When the sun is shining, there are few greater pleasures than a trip to the beach. The sound of the sea and the fresh air are equally uplifting and relaxing, and it's not surprising so many family days out are spent at the beach. Like any other kind of trip in the car, however, it's definitely worth preparing for the occasion. Here are five ways you should prepare your car for a trip to the beach from Hall Honda.

Prepare the car for the sunshine. Like any other road trip, your car needs to be ready for the journey, so you should perform basic maintenance to include checking fluid and coolant levels, tire pressure, and fuel. However, the sunny conditions also require extra preparation. It's worth washing and waxing the car's exterior to protect the bodywork from the sun's heat (and from the sand that may be thrown up by the wheels). You can also cover the tires with a UV-resistant gloss. Contact us for more advice.

Plan your route. If you're not a regular visitor to the beach, make sure you plan your route ahead of time. Some beach roads can be fairly rural and are not equipped to cope with lots of traffic. On a very sunny day, you may find yourselves coming up against a lot of congestion. As such, it pays to have alternative routes planned. You may also benefit from knowing where the nearest gas station and convenience store are.

Protect the interior. If you're driving to the beach on a sunny day, you may not be able to park in a shady spot. The interior of the car is therefore likely to get very hot. Take blankets or sheets to cover the seats so the upholstery isn't damaged by the direct sunlight. Buy a fuzzy cover for the steering wheel so it's not too hot to touch, and place sun shields on the windows to reflect as much heat as possible. You should also remove any items from the interior that are pressurized (e.g. aerosols), as the high temperature could cause them to explode.

Protect your belongings. Another issue with parking at the beach is you are very often off-road or in quiet locations. Break-ins and theft from cars can be common in these locations. Remove all unnecessary valuables from the car before you travel, so you don't need to worry at the other end. Make sure essential valuables are locked in the trunk, or better still, taken with you.

Pack the right kit. Make sure you have all the right things to support the trip there, the day at the beach, and the trip home. This includes plenty of bottled water, towels, changes of clothing, and appropriate footwear. In case of an emergency, take a flashlight, resupply your first-aid kit, and make sure your mobile phone is fully charged. Sunscreen, a parasol, sunglasses, and sun hats are all advisable too!