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Seven Tips for Planning an Amazing Summer Road Trip

Deidre Plotnick June 06, 2022
Couple leaning on car by shore looking at phone
Once summer weather arrives, many of us start thinking about taking road trips. Whether exploring another province or venturing south of the border, road trips can be incredible, unforgettable adventures – as long as you do a little upfront work. Here are seven tips to help you plan an amazing summer road trip.
Young parents and daughter in car

1. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order.

When you’re relying on your car to get you from point A to point B, an engine warning light can really put a dent in your plans. Before you go, schedule maintenance service with an auto mechanic you trust. If you don’t have one, check out CAA’s Approved Auto Repair Services (AARSTM) list for auto mechanics that meet stringent standards. Get your tires, brakes, dashboard and beneath the hood checked to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy. Don’t want to add wear and tear to your car? Consider renting one. If you’re a CAA Member, you’ll enjoy savings and rewards with Enterprise, Alamo and National and on RVs with CanaDream. If you’re not a CAA Member, consider joining because these savings can quickly offset the cost of a CAA Membership.

2. A little planning can go a long way.

Create a rough framework for your adventure. Decide on your end destination, how many days you’re going for and how much driving you want to do in a typical day. Earmark any destinations or attractions you want to explore in more depth. Next, visit your local CAA Store for travel planning resources like TripTiks®, maps and guidebooks. Alternatively, you can head online to access CAA’s North American campground directory, digital TourBook® Guide or to create your own TripTik®

Couple lying on bed looking at map

3. Start your road trip with savings in your pocket.

This is where CAA Membership gets really rewarding. While you’re planning, go online and explore all the places you could enjoy savings and rewards. From well-known hotels and restaurants to shopping and attractions and more than 124,000 participating partner locations across North America, you’re bound to find deals wherever you’re going. Not only that, CAA Members also save on gas, car washes and in-store purchases at participating Shell stations – useful for a summer road trip! Maximize your savings at Shell with this new CAA Member benefit.

4. Stock up on entertainment if you’re travelling with children.

There’s nothing quite like watching young children discover the world. There’s also nothing quite like all those I Spy games and choruses of “are we there yet?” to get you second-guessing your road trip. Plan to stock up on activities like Backseat Bingo, travel card games and magnet kits to keep those little minds busy.

Young dad and toddler in car with open door

5. Be sure you have all your documents.

Make sure your car registration and insurance are in your wallet or car, and that you have reservation receipts and passports if you need them. Bring your CAA Membership card too, for savings and in case you need roadside assistance.

6. Be prepared for the unexpected.

Check that you have all items on this emergency car kit checklist before you leave. Use your phone to snap a picture of the emergency numbers listed on the online checklist too, so you have them handy should you need them.

7. Protect yourself against the unexpected.

Travelling outside of Ontario? Know that OHIP may not cover all your medical costs.  Travel insurance can help protect you financially should you have to return home or cancel your trip entirely due to illness. Some travel insurance even covers COVID-related illnesses, so be sure to ask. 

Auto insurance can help protect you in the event of an accident, so be sure you have the right coverage. A complimentary auto insurance policy review from a licensed CAA Insurance Agent can tell you. Start here and find out if you have proper coverage and are getting all the savings you deserve.

Two mature ladies leaning on car by shore
A road trip is an amazing way to make wonderful discoveries and memories. Just bear these tips in mind and stay flexible enough to go with the flow. A looser schedule will allow you to stay a little longer in that quaint town or visit that place the locals claim is a must-see. Happy exploring!