What are your holiday plans this summer? Are you grabbing your bucket and spade and driving to one of our much loved UK seaside towns. Perhaps you're going further afield to Europe via the euro tunnel or crossing the channel by ferry? If you've yet to book your ferry crossing, Irish Ferries is a Sunflower friendly option! Wherever the destination of your summer break, be sure to take the FREE Sunflower for your vehicle with you to indicate that you, or someone in the car, has an invisible disability.

You may recall that last autumn we teamed up with the National Highways agency to produce these FREE Sunflower magnets and stickers that can be added to the rear of your vehicle. In the unfortunate event that you breakdown or are involved in an accident, on one of England's motorways or major A roads, when a National Highways traffic officer sees the Sunflower, they’ll ask about what support you may need to help keep you safe.

A member of the Sunflower community that has a Sunflower for your vehicle told us: “I feel less stress with using the sticker as my child will hopefully be looked after properly if I have an accident.” Another wearer commented: “I think it’s a wonderful idea as I cannot get in or out of our car very well”

You can get the FREE Sunflower for your vehicle here.

Introducing the Sunflower journey planner

A screen shot of the Sunflower route planner. The route demonstrated takes you from London to Devon. There are circles to indicate where Sunflower friendly businesses are located along the way.

Depending on how far you need to travel to reach your destination, you may want to consider planning your stops along the way with our new Sunflower journey planner. Just add your starting point and destination to the map and you'll be able to see all the organisations that recognise the Sunflower along your route. We have a range of Sunflower friendly motorway service stations and food vendors up and down the country's motorway and major road networks that are ready to welcome and support you as you make your way to and from your summer holiday.

Our top tips to make a long journey more manageable

The road network in the UK can get extremely congested as we all make our way from the cities to the beach or countryside, as part of the great summer getaway. Here are some useful tips for making a car journey more manageable to ensure you have both a good start and end to your holiday:

  • Make sure you take regular breaks – the UK Government's Think campaign recommends that you take a break from driving every two to three hours for 15 minutes. By using our Sunflower journey planner you can plan where to take your breaks. There are lots of service stations that recognise the lanyard up and down the country including: 29 Welcome Break, 21 Roadchef and 10 Extra motorway service areas.
  • Take your essential items with you: important documents such as driving licence and insurance papers, loose change for road tolls, phone charger, torch, GB car sticker (if travelling abroad) and of course the Sunflower for your vehicle.
  • Pack for comfort: Sunglasses, toiletries, water, drinks and snacks, sensory items.
  • Ensure you've carried out a few essential checks on your vehicle including: tyre pressure, oil, coolant and washer fluid levels. You should also ensure all your vehicle lights are in good working order.
  • If you don’t already have breakdown cover in place, organise it before you go. While you can call the National Highways for assistance, additional breakdown cover can provide road recovery services, meaning you have the security of roadside assistance throughout your road trip should the unexpected happen.
  • Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged
  • Allow plenty of time to get to your destination
  • Order one of our Sunflower magnets or stickers for your vehicle.