Whether you’re embarking on a cross-country tour or a simple weekend getaway, it’s important to have a pre-trip checklist. Simple steps can make a big difference once you’re miles off the beaten path, and help you reach your destination in good spirits. Here are some tips from folks who know a thing or two about being on the road:
1. Give your car the once-over:
Before you even think about leaving the driveway, make sure your car is in tip-top shape. The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) recommends inspecting tires, belts, fluids, headlights and brakes, and making any repairs or replacements before you depart, rather than putting it off until later. Take a look in the glove compartment for important paperwork such as the vehicle manual, registration and insurance info. If no one in your car feels confident enough to be the designated navigator, CAA offers tour books, maps and GPS systems. After all, a long road trip does not need to be complicated by wrong turns and dead ends.
2. Keep kids occupied: While family road trips offer priceless memories and experiences for young kids, it’s no secret that things can quickly go awry after several hours in a car. Fortunately, Fodor’s travel experts have some useful tips for keeping the little ones happy the whole way. Stock up on plenty of books, flash cards and hand-held games, and get creative with colourful knick-knacks like pipe cleaners, which can amuse for hours. As for food, make your life easier by avoiding anything sticky or prone to melt; instead, opt for prepackaged goodies that will have kids happily – and quietly – munching in no time.
3. Stay healthy away from home: In addition to making sure your vehicle is stocked with first-aid supplies like band-aids and antibiotic ointment, brush up on your strategies for handling motion sickness. Factors like weather and fatigue can change how well you withstand long hours in the car, so be prepared for the occasional nausea or dizziness. If you start to feel unwell on the road, experts recommend pulling over and getting some fresh air. If stopping isn’t an option, roll down the window and look out at a distant point. Snacking on dry crackers isn’t a bad idea either; however, if motion sickness is a constant problem, you can talk to your doctor about medication that can provide relief.
An enjoyable road trip promises unforgettable adventures for families and friends. The best policy, especially if traveling with kids, is preparedness. Make sure your car doesn’t give you any trouble and that children are entertained. Online tools such as fuel price finders can save you money while updated GPS software can help you locate a nearby bathroom in a hurry. For more tips and traveling info, check out www.caa.ca or stop by a local travel agency to learn about destinations along your route.