How to be smart and save when your vehicle makes the vacation; road trip tips.
Majestic mountains in the West, beautiful shorelines and delicious seafood in the East, stunning lakes and cities in between; Canada is a country full of diverse landscapes. What better way to fully appreciate that diversity than to take a road trip. A driving trip may be a great family holiday, but it comes with a unique set of challenges. Tackle the challenges before you leave to stay safe on the road and maybe even save some bucks in the long run.
Get The Right Insurance: Car Insurance And Travel Insurance
If you're travelling across Canada and/or the United States, your car insurance will follow you, just make sure you have a copy of your insurance documents (plus your licence, ownership and registration) handy at all times. If you're driving further south into Mexico you will need to purchase extra car insurance, either ahead of time or at the U.S.-Mexico border because your Canadian car insurance is not valid in Mexico.
Tip: If you're driving to the U.S., reach out to your auto insurer before you leave. Depending on your liability limit, they may suggest increasing it. It couldn't hurt to also tell them when you're leaving, returning and where you'll be going. That way they'll be able to provide you with any extra advice and tips that may come in handy.
Even though this is a driving holiday, whether you're staying in Canada or heading into the U.S., you'll want to get travel insurance for your family getaway.
- Travelling In Canada? Why You Need Travel Insurance
- "Your Canadian insurance is almost certainly not valid outside Canada. If you plan to go abroad-even on a day trip to the United States-you should purchase the best supplementary travel insurance you can afford-health, life, disability, driving, vehicle, and trip cancellation-before you leave Canada," states the Government of Canada's Travel website.
Consider A Rental
If you're feeling less than confident about your own set of wheels, renting a car for your family road trip is a good option. Large vehicles, like RVs, can be a fun alternative that will give your loved ones some extra space on your travels. It could even save you money on hotel rooms.
Tip: Return the rental vehicle to the same location you rented it from, and you can save hundreds of dollars. There's a premium for picking the rental up in one spot and dropping it off at another location.
Plan Ahead For Gas
There's no way around it: you will end up spending a lot on gas. The best way to deal with this is by planning ahead-try to calculate your gas costs ahead of time so the total cost doesn't come as a surprise after your road trip has finished. Fuel prices vary from province to province (and city to city) and you can see how much gas money you'll have to plan for at Natural Resources Canada; weekly they list the average retail price for gasoline in all of Canada's major cities and towns.
A Place To Lay Your Head
Hotel stays won't be cheap along your journey especially if your family requires multiple rooms, but there is another option. Consider camping-the kids will get a taste for the outdoors and you'll save tons of money. This will require some advance planning, but many campsites have tents or other structures available for rent if you don't want to lug around your own camping gear. A great place to start your planning is Parks Canada.
Come Armed With Road Trip Snacks
Part of a great road trip is sampling local foods, but hungry kids in the back seat will likely lead to sudden fast food purchases that will add up in cost. Having snacks in the car can help you keep control of the vacation budget while keeping everyone smiling and satiated.
Road Trip Reads