It's crucial that you can see where you're going - and that other motorists can see you if you have to get out
Lights are fantastic
First, make sure all your lights are working.
If you find a bulb that isn't working, don't ignore it. You'll be able to unclip covers and replace the bulbs on many cars yourself, but some will require a visit to your dealer, especially if they're high-intensity gas discharge lights.
Parking three kids on the rear seat and a half-tonne of luggage in the boot will also point the nose of the car skywards. Don't forget to change the level of the headlights so they don't dazzle oncoming drivers.
Remember, too, to readjust them once you've unloaded for the same reason.
Even if you can't be bothered to wash the rest of your car, always clean your lights.
Kit to bring with you
Depending on how much space you've got left once you've packed the car, there are a few basics that you should bring with you to keep it happy.
Washer fluid is always handy - it's amazing how much you can get through when the weather's bad - so have some on board.
If you're motoring outside the UK, take a warning triangle. They're required by law in virtually every country across Europe and don't cost much.
First aid kits are cheap, too, and although they're not as commonly required as a triangle, you'll be thankful for having one if there are any minor incidents.
A high-visibility jacket is also highly sensible if you're forced to replace a wheel by the side of the road. Most motorists killed on UK motorways are killed on the hard shoulder.