“Mooooooom! I forgot my earbuds! We have to turn around!” If you’ve heard that wail of despair before – usually 30 minutes into a long summer road trip – you know the value of a good checklist.
But beyond backup bug spray (and the extra earbuds) – your car should be road trip-worthy, too.
Save time and aggravation with our CAA road trip prep checklist:
One month before
Get an oil change and top up your coolant – Hot summer days are big stress on cars. Check your coolant levels and ensure your oil is fresh. If you intend to tow a boat, trailer or camper, your engine will work harder in those kilometres, so make sure you have the right engine oil grade, too.
Get your car serviced – Swap out air filters, get the battery tested and check electrical systems. Summer is surprisingly hard on batteries, so make sure you get it tested. (You’ll thank us next winter!)
One week before
Check your tires – Your summer tires should have sufficient tread and ensure they’ve been rotated and aligned for even wear. Check the tire pressure a week before and then the day before your road trip to determine if you have a leak.
Swap your wiper blades – Summer wiper blades are designed to deal with wet conditions and hot surfaces; winter blades are more robust and have firmer rubber to handle ice and snow. You need to change them if there’s cracked rubber if they squeak, smear or your visibility is low in poor conditions.
Clean up – A clean car also means safety, so use avoid window cleaners that leave a residue that can impact visibility when you need the air conditioner on blast during a summer shower.
One day before
Pack your CAA Roadside Hazard Kit – Don’t pack away the roadside kit. It includes all the things you need for an emergency, whatever the weather. CAA Members save up to 20% on luggage and travel accessories at CAA Stores, so you can pick one for $47.96 to $53.96.*
Organize your trunk – Bring order to your road trip packing with a CAA Trunk Organizer. CAA Members save up to 20%. Prices range from $28 to $31.50.*
Pack your CAA card – Wherever you are road tripping across Canada or the United States, CAA will come to the rescue. Make a list of emergency numbers and contacts, just in case. It’s also a good idea to bring along your spare key fob in case your main set gets lost or the battery fails.
Download the CAA Mobile App – Not only can you track the truck in an emergency, but you can log into your My Account, check your CAA Dollars balance and browse for CAA Rewards.
*Conditions apply. Partners and offers are subject to change without notice. Price shown does not include tax. Available at CAA Stores while supplies last. Offer is not available on International Driving Permits, passport photos, attraction tickets, travel insurance, or travel purchases. CAA Everyday and CAA Classic® Members save ten percent (10%), CAA Plus® Members save fifteen percent (15%), and CAA Premier® Members save twenty percent (20%). Up to twenty percent (20%) discount is not combinable with the Member Exclusive Collection.