It's that time of the year which some parents dread. It's the summer holidays. That's right. Six weeks of constant entertainment for the kids. While the mere thought might fill the average parent with terror, the rest of us may enviously look wishing we had six weeks off from our daily routine.
Alas, there is some good news that comes with the school holidays (apart from the quieter roads), that is – you guessed it – a summer holiday. So this year, as you prepare to drive to the airport – as well as making the usual checks for your passport, travel insurance, plane ticket, spare some time to check your vehicle is ready for the journey too. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way.
You should do a thorough check of your vehicle before the big day, including fluid levels, tyres, mirrors and windows – you'll be on a tight schedule on the day, so the last thing you need is a breakdown.
Make sure you pack your luggage packed into the boot of your vehicle. If you do need to put some belongings on the back seats, make sure they do not obstruct your view out of the rear window and secure them in place before setting off.
Leave in plenty of time – if you feel rushed on your way to the airport then you are likely to make silly mistakes or even creep over the speed limit.
Plan your route to the airport the day before, and check travel reports for any disruption or road closures before you set off.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before you travel to ensure you're alert from the very beginning of the journey. And if you have to travel a good distance to get to the airport, leave enough time to schedule in a rest stop to fight the onset of fatigue.
When parking up at the airport, try to find an area which is not too crowded – the fewer cars around you, the less chance there is of someone clipping your vehicle with their luggage. Nobody wants to return from a relaxing holiday to a damaged vehicle.
The last thing you need on the day you start your holiday is unwanted stress from a lack of preparation and a shortage of time. Preparing yourself and your vehicle before the big day and setting off nice and early will remove the obstacles to you taking full advantage of Duty Free.