How to plan for a road trip in the mountains
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How to plan for a road trip in the mountains

April 1, 2024 Share

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No matter where you’re headed next, a mountain road trip promises unforgettable views and incredible memories. From the Scottish Highlands to the Lake District National Park – or even the northern Pyrenees – there are so many idyllic locations just a day’s drive away. Before you get set on your next adventure, check out our 3 top tips for planning a road trip in the mountains. 

Image courtesy of Ales Krivec

Getting ready for a mountain road trip: Our 3 top tips

Check your car

Put your safety fist before hitting the road. Keeping your vehicle in optimal condition not only helps you to enjoy peace of mind on your travels but keeps you and your passengers safe and on schedule, too. 

A few of the most basic maintenance checks include fluid levels. Check and if necessary, refill, your car’s engine oil, coolant, screen wash and brake fluid. Next, your tyre pressure and tread depth should be priority focus areas too. Legally, your tyre tread depth should be over 1.6mm.

Your car also needs to be mechanically sound. Make sure to book a car service at your nearest garage to get those vital components checked over. It’s never worth attempting to repair or replace parts by yourself, and if you know about an existing issue, get it addressed before your departure.

Plan your route

Next, it’s worth taking some time to familiarise yourself with your chosen route. 

Look for potential challenges like steep inclines, narrow passages, or unpaved roads. If you’re heading across the Channel and into Europe, you’ll also need to consider border crossings and any relevant travel restrictions in the countries you pass through. Don’t forget to include a supermarket if you’re heading to self-catered accommodation.

Using a reliable satellite navigation system can help to reduce the risk of getting lost, particularly in areas with limited phone coverage. If you’re expecting to be in low-signal area for multiple days, it’s worth taking a spare mobile phone. It’s always worth including small towns on your itinerary, just in case you need to use the internet or stock up on essential supplies.

Pack strategically

Finally, you should think carefully about your plans and pack strategically for your trip. Think about seasonal conditions: the weather can change quickly and dramatically at altitude, so it’s best to be prepared.

You’ll always need to prioritise the essentials, including water, long-life snacks, a first-aid kit, and waterproof clothing. Blankets and extra layers could be handy in the boot if you’re visiting the mountains in winter. 

If you expect to be driving through the day and night, it’s worth buying one of the best USB fast chargers for your dashboard. That means you can continue to communicate and navigate safely, using your car to power your mobile devices. 

Final thoughts… 

While you’re packing, remember that you should be doing everything possible to respect the natural beauty and integrity of the landscapes. Responsible tourism is key, so make sure that you’ve packed rubbish bags to dispose of your waste properly. 

On any road trip in the mountains, it’s essential to protect the wildlife and the delicate environments you visit.  

This is a collaborative post.
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