It might seem counterintuitive to think about a break before you have even set off, but it’s actually a big part of your journey.
The Highway Code suggests that for every 2 hours of driving you should take a 15-minute break to help you stay focused, alert, and safe when you’re on the road. However, a recent study conducted by the RAC stated that over half of us will drive for more than 4 hours without having a rest, which isn’t ideal. Breaks are important and should be a part of your trip planning.
Whether it’s a debate over ‘Starbucks or Costa’ or planning in a quick toilet trip, we’re taking a look at where you should stop.
Think about the distance you’ll cover
You should look at the route you’re thinking of and how long it will take you to cover it. Try looking at what’s along the way and trying to pick out places to stop. If your drive involves a load of motorways then service stations are an ideal candidate, but if you’re heading across A-roads or driving in the countryside that’s not exactly an option.
When you’re on a route that lacks services it’s a good idea to start making a note of other options like petrol stations, supermarkets, village car parks etc. Somewhere you can park up, refuel, and maybe stretch your legs.
Try using a tool like Google Maps to help identify places that are roughly 2 hours apart, it can be a big help in putting together a bit of a network of places that you can take a break.
What’s on the way?
Every break doesn’t need to be a quick rest stop. If you’re on a longer road trip, like driving from one end of the country to the other, having a longer break somewhere along the route could be useful, especially if you’re travelling with kids. An activity or something to do along the way gives them a chance to burn off some energy, lets you have a break and can actually add to a trip.
Think about your destination, if you’re heading to a country retreat or the coast doing something different to the more outdoorsy activities could help add a bit of variety to your trip, a quick explore round a city or a stop off at an indoor attraction for example.
Do you need an overnight stop?
Depending on when you’re travelling it might make sense that one of those scheduled breaks is an overnight one.
Driving at night is more tiring and needs you to have your wits about you. You should never drive while you’re feeling tired, even if you think a later road trip helps you beat traffic. It might sound like a great idea on paper but the risks (and messed up sleep pattern to prepare) are rarely worth it.
If you need an overnight stop, you need to look at somewhere reasonable to reach and factor in the extra cost to your trip budget.
How do you find parking when you need it?
One way to search for places to stop and take a break while you’re on a road trip is Pre-Booking your parking. If you’re heading to an unfamiliar area, looking at the available parking you can book and pay for in advance helps to give you a better idea of where to head for and takes some of the stress out of that initial trip planning.
We’ve created the Evology Parking app to help you find and pay for parking easier than ever before, with more payment options and an ever-growing list of sites we can help put power over your parking in the palm of your hand.
You can download our app now from the App Store and Google Play Store.