Our 2022 UK Road Trip Tips

Tips for Travelling in the UK

Amidst a fuel and energy crisis we endeavoured to travel most of the UK by road for what would be our last UK road trip for a few years (or more). Here are my 5 UK road trip tips.

I say UK, but what I really mean is England and Wales, and given the two-week timeframe, we managed to cover most of both areas. Over the coming month I will be updating this series with plenty of content from our travels so stay tuned for all the exciting things we discovered along the way.

Before I get into the first in my series of blog posts which takes place in Rochester, Kent, I decided to put some of the travel tips I picked up into a blog post for anyone looking to explore England or Wales.

Hotel Rates are Better at Certain Times

Aside from fuel and food, our biggest expenditure on the trip was accommodation. Most people don’t know this but booking a hotel on websites like Booking.com or Hotels.com have different rates depending on how far out you are from your anticipated stay.

If you’re looking to get the best deal on a hotel booking you should book two weeks before your planned stay. Premiums for hotels are higher either side of this two-week mark for two reasons:

  • Over two weeks – a hotel isn’t under pressure to sell rooms and have prices that reflect that.
  • Under two weeks – it is considered a ‘last-minute’ booking and hotels raise prices because the closer you are to the date you wish to stay, the more desperate you will be to get something booked.

As a result of these two factors, hotel pricing follows a curve that dips to its lowest at around the two-week mark. This is essentially the sweet spot between the hotel worrying about filling rooms and you worrying about actually being able to book a room.

open road in wales

Comparison Sites Aren’t Always Best for Booking Hotels

It is worth checking any hotel price you have against the hotel websites themselves. Most hotels run loyalty schemes or offer discounted rates for booking directly with them.

You will also find some hotels hold rooms in reserve that aren’t advertised on comparison sites or that a hotel chain doesn’t advertise on a comparison site at all.

For two of our stays, we were able to find a much cheaper rate by looking at well-known hotel chains and viewing their direct sites. In perspective, this was about 25% of our time away covered without using a comparison site.

In total, by using the two tips above, we easily saved over £1,000 on our accommodation.

Service and Check Your Vehicle Before Any Major Trip

Over the course of the two plus weeks we spent away, we encountered many broken down vehicles. From overheating engines to punctures, when you spend any time on the road you see all sorts of problems.

The RAC recommends you complete the following checklist before any road trip:

  1. All tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and there is plenty of tyre tread.
  2. Clean windscreen and top up windscreen fluid if needed.
  3. Check your spare tyre is in good condition and have equipment such as a jack to change a tyre if needed.
  4. Check all your lights are working.
  5. Check your coolant level and top up if needed.
  6. Check steering fluid and top up if needed.
  7. Check oil level and top up if needed.

Servicing a Vehicle – UK Road Trip Tips

By servicing a vehicle, you get all these things checked (and more) and it gives you that added peace of mind. It genuinely is a great feeling to get into your vehicle each day and know it is in perfect working order.

It is fair to say we encountered a few challenging roads and situations on our trip, having confidence in your vehicle to cope with them is invaluable… especially if you’re planning to drive to Scotland!

road trip across the UK in 2022

Fill Up When You Spot Low Fuel Prices

It’s no secret that fuel prices in the UK at the moment are beyond silly. At the time we set out it wasn’t uncommon for petrol stations to be charging 199p a litre.

On our trip, whenever I spotted a cheap petrol station and had used more than a quarter of my fuel tank, I stopped and filled up.

The most expensive price I paid for fuel on our trip was 182p a litre. With the cheapest being 167p a litre. The majority of top ups were made at around 170p a litre.

It is worth noting that supermarkets are currently offering poor value for money on fuel, and I found it much cheaper to stop at independent retailers or direct retailers like BP or Shell. While this might not be the case going forward, I would say it is worth checking around for fuel prices to ensure you’re not overpaying.

At the end of the day, the petrol you put in at Tesco or Asda is the same as the petrol you put in at an independent store – the only difference is the price.

Overall, I would estimate the average I paid for fuel over the course of the trip to be around 173p a litre when the national average for that time period was more than 10p a litre higher.

This saved us hundreds of pounds over the course of our trip! Especially when my Jaguar XE S is an extremely thirsty car.

UK Road Trip Tips – Pay Attention to MPG

Last but not least, you will want to make sure the fuel you’re putting in goes as far as possible. My car loves to burn fuel and when I really ‘drive’ it, it is not uncommon to see an average of 20 MPG.

There is a time and a place for ‘driving’ though and when on a long distance trip, it really isn’t necessary. For normal trips (1/2 hours) my average MPG is around 34 MPG – but with careful management I averaged around 40 MPG for our trip.

I even managed to get over 44 MPG out of the car for one stint which I frankly thought was impossible.

Conserving fuel in this way gave me about 33% extra MPG compared to my ordinary driving style, which means I added 33% less fuel over the course of the trip to cover the same distance – which at current prices is, again, hundreds of pounds saved.

All of this money saved was in all likelihood spent as you will find out from our future blog posts – but it was spent enjoying our trip and experiencing all that England and Wales had to offer us, not just burned in a fuel tank or empty pounds spent on hotel rooms that we would never see again.

Make sure you subscribe to our blog, now onto Rochester, Kent!

Jon Logan

Jon Logan is an editorial consultant and author that loves living life without boundaries.

Over the past 5 years, his content at Immortal Wordsmith has helped thousands of readers gain new perspectives and discover interesting stories.

Jon holds several professional qualifications and is financially qualified in the UK. He left the humdrum world of financial advice to pursue a career in writing – his lifelong passion. He has partnered with local and global brands to help them grow their businesses and audiences through insightful and innovative content strategy.

Jon specialises in creating inspirational and thought-provoking writing that challenges readers to look beyond the confines of “the norm.” He uses dynamic writing styles to convey messages to diverse audiences from all walks of life. He is an avid explorer and loves sharing the world through his unique eyes with his readers.

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