Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias
Summers are for BBQs, cottage-going, ice cream for dinner and ROAD TRIPS! We went on our first long-haul road trip last month, and crowd-sourced the best tips to make it a success! We asked, and you delivered! Thank you parents who shared their top tips for multi-day road trip survival. They came in so handy on our first long drive to Myrtle Beach as a family of six!
We’re also sharing our pre-departure checklist, including one item that’s pretty essential to ensure a smooth (as can be) ride.
Here are the top tips for successful family road trips from our readers:
1) Snacks, snacks & more snacks! – Marla, Blogger at To&Fro
2) Try to stick to regular meal and nap routines. Change kids into their jammies for night driving. – Kelly, The Parenthood
3) Make activity bins or bags filled with age-appropriate loot for each child, including Cross-Words, Mad Libs, books, colouring material, etc. – Mary, Mom of 2 + Pinterest Fanatic
4) Reduce your expectations, then reduce them again! – Nicole, Mom of 3
5) DVDs, dollar store toys, car bingo, music and snacks – Caroline, Author of Boredom Busters
We’re not total road trip rookies, and have done several up to the cottage and family resorts around Ontario, and these are our usual pre-departure must-dos for a smooth (as can be) ride:
1) Pre-plan Your Route
We love going with the flow most times, but when it comes to road trips, mapping out our route prior to leaving makes the trip a tad less stressful. GPS is great, but so is documenting back up routes in the event of the unexpected and plotting where the rest stops and places to eat along the way are located in case of bathroom emergencies or blood-sugar crashes! We also like to scout out a few unique places along the way to surprise the kids with – like a provincial park, great ice cream shop or local attraction.
2) Car Maintenance
With all the planning, organizing and packing that goes into a family trip, car trouble would be a massive dent in the excitement, and big concern with little ones in the vehicle. This was one tip that didn’t come up in our road trip discussion, but is pretty important.
For this reason, car maintenance is a must-do before we hit the road, including servicing and an oil change or top up. Our favourite shop to pick up our automotive essentials is Canadian Tire, and our choice of oil is Quaker State ® Ultimate Durability™ Full Synthetic Motor Oil .
Quaker State is always a great price at Canadian Tire, and has proven durability with the help of a fuel-saving additive that keeps oil fresh plus added benefits to engine life with its ability to perform optimally even when engine temperatures soar. It also offers superior lubrication flow and pumpability in our below-freezing Canadian Winter temperatures. We value the rigorous testing Quaker State products undergo, and feel good knowing results showed it delivers twice the wear protection of the industry standard on its ability to sustain its quality through thousands of miles of stop-and-go traffic, idling and extreme temperatures.
Quaker State oil can be purchased from the Automotive section of Canadian Tire in the Oil Change aisle. Before purchasing oil, make sure you find out what type is meant to be used in your car, which you can find in your owner’s manual, and be sure to check your local Canadian Tire store for availability.
All safety precautions should be taken for your DIY oil change, including but not limited to putting something behind your back tire to prevent it from rolling while on a jack.
We also made sure the kids were well out of the way while we performed the oil change. Andrew got a kick out of teaching me how to do it, and being a DIY kinda gal, I totally didn’t mind learning this new skill!
While we love Canadian Tire for auto supplies, it’s also been our go-to since we got married (still have our first lawnmower!) for cottage gear, hockey accessories, household essentials, and where we found our older boys’ bikes. It really is a one-stop shop, and a store made for all stages of family life in Canada.
3) Playlist & App Downloads
While some good ole’ fashion unplugged time will be part of the journey, like a game of eye spy, we’re being realistic, letting some of the tech time rules slide, and prepping the electronics for when boredom busting calls. The kids are helping us put together a family song playlist, and we’ve been scouring Pinterest and parenting platforms for the top road trip apps for kids. Setting aside time to upload everything makes our pre-departure cut.
4) Security Safeguards
While no one wants to think of the bad when embarking on an adventure, taking a bit of time to mitigate an awful outcome is always worthwhile before hitting the road, or any extended time away from home. Arming the house, notifying neighbours to report any strange activity, turning off unnecessary electronics, taking insurance precautions like ensuring adequate out of country and home coverage, and shutting off the water make our last minute pre-departure task list. We also notify executors of where our important family documents are stored, and make copies of passports and travel itineraries to leave with loved ones in the event of lost documents while outside of Canada. A call to our credit card company to notify them of our travel plans and to flag any suspicious activity is also part of the list.
We hope you found these tips useful for getting road-trip ready with your gang. No matter how it goes, it’s bound to be an A D V E N T U R E!