Helpful car hacks for your road trip

What’s not to love about a road trip? It’s just you and your closest friends or family members out on the open road. Of course, it’s important that you bring along the right supplies and the right entertainment to make the endless hours fly by.

  • Pack a light – When you’re packing, roll your clothes so you can save precious car space for passengers, not suitcases.
  • Protect your documents – If you’re planning to leave the country, scan or snap a picture of your passport and travel reservations with your smartphone and email them to yourself so you have copies.
  • Plan like an adult – Take your car for a tune-up and check your emergency roadside kit. Being responsible and prepared ahead of time usually pays off in the long run.
  • Prepare for silly mistakes – Word to the wise: bring along your spare key. You might not need it, but if you ever find yourself standing outside your locked car, looking at the key in the ignition, you’ll be happy to have the spare (just don’t keep it in the car).
  • Stay squeaky clean – To keep your car clean and smelling fresh – even after you’ve spent countless hours in it – bring along cleaning wipes and dryer sheets.
  • Think outside of the cereal box – Another tip that will help your car stay organized: use a plastic cereal container with a grocery bag inside to collect trash from those roadside food breaks.
  • Say cheese! – Keep your eyes peeled for oversized landmarks along your route that you can pull over and pose with. These quick stops are a great excuse to stretch and everyone will have fun hamming it up next to a jumbo fish, a huge cow or a giant-sized Muskoka chair.
  • Snack responsibly – Store your snacks in a tackle box tray. This will keep everything organized and it makes for a handy snack tray that’s easy to pass around.
  • Make breaks fun – Pack a Frisbee and a baseball or soccer ball to toss around at road stops. A deck of cards will also come in handy in the backseat. Go fish anyone?
  • Go local! – One of the best things about taking a road trip is the chance to experience local culture. Make it a rule that you have to stop in one interesting store in every town you pass through.
  • Try something new – If you’re looking for somewhere to eat along the way, ask a local. They’ll be able to point you to a tasty restaurant that you may never have considered.
  • Mix up the tunes – Bring along a comedy album, your favorite movie soundtrack or a compilation of your favorite sing-a-long road songs. Sure, you can always try out local radio stations too, but a good variety will help keep everyone sane.
  • Live like your ancestors! – Leave your GPS at home and navigate with a road map. (You can still pack your GPS just in case…).
  • Cut the cord – Go off the grid and see who can leave their cell phones off the longest. Make the loser the designated gas pumper for the rest of the trip.
  • Or connect many cords – If you’re not ready to disconnect from the mobile world, bring a multi-charger to avoid any squabbling over the only charging outlet.
  • I spy a way to pass time – It’s not a road trip without road trip games! Here’s a few games to keep the kids busy and a few games for adults too.
  • Directions and dinner – It’s inevitable that you’ll got lost at least once. Instead of stopping at a gas station, head to the local pizza delivery place for directions.

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