Our road trip essentials
What do you say to going on an adventure... at home! Road trips are an ideal way to take some time and discover your own part of the country. Relax, slow down, and enjoy a trip at your own pace. You’ll enjoy the freedom and autonomy that this type of getaway provides! Here are the essentials we suggest you prepare and pack for a more than pleasant stay on the road!
Travel in total security
Like any vacation, a road trip requires a minimum amount of planning. You don't want to experience a glitch in the middle of I-don't-know-wheresville. For the more adventurous, let's not forget that those beautiful places surrounded by forest don’t always have access to cellular networks. All the more reason to get a little organized before your departure!
If you want to make sure not to forget anything, you can't go wrong with a list. For smooth travels, remember the following:
- Registration papers, vehicle insurance and driver's license — better safe than sorry!
- A roadside assistance number. In the heat of the moment, this can be handy.
- First aid kit: small band aids are very useful.
- Booster cables – power outages can happen so quickly...
- A gallon of gasoline and/or windshield washer fluid, depending on the accessibility of your destination, of course.
- GPS or road map. Whether you're tech-savvy or old-fashioned, these tools can save a lot of bickering!
- Phone charging cable, especially if GPS is your only option.
Bonus: if you can locate a few rest stops, garages, and gas stations ahead of time, go for it! You’ll be way less stressed and will enjoy relaxing to the sound of music, with the window down and the wind in your hair.
Comfort and entertainment
For young and old alike, the drive can seem long when you're trying to get to a long-awaited destination. That's why it’s important to pack some non-essential additions that are popular with the whole family!
For long hours on the road, bring blankets and pillows. Young travellers will take the opportunity to nap, and if you're sharing the driving, the driver on break will be happy to curl up and rest. An automotive air freshener is also convenient for keeping things fresh.
Rest assured that snacks and drinks will be consumed along the way. And since spills are inevitable, a garbage bag, hand sanitizer, and a rag are items to bring along for the ride.
Fight boredom on the road! While some enjoy just looking outside and blissing out to the sound of a good playlist, others find travel dull. Equip your little ones with favourite toys that are easy to transport (books, dolls, etc.) And, if you have tablets or smartphones, there are various apps to that offer entertainment which you can download for free. In-vehicle WiFi is now even possible with the use of a portable network.
Going more traditional? Enjoy family playtime in the car; count the red cars, describe the clouds, run through the letters of the alphabet with words spotted along the road, challenge each other with riddles... let your imagination run wild!
DIY - Organization 101
The key to a road trip with family or friends is organization, as the car can quickly become a mess.
Tip #1: Install hooks behind headrests. Visit a hardware store to find little hooks that secure easily to the metal headrest rods. Then hang a bag, fabric organizer or even your personal items, such as water bottles, towels and more, directly on the hooks.
Tip #2: Optimize space by placing organizer bins in your trunk. Creating separate sections, they'll allow you to store everything in its place without losing your mind. Your gear will be more accessible during stops and once you arrive at your destination. Who wants to remove three bags and a cooler just to get at a box of tissues?
Tip #3: Install a small built-in garbage bag at the front and/or the rear of the car. Each rider should be able to easily access the bag to throw away their waste, otherwise the mess can get out of control quickly! You can attach plastic hooks with adhesive strips to the dashboard or to a vehicle door for the bag. These brackets can be removed without making any marks.
DIY – Lunchtime
With young children, eating in the car can be like a puzzle. Solutions exist to promote a good balance between the kilometers traveled and the snacks gobbled up.
Tip #1: Bring a tray to create a comfortable and more spacious dining area. There are foldable designs that they can be put away and taken out at the appropriate times.
Tip #2: Make your own wooden lunch tray! Cut a plywood board to the desired dimensions. Make sure you put in a notch that is a little larger than the space available in your steering wheel. Sand your creation, round the corners for safety, and then varnish it. Once you take a rest break, just turn the head of the steering wheel down to insert the tablet!
Need some inspiration for your next road trip? Discover 5 great Canadian escapes! Before embarking on any trip, speak to our agents to verify that your auto insurance coverage is suitable for your travel plans. Do you have any other essentials that you use for your road trips? Let us know in the comments section. Happy travels!