Spring Ready

How to Prepare for a Roadtrip

Here are a few pointers to help you prepare for a fun and safe roadtrip.

By William Clavey Wheels.ca

Apr 13, 2021 4 min. read

Article was updated a year ago

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You and your family have been cooped up at home due to COVID-19 restrictions but need to let off a bit of steam? We hear you. A good family roadtrip can definitely help, but you’ll need to check off a few steps before hitting the road, especially during a pandemic context. Here are a few pointers to help you prepare for a fun and safe roadtrip.

Make sure the car can take it

Before heading out into the wild with your vehicle, make sure it’s fit for it. The that you’ve been locked at home could mean your car needs important maintenance after sitting in your driveway for weeks on end. A thorough mechanical inspection before leaving will avoid serious problems during your adventure. Make sure your car’s tires are in good shape, properly inflated and aligned. Have your brakes checked, all your fluids filled and ensure proper headlight and wiper operation. Oh, and check your battery, too. A worn-out battery could have your car stranded and unable to start. That’s the last thing you want when you’re afar with the kids.

Check where you’re allowed to go

With COVID-19 restrictions constantly changing across the country, make sure you’re actually allowed to go where you’ve planned. Some provinces restrict inter-province travel or have imposed curfews that limit car travel to essential services only. Visit each province’s COVID-19 information websites to avoid having to turn around on your way to your destination, or even worse, be imposed a fine for not respecting the law. Lastly, if you plan on visiting museums or amusement and national parks, contact them ahead of time to make sure they’ll be open during your visit. And don’t forget to bring masks for the entire family.

Plan early

You’ve already decided where you’re heading and how you’ll get there, but a good roadtrip is always more enjoyable when it’s planned. It feels a lot better when you know where you’ll spend the night once you get there. The last thing you want after a full day’s drive is to look for a hotel or a bed and breakfast. With most Canadians now locked into the country due to a closed U.S./Canada border, expect many hotels and rest areas to be overbooked. So, plan and reserve early. That way you, your spouse and the kids, will be sure to have a warm and cozy place to spend the night before you hit the road again.

Survival Kit

Everyone wants a smooth-sailing trip, but a bad luck can happen. When venturing out on a roadtrip, you need to be prepared for anything. It’s important to always carry with you a survival kit in the event that you end up stranded on the side of the road. First, make sure your vehicle is equipped with a spare tire and all the tools to change it. Then, prepare an area in the trunk for blankets, snacks, tuques, mittens, gloves and socks. The weather may be nice and warm back home, but things might change along the way. Good clothing will keep your family warm if you need to wait for a tow truck on the side of the road. Oh, and don’t forget your phone charger!

Music and entertainment

The road you’re about to hit may be a long and boring one. You may be a patient driver, but your kids probably don’t share your wisdom. Make sure they have plenty of stuff to do along the way. Prepare games, places to stop for toilet and stretch breaks, as well as entertainment on the way. Set up some playlists, charge up some iPads and make sure your rear entertainment system (if your vehicle is equipped with one) has plenty of movies and games to keep your offspring stimulated during the ride.

Have fun and capture the memories!

Of course, the main purpose of a roadtrip is to have fun and forget the stresses of your everyday life for a short moment. Try to not check your emails, or even better, temporarily delete your social media applications from your phone. You’d be surprised how much time-consuming social media is. Enjoy this time away with the family, and make sure to snap as many photos as you can along the way. What you want from this trip are memories that’ll make you feel good when you’ll look back at them. Drive safe and enjoy!