into a fan assisted oven. But there are a few strategies you can take to keep the temperature down:

  • Open the windows as soon as you set off to lose the worst of the heat. You should then close the windows and turn the air-con on once you get moving.
  • Always make the effort to look for a parking spot in the shade.
  • Use a windscreen sunshade to reflect the sun’s heat and pull down any window shades.
  • Cover the steering wheel with a cloth or give it a quick spritz with cold water to avoid a nasty shock.
  • Cover exposed metal on seat belts and car seats.

wearing sun cream

It’s a little-known fact that car windows do not block UV rays. So, perhaps the most important of all our summer road trip essentials is to apply sunscreen to any exposed skin before you set off.

Prepping your car for your summer road trip

With water at a premium this summer, our dropless car wash service will have your car looking as good as new and ready for a summer road trip to remember. Get in touch or sign in to book your car wash today.