With the country in the grip of the worst recession in decades, a side-effect of squeezed family budgets is a renaissance of the good old fashioned driving holiday. Many Britons who would previously have looked forward to jetting off for a sun-drenched beach vacation are now sampling the pleasures that can be found on our own shores.
Although air travel has become more affordable in recent years, the re-emergence of the driving holiday still has plenty of form. It doesn’t mean holidaymakers are forced to miss out on sightseeing or new experiences either, with a huge variety of exciting locations on offer from Edinburgh to Cornwall. For holidaymakers craving foreign shores, long-distance driving in Europe is also becoming more popular, with travellers preferring an adventurous pioneer spirit to the comparatively expensive standard package holiday. It is thought that camping, caravan hire and couch surfing have all become more popular in recent years.
But what does the modern British traveller need to do to make the most of a driving holiday? The primary concern, of course, should be to ensure that your car is sufficiently prepared for a long journey. Breakdowns are stressful enough when they occur locally, but being caught out on the open road can be both expensive and stressful at a time when you should be most relaxed. To ensure you can access the help you need wherever you are, make sure you’ve got full breakdown insurance, and the details you need in the car with you at all times.
Remember, standard UK breakdown insurance often doesn’t protect you abroad, so if you’re driving on the continent make sure you’re covered for European motoring. Some companies will offer a choice between single-trip insurance or cover for multiple journeys, so choose the option that best reflects your needs to get the right cover.
If you’re over 50, you could also get better value by purchasing through a company like RIAS who offer car insurance for experienced drivers. RIAS car insurance is provided from a panel of insurers to offer cover that reflects your experience on the road, instead of lumping you in with inexperienced drivers.
Long journeys can be exhausting, so if you’re taking a family driving holiday you should try to share the burden of being behind the wheel as much as possible. You can add your spouse, partner or other travelling companion to your vehicle insurance with personal cover. Again, make sure you check the legal ramifications if you’re travelling outside the UK, as they can vary.
Finally, make sure you’ve got plenty of supplies with you. On some country roads you might find yourself travelling long distances without seeing a service station, so bring extra fuel and a roadside repair kit. If you have a specific destination in mind, plan your route carefully to avoid losing time on wrong turns and dead ends, and make sure you know where the nearest hostels and travel inns are in case you need to stop. Most important of all though, enjoy yourself! You are on holiday after all…
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