Holidays abroad might not be on the cards at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great holiday here in the UK! We’ve put our heads together and come up with some top tips on how to prepare for the perfect summer staycation.
1. Make sure your car is roadworthy
It’s always worth getting your car checked before departing on a journey so that you can be confident it’s roadworthy. Our Free 5-Point Car Check is available at all our stores and autocentres, and covers five key areas: headlights and brake lights, wiper blades, battery health, windscreen chip and MOT due date. Just pick a date and time that suits you online and pop down to your local Halfords on the day of your appointment.
Or why not upgrade to our 10-Point Car Health Check? Also available at all our stores and autocentres, it includes all of the points covered in the 5-Point Check plus a tyre depth check, an oil level check and more. It only takes 30 minutes to complete, which we think you’ll agree will be time well spent!
We also offer a Free Air Con Check, which is ideal for staying cool in the hot summer weather, and a Free Tyre Check, which is ideal for making sure your tyres are safe before you head out on your staycation. Each check involves one of our trained technicians inspecting key aspects and making sure that everything’s in good working condition. They’ll also be able to advise if any additional work may be required.
Finally, if your bike’s going to be joining you on your staycation adventures this summer then we’d recommend getting it serviced first. This will help to ensure it’s in tip-top shape when you want to enjoy some time in the saddle.
2. Maximise your packing space
Cars only have limited space inside, so it can be a challenge to pack everything in that you need while keeping your passengers comfortable. The Halfords Advanced 470L Black Roof Box is a great solution to the problem, providing a massive 470L of extra space.
The roof box is easy to mount, thanks to the pre-installed mount system, can be opened on either side and leaves you with full access to your boot. We also offer a fitting and demo service at all our stores, so you can rest assured that your roof box is mounted securely and safely.
Bikes are a staycation must, so if you’re taking them along for the ride then a bike rack is another top space-saver. A tow bar-mounted rack like the Halfords 4-Bike Towbar Mounted Bike Rack is simple to install and leaves the roof rack clear for your roof box. Being near to ground level makes securing your bikes easy, while the strong, padded and adjustable arms provide top-level protection.
If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option that’s just as safe and secure, then a rear-mounted rack could be the answer. The Halfords 3 Bike Rear-Mounted Bike Rack carries three bikes, comes partly assembled, is easy to fit and can fold flat when it’s not in use. It also has individual cycle holders, with anti-scratch rubber inserts, and a locking system to hold cycle wheels in place.
Rear-mounted bike racks aren’t suitable for every car, so make sure you use our online vehicle registration number checker to see the makes and models that will fit your vehicle.
We offer fitting and demoing services for all of our bike racks for your convenience and peace of mind. Simply select this option during the online checkout process.
3. Get your in-car tech installed
Beat the traffic and get to your destination safely with the latest in-car tech. The TomTom Go Essential 5″ Sat Nav comes with a lifetime’s worth of European maps and gives you everything you need to focus on the road while staying connected.
Combine a sat nav with a dash cam to get the ultimate driving experience. The Nextbase 552GW Front and Rear Dash Cam Bundle comes packed with great tech and add-ons, including a front dash cam that offers 1440p HD resolution at 30fps, a 140° viewing angle, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, emergency SOS, an intelligent parking mode and Alexa built-in. You’ll also get a wired rear dash cam, a 32GB U3 microSD card and a handy carry case – perfect!
Another option is the Garmin Dash Cam 57, which has 1440p HD recording and a 140° viewing angle for high quality footage every time. Features include driver alerts, Parking Mode, GPS tracking, Night Vision and voice control, while the dash cam also comes with a 16GB microSD card to store all that captured footage.
4. Work out how to keep the kids entertained
We think it’s safe to say that, sometimes, kids + car journeys = headaches for parents. But not if you’ve planned ahead and come up with ways to keep your kids occupied and engaged during the journey. Word or observation games are always a good place to start – and so is the classic ‘sing-a-long’.
For that, you need a fitting music system. The Sony DSX-A410BT Car Stereo comes with a dual Bluetooth connection so that you can stream music while still receiving hands-free calls on the move. It’s also voice controlled, so you never have to take those hand off the wheel.
Or if you’re after a bit of peace and quiet on your journey, then our Nextbase Car 9” Dual Portable In-Car DVD Players are for you. These players come complete with headrest mounts for easy installation, can be used with or without headphones, and also have USB slots. Your kids will love the ability to watch their favourite DVDs as the miles fly past!
5. Prepare for the perfect camping experience
Camping is a fantastic way to get out of the house, spend time with your family and friends, and enjoy beautiful surroundings. Put a bit of prep work in and it’ll make your staycation even better!
Start with sorting out your sleeping situation. We’ve got some great tents available in a range of styles, shapes and sizes, and our online Tent Finder will help you to narrow down the options until you’ve found the perfect fit for you. Keep an eye out for extra features like canopies, remember to take things like pitching time into account, and consider going for a larger size if you think you’ll enjoy some extra space.
No tent is complete without somewhere to rest your head! We offer a range of comfortable sleeping bags for the summer months, like the Halfords Envelope Sleeping Bag, which is available in both single and double formats. Combine this with a single or double flocked airbed for even greater comfort when you’re on your camping adventure.
Now it’s time to think about the food! If you’ve put time and energy into making or buying food, then the last thing you want is for it to spoil, so why not invest in a coolbox? The Halfords 24 Litre 12V Electric Coolbox is powered by your car’s 12V accessory socket and will keep your food nice and cool. Or if you’re after something with a bit more space, upgrade to the Halfords 40L Coolbox.
When it comes to cooking, look no further than the Halfords Portable Gas Stove. This inexpensive bit of kit gives you a light and portable single ring cooker that’s suitable for 8-20cm pots and pans. It comes with a handy carry case and uses a Butane push-in A4 gas cartridge (the cartridge isn’t supplied with the stove, so make sure you pick up one too).
The stove is also available as part of the Halfords Complete Cookset Pack. For just £35, you get the stove, saucepans, cooking utensils, food containers and a carry bag – what’s not to love? Team this with our collection of plastic rainbow cutlery, bowls, tumblers and plates and you’ll have all your food-related bases covered.
With the food prepared, you’re going to need somewhere comfy to sit. For those happy to sit on the ground, you can’t go wrong with the Halfords Waterproof Tartan Picnic Blanket XL. If a chair’s more your thing, then consider the Halfords Camping Arm Chair (available in green and navy) or the Halfords Premium Folding Chair (available in black and blue), both of which fold up neatly for easy transportation.
And why not complete the set with a Halfords Roll up Aluminium Table? Perfect for holding all that delicious food!
Now that you’re thoroughly prepared for your perfect summer staycation, it’s time to sit back and enjoy your holiday-at-home. Beyond the products mentioned here, we have an extensive selection of camping equipment – visit Halfords.com to explore our full range.