Handy tips for a fun and safe trip
Now that spring has finally sprung, road trips will be the order of the day for many families. But before packing the car with kids and all the kit and kaboodle needed for a day trip or overnight stay, you need to do a little advance planning. The following tips can help make your next trip extra special and memorable:
On the car side: If you’ll be on the road frequently, think about the availability of roadside assistance. Mechanical problems can appear out of the blue and overloading your vehicle can lead to tire trouble and other problems. Some automakers offer roadside assistance packages with the vehicle purchase. If you don’t have it, organizations such as the CAA and Canadian Tire have packages available that include towing, gas assistance, trip planning and more.
It’s also a good idea to check appropriate provincial requirements to ensure a child’s car seat or booster seat meets safety regulations.
Visit your regular service provider to make sure your vehicle is in shape for an upcoming trip. Get your oil changed, tires and brakes checked, and pay special attention to hoses and belts that might need replacing.
Plan your route in advance. If you’re taking kids along, make sure your route makes allowance for bathroom and/or play stops.
Pack a plug-in 12-volt cooler with drinks and popular snacks to minimize the need to make costly stops for junk food during the trip.
On the kids side: To keep a lid on the “Are we there yet?” questions, make sure the kids keep entertained. Bring along a foldable table tray to make a sturdy surface for drawing, colouring, eating or playing games.
On longer outings, a stop to run around and get a breath of fresh air can help minimize the monotony. Pack some balls and games equipment to provide some physical activity.
Choose and install an organizer with multiple pockets to keep crayons, paper and small board games organized and easy to reach.