Embarking on a road trip can be an absolutely unforgettable experience that can help family and friends bond in a way that no other adventure can. You just have to make sure your road trip goes smoothly. Fortunately, it's easy to turn yourself into a top-tier road trip planner, provided that you keep the most important factors in mind. Here are the best road trip planner tips to remember.
1. Plan for the weather
The winter roads in Canada are notoriously hard on cars that aren't properly prepared. Given the heavy snowfall that virtually the whole country receives in winter, the roads are heavily salted to keep them navigable. Still, you'll need to keep an eye out for rust and equip winter tires. At the least, make sure your brake pads have plenty of life left in them.
2. Find the right car
If you don't already have a car, there are several options available when it comes to getting a ride for your road trip. The most common method is renting, but remember that one-way trips can be expensive. It's always best to return the car to the location you rented it from, so you may want to plan your road trip in a circle rather than a straight line.
3. Plan for distance
Canada is massive, and there are long stretches of open road where you'll be surrounded by nothing but countryside. With this kind of isolation, you'll need to plan ahead. Note which parts of your route have long stretches of empty road, and make sure you have enough gas beforehand. Additionally, you'll want to pack food and water to keep yourself satiated and hydrated.
4. Watch out for animals
When you imagine Canadian animals, the first that comes to mind is probably the moose. While these majestic creatures can be impressive to look at, they can become a serious problem should you run into one on the road. It's especially a problem at night on the east coast. Areas like Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland have an overpopulation, so drive slowly.
5. Stay fueled with GasBuddy
The GasBuddy app can be a lifesaver if you're about to embark on one of Canada's infamously long stretches of barren road. This app can provide information about not only the closest gas station to your current position along your route, but it will also find the most affordable gas. You can even use this app if you head south of the border into the United States.
6. Stay safe with the iOnRoad app
If you have an iPhone, you won't want to head out on your road trip without the iOnRoad app. This handy app essentially turns your phone into a collision warning system much like what you find in high-end modern cars. It uses the phone's camera to function. Just remember that you'll need a mount, and don't forget that this app is not a replacement for your own reaction time.
7. Always have a place to park with ParkMe
Canada is packed full of thrilling cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa. If you want to experience the best of what they have to offer during your road trip, you'll need a place to park. That's where the ParkMe app can help. It can easily guide you to the most convenient and affordable parking spots near your location.
8. Avoid traffic with Waze
Waze is one of the most useful mapping apps ever. You can input your road trip destination into the app, and it will show you the best route. What makes it different from other mapping apps is that it gets real-time traffic updates and can change the route accordingly to ensure that you always make the fastest time to your destination.
9. Craft the ultimate itinerary with Roadtrippers
The Roadtrippers app is the quintessential road trip planner everyone can use. While first developed in the US, it has since expanded to cover all of Canada as well, so you can enjoy its multitude of free travel guides and route crafting capabilities. Just make sure you can plug your phone in because it drains the battery rather quickly.
10. Download iOverlander if you plan on camping
If any part of your road trip includes a night of camping, make sure you download the iOverlander app. It works for both iPhone and Android, and it offers up-to-date information on all campgrounds along any given route. There's even additional information about each site including images and reviews from other campers.