The border between Canada and the US alone is long enough to fit over 145,000 regulation NHL ice hockey rinks.
There's a lot of Canada to explore.
There are more than a few road trip necessities, but you may not remember them all when preparing for a trek across the great white north. Review this road trip checklist and make sure you have everything you need for your trip.
1. Plan Ahead
You may not want to be too strict on your road trip, after all, the freedom and spontaneity are what makes a trip like this so appealing. That being said, you don't want to scramble to find a place to sleep for the night.
Setting an itinerary doesn't restrict you, it gives you the freedom to enjoy the moment and not have to worry about logistics.
Plan your route. Decide the best path to take, using landmarks and what things you want to do on the road trip as a guide.
Calculate how long you will travel each day and make sure you have hotels or other sleeping arrangements made along your route.
Check your auto insurance and make sure your coverage is up to date and adequate for your trip.
Are you traveling with a friend? Divide the driving responsibilities between everyone on the trip so there is no confusion about who will be behind the wheel.
2. Safety First
Nothing ruins a road trip like being stranded on the side of the road with a broken vehicle.
Go in for an oil change. Most auto shops that perform routine maintenance will do a quick check of your car during an oil change. Let them make sure your tires, lights, and wipers are in good shape before setting off.
No road trip packing list is complete without a first aid kit. Minor cuts and bumps may happen during the trip, and you never know when a nasty headache will hit. These are all things that can be easily remedied with a small kit stored in the trunk.
People should know where you're going.
Share your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member so someone knows where you should be at any given time just in case the worst happens.
3. Guidance in Your Pocket
There are many options for navigation assistance and you don't have to pick just one, in fact, you probably shouldn't pick only one.
Take a look at the navigation apps available for your phone. Some of the top applications include Google Maps, Apple's Maps app, and Waze. Discuss with your travel mates to determine which one you are all capable of using.
Once you have your app selected, go ahead and input your planned route. Life will be much easier for everyone if you are all on the same page with the same app.
Navigation apps also help you find things to do on a road trip by showing you nearby places of interest.
Batteries die and sometimes apps just don't cooperate.
Paper maps are great. They are cheap, reliable, and don't take up any space in the car.
4. Protect Your Tech
You don't want to distract yourself with devices, the gorgeous vistas and the beauty of nature is the perfect entertainment for a road trip, but phones, tablets, and other electronics do serve a purpose and you and your fellow travelers will most certainly have them on their road trip packing list.
Supply mobile power for everyone.
Phone chargers are easy enough. Adapters that fit into power ports that are already installed in most cars make it easy to charge phones, just make sure you bring adapters that can charge multiple phones at once if you have a full car.
Larger devices like tablets and laptops may require a power converter. For cameras and other electronics that use batteries, make sure you take the opportunity to charge them during hotel stays or other places where outlets are available.
5. Too Warm or Too Cold
Canada's a big place and the weather can vary quite a bit during your trip.
Look at forecasts for the areas you are traveling and make sure you pack appropriately. If you are driving from one end to the other then you might need very different levels of clothing depending on the season.
Speaking of varied weather, the inside of a car full of people feels differently than the outside. Bring jackets and scarves that can easily be put on when exiting the car during cold days and taken off once the car warms up when you're back on the road.
6. Relaxation Makes for Great Exploration
Sitting in the same spot for hours can be tough, so bring a few comfort items to ease the ride.
Blankets and pillows are great for curling up in the backseat or naps before your next turn at driving. It's also great for extra comfort in hotels.
It can be hard to catch a few winks when the sun is pouring in through the windows. Sleep masks help with that and some even come with earplugs to block out the radio and highway noise.
Neck pillows for the person in the passenger seat make a great item to provide some relief.
Depending on the weather, you should also think about slippers, sandals, or something similar that may be more comfortable and easier to slip on and off.
Music tames the beast.
Making a playlist together with your fellow travelers can be fun and stops any complaining about different tastes in music. Good tunes on the radio is a road trip necessity.
7. Snacks Are a Must
Constantly pulling off the highway for snacks and drinks adds time and frustration to your trip.
If you have room in the car for a small cooler, take advantage of it. A cooler with ice, some bottles of water, energy drinks, or other beverages can be a lifesaver.
Take a survey of your passengers and pack a tote-bag with some snacks that are easy to eat on the road like trail mix, jerky, fruit pouches, and anything else that is travel ready.
Don't be afraid to ask your group what they will bring on the road trip so you don't needlessly double-up on anything.
Have Fun with Your Road Trip Checklist
The most important thing is to enjoy the trip. This road trip checklist lets you hit the open road and have a blast touring one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Now that you know what to bring on a road trip, it's time to get packed, prepare for the unexpected, gather your friends, and start your adventure.