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10 tips for efficient car travel this summer

If you know you're going to travel by car this summer, you're in the right place. We have 10 tips to make your trip more efficient and avoid wasting time or resources when planning your perfect holiday.

Summer is just around the corner. Beach, mountain, city... or all of them. What is really important is the feeling of freedom that our dream holidays give us.

Making the most of your trip is easy

As long as you remember that being efficient saves you money, effort and time, it will not be difficult to put these tips into practice:

  1. . Choose your destination carefully and take its characteristics into account

Gathering information about a destination you wish to visit and your reasons for wanting to go there will make things easier for you. For example, nobody can travel to Valencia and not eat a good paella by the sea. Or travel to Granada without visiting the Alhambra.

Decide where you want to go and what you are going to do there and make a rough plan about what you cannot miss out on seeing and doing at your destination.

If you have not yet chosen a destination, it is best to write down the pros and cons of each place and choose the one that most catches your attention for the type of holiday you need: adventure, relaxation, the beach, culture, cuisine, events, urban life, nature, etc.

     

  1. The duration of the trip

Find out the optimal route to your destination, and learn the tricks of fuel-efficient driving so you can save money on the road. Obviously, the distance you will travel and how long you stay will determine how much you will spend, but if you prepare the route well and decide on a good date, you can save a lot of money.

It is also important to try to manage your time to enjoy more time for yourself. For example, if you pack all your luggage the day before and start the trip early, you will have more time the day you arrive to explore your chosen destination.

Do not forget to ask your accommodation when it will be available for your arrival and if you calculate that you will arrive earlier, find out if they have a safe place to store your luggage while you take a walk or investigate your new surroundings. This way, you will be making the most of your time until you are able to access your room or accommodation.

  1. Reservations and discounts for advance payment

If you are certain where you are going and what you are going to do, you can find great discounts on all kinds of activities by booking in advance.

Check out leisure and restaurant apps, or travel websites. You can save a fortune and discover new ideas, activities and leisure opportunities that will make your trip cheaper without spoiling your enjoyment.

There are also usually discounts on tickets and access to the sights.

If, for example, you are travelling with children, tickets to amusement parks, water parks or leisure centres are usually cheaper if you buy them online and as a package.

Finally, if you are certain that you want to do something, book it as soon as possible. This will ensure you avoid the queues at the ticket offices or worse still: arriving to find it is booked out and you are left without being able to have the experience.

" If you have children, tickets to amusement parks, water parks or leisure centres are usually cheaper if you buy them online and as a package."

  1. And what about food?

Another major item on our holiday budget is food. This will depend a lot on your tastes and your budget, but there are many options to save and enjoy food anywhere.

You can cook yourself, if your accommodation allows it, or choose accommodation with half or even full board. However, we recommend you leave all these options open and change each day (but in an efficient way).

For example, cooking a pasta salad and taking it to the beach in a cooler will allow you to enjoy a very affordable meal right there on the beach, but we are also sure that your destination has some surprising cuisine that you simply should not miss.

Perhaps it might be a good idea to go out for dinner at a good restaurant one day and enjoy a picnic lunch on a walk in the mountains the next... the possibilities are endless.

As we have said, it all depends on the destination, your budget and the activities you are going to do. The important thing is to think ahead and plan everything at your leisure.

  1. Safety first

Some types of accommodation allow you to purchase cancellation insurance. Others have medical services, assistance and protection against any problems that may arise on your trip. You can also check the travel insurance available on the market or even the insurance that you already have, you may have a policy that covers some of the problems that may occur when you travel.

However, the most important thing is to know what risks may exist and prepare for them. In all likelihood, nothing will happen, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

It is highly recommended you make a small travel medical kit; it won't take up much space and will give added security. The contents will vary depending on the trip, but the most common thing is to have a minimum of gauze, hydrogen peroxide, antiseptic cream, plasters, scissors, sticking plaster, diarrhoea medicine, painkillers and some ointment for allergic reactions.

You may not have to use it, but if anything happens, you can always break out the kit, if it is not serious.

You can also make a note of the pharmacies and medical centres near your destination, in case you need something urgent.

     

  1. Documents, in duplicate and always in order

It is extremely important that before travelling you are clear about what documentation you need and that you always keep it in a safe place (and not all together).

For example, if you normally carry your identity card and driving licence in the same wallet, split them up or leave the driving licence in your suitcase when you are not going to use the car.

That way, if you accidentally lose your wallet or backpack, at least you will have another way to identify yourself until you solve the problem. It is recommended that you photocopy the most important documents in case they are stolen or lost. Also, take printed copies of your reservations, with information on schedules and addresses.

Finally, if you travel to a country or region with any need for special documentation (vaccination letter, passport, holiday permit or visa), do not forget to apply well in advance and take everything with you in a safe and accessible place (and separate from the photocopies). 

  1. Mobiles and internet

Luckily, since 2017 restrictions on "roaming" access within Europe changed and many European countries have agreed on a single space for calls and the internet.

This means that, in these countries, the calls and internet gigabytes that you consume will have no extra cost – you will pay the same as you would pay if you were in Spain.

If you are leaving the country, we recommend you find out if your destination is included within the agreement or not. This will save you from a scare when you next receive your mobile bill and allow you to enjoy the benefits of your contract on your trip without any worries.

     

  1. Los enchufes y conectividad

It is important that you know for sure whether you need any type of adapter on your trip, and if so, that you buy it in advance, since interrupting your leisure plans to buy a plug is not a lot of fun and it can also make you waste a lot time.

If you do not know which adapter you need, take a look at our post about the types of plugs that exist around the world

  1. Money and foreign currency

Always carry some cash just in case, but don't keep too much together in one place, because if you lose it you'll lose a lot of money.

When travelling, find out which currency you will need and if necessary, change money in advance. Calculating approximately how much you are going to spend will make your life easier. If you need to change money, look for the place with the cheapest exchange rate to avoid losing out.

You can also use your credit or debit card. Find out how easy it is to pay by card at your destination and whether it is possible to withdraw money at ATMs and bank branches.

Last, but not least ... if you are going to use your card abroad, tell your bank. Banks act quickly if they notice any strange movements and you may have problems if they detect that an unusual transaction has been made and block your card.

" If you are going to use your card abroad, tell your bank. You may have problems if they detect that an unusual transaction has been made and block your card."

  1. Sustainable travel

Sustainability is part of our responsibility as citizens of the world and this new approach is increasingly popular with travellers.

If you make a little extra effort when analysing your destination, you can contribute to caring for the environment with small details that add up to a lot.

Making reasonable use of resources and minimising waste and your carbon footprint help a lot (there are hotels that inform you of your carbon footprint).

However, finding out about the sustainable options that your destination offers and opting for them can make a difference to the future of our planet (electric vehicles, bicycle rentals, strolling to places even if you end up walking a little more, etc.).

Remember that everything adds up.

     

  1. EXTRA TIP. The car!

If you are going to travel by car, this point is an absolute must:

Check all the safety and maintenance elements necessary for the correct operation of the vehicle: Wheels, oil, batteries, lights and above all, that you have a current technical inspection certificate (do not travel if the certificate has run out or is about to lapse).

Finally, check the other fluid levels (windscreen wipers, antifreeze, etc.), and check the wiper blades (heavy rain is common in the summer and we need them to be able to operate at full capacity).

Enjoy your holiday!

We hope that these 10+1 tips are useful for you and that you feel more efficient every day.

If you liked these tips and want more efficiency stories, click here: Energy efficiency podcast

If you want to share a tip for going on holiday, you can do so through our social media: 

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