Blogspot @ Head-over-Heels

The travel blog for the backpackers guide to the world

Travel-friendly driving

Posted by | charlottec | December 13, 2011 | No Comments

Many travellers eschew the car as a travelling option on grounds of environmental responsibility rather than practicalities.

But it’s very true that the car is one of the most practical means of travel for people taking off on a long travel adventure – one which isn’t going to involve crossing any oceans anyway.

You aren’t waiting around at train stations, getting your timetable wrong, then walking or taking taxis continually on arrival at various destinations.

Even a group of students on a budget may find that a cheap but reliable second hand car with a tent in the boot is the cheapest way to ‘do’ Europe in the summer, for example. My advice is to get a cheap second-hand Honda, purely because the manufacturer’s cars have been shown to be the most reliable for UK drivers in a number of independent surveys including the “What Car?” reliability study.

It actually works out a lot cheaper than a rail card – depending on how many travellers are in the vehicle. And it’s a lot easier if you don’t mind driving.

And it needn’t be environmentally un-friendly. If you can afford a hybrid car, for example, then your conscience can be a whole lot clearer.

But even if it’s a conventionally-fuelled vehicle you’re travelling in, you can still drive a lot greener.

  • Avoid short trips, drive steadily (never going too quickly), keep your tyre pressures at the optimal levels and avoiding revving the engine too hard.
  • Also- try not to carry any excess weight and ensure that your car is free of any clutter contributing to drag – so avoid a roof rack if you can.  Also remember that even having the sunroof and windows open will increase the drag.
  • Finally – invest in a satnav; not getting lost will also help cut fuel consumption and emissions.

Drive safely and have a great trip!


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