Make the most of this week’s glorious weather – hop into the car with a few mates and head on a road trip!

The sunny spell is set to last until Sunday, so now would be the weekend is the perfect time to stuff your friends into the back of your Ma’s Fiesta and head off on a road trip. Here are some quick tips to get you started.

So who’s going to come?

First things first,you’ll need friends who won’t be whinging and cribbing if they’re stuck in the car for hours at a time. They’ll have to be up for a bit of craic and capable of entertaining the sober driver (if beers are involved). Also, make sure you find people who can get the time off work – you don’t want anyone backing out at the last minute. Plus it’s a help if you can find someone to share the driving with.

Once you’ve rounded up your troops, take a bit of time to plan your trip

But don’t get too bogged down in the details. For starters, maybe even pick a direction you want to head in. Then pick out a couple of spots you wouldn’t mind stopping off at, and chose a turn-back point if things do work out. Use Google Maps to get a rough idea of directions and travel times.

How long is the trip going to last?

Despite the cultural differences between the culchies and the townies, Ireland isn’t actually that big – so most locations are within mere hours of eachother. So your road trip can last as long as you want. Just make sure you set out a definite return date for the mates that are working. And you don’t want your Mammy fretting over you.

Stick to a strict budget

Make sure the trip doesn’t cost everyone a bomb. Stay in cheap accommodation or bring a tent if needs be. Pack well: bring enough towels, sleeping bags, snacks, alcohol (but don’t drink and drive). Also have enough cash in case you run into an emergency. Keep an eye on pumps.ie/ to keep petrol/diesel costs at a minimum – and make sure everyone chips in!

Check the car

…before you head off on your trip. If there’s anything dodgy with the car, get it checked out beforehand. Check that you have a spare tire and jumper cables as well.

Pack

...the essentials. Sleeping bags, a tent, a pillow, paper towels, baby wipes, toilet paper – the works. Take a flashlight if you think of finding some sneaky spots to pitch tent – but remember that unless you stop off in a camp site, you’ll be breaking trespassing laws…so you might have to run like hell if you get chased by angry farmers (trust me, it happens). Bring a pack of cards or football if you reckon you’ll be making lots of pitstops. Plus BRING WATER, especially since it’s supposed to be boiling at the weekend.  Food that can withstand this heat would be a help too – ideally pack this into a cooler.

Map/GPS

Take a map/Sat Nav/fully-charged iPhone in case you get lost and are too proud to ask for directions.

Mix tape

Get all of your friends (minus the One Direction head) to put together a playlist for the long drive.

Road safety

On a more serious note, be sure you stay safe on the roads. Follow road safety guidelines by the RSA and only travel with a driver you trust. And if you are driving, don’t push yourself if you are exhausted – if you’re tired from driving, take a break or share the driving with another insured driver. And if you are car-bound for the night, pick a safe location to stay.

More tips
  • Keep a record of your trip – annoy your Twitter followers by bombarding them with pictures from the journey

  • Be spontaneous – if you see some off the wall attraction, go see it

  • “You’re not local” – mingle with the people you meet on the way

  • Sample the best food that Ireland has to offer – try the famous chippers

Got any road trip tips of your own? Login and comment below!