Our family likes driving holidays. They are such a convenient way to holiday when you live in the UK. Simply take your own car on the Chunnel train or ferry to Europe and off you go. The continent is yours for the exploring. France is right there, but if you want to go further you can drive to Spain, Germany or even Italy. Last year we drove through 12 countries and ended up in Montenegro. This year we are heading north, to Denmark and Sweden.
A driving holiday can be as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it. Obviously if you only drive a short distance, camp and stay put then your holiday will cost less than if you stay in hotels and drive 1000’s of miles. But we all like to save money if we can, so with our upcoming holiday in mind, when Debt Free Direct offered to send me a money saving car kit , I said yes please!
The kit I was sent contained four useful items that have, and will, help us save money during our upcoming travels.
A Digital Tyre Inflator.
This has been incredibly useful as I no longer have to go to the ‘Air’ machine that eats 20p pieces at our local petrol station. Gone are the days of fiddling around valve caps in busy forecourts, and the time running out just as I am about to do the last tyre. Now I can fumble with tyre pressure from the privacy of my own driveway.
It’ll also be handy when we set out for Denmark, roof box attached and kids belted in between the luggage. Did you know most vehicles have a different optimal tyre pressure when they are fully laden ( as we will be) and that your car’s fuel economy can be affected by 25% if you are driving with your tyres at the wrong pressure? We will drive over 1300 miles during our holiday, so that could save us a whole lot of fuel.
We always carry a pair of jump leads with us when we drive anywhere. We extend our RAC cover for our European jaunts, but you don’t want to be wasting your call outs for things like a flat battery when you are 100s of miles from home.
In a couple of the countries we visited last year it was illegal to drive without your lights on, even during the day. We were ALWAYS leaving our lights on and flattening the battery but even when no one spoke English, we managed to get someone to help us by standing by the car, holding the leads and looking pathetic! And as we are holidaying in Denmark and Sweden this summer, where you must drive with your lights on at all times, we are anticipating more flat batteries in the near future.
After last year’s holiday we’ve managed to lose/misplace our old, beaten-up leads and had a new pair on our pre- holiday shopping list. Thanks to Debt Free Direct, we can now cross them off.
Our car is always a tip. We have four children and two dogs; what do you expect?
But every now and again I will get sick of the mess, and send the kids into the back of the car with a black bag. It’s amazing the crap that comes out of it, but once it’s tidy, it’s easy to see how desperately the poor vehicle needs hoovering. We have a car cleaning place just around the corner and sometimes pay for them to do it but often I force our older two DDs to drag the house hoover out to the car. They hate it and complain bitterly, then do a shitty job; it’s easier just to pay the car valet, to be honest.
Debt Free Direct sent us a car hoover that plugs into the lighter in our car and comes with an extremely long cord. The kids love using it and it’s very handy to keep in the car so we can deal with the mess as and when, rather than waiting until we notice our car has developed it’s own ecosystem before deciding to tidy it.
Spare Bulb And Fuse Set.
Driving with a faulty light could set you back £60 if you are spotted and fined. And if you are driving around Europe, then most countries require you to carry a spare bulb kit anyhow.
Changing a blown bulb is easy to do in most cars, and could save you a few quid and a whole lot of trouble. Google is your friend and if you drive a popular brand of car you will find easy to follow instructions on Youtube. Investigate what’s involved before you leave home, if you are travelling in your car this summer; there is not much worse than trying to search for instructions on the side of the road, miles from anywhere.
Debt Free Direct also sent me this handy infographic, full of practical and easy to implement money saving tips for anyone driving anywhere this summer. The one that we find the most useful is using cruise control; if your car has this function then use it as it makes a huge difference when it comes to time and fuel efficiency.
This post has been brought to you in partnership with Debt Free Direct.