2020 Is The Summer Of The Road Trip!

With so many pandemic-related travel restrictions currently in effect, flight cut-backs, and the concerns of even flying during COVID-19, many families will resort to the good old fashioned 'road trip' this summer. Planning a family road trip can be complicated at the best of times. But planning one during COVID-19 will take even more careful planning and special considerations. And, whether you are headed to a neighbouring city or province, a campground, a cottage or resort, the journey is really as important as the destination. A family road trip doesn’t have to be a gruelling test of endurance — here's to make your getaway a success.

Do Your Research
Now more than ever, it's very important to research your destination. Find out what's open, what's closed. Map out your destination and what you plan to do along the way, checking each venue and hotel availability carefully. Currently, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and the territories are banning visitors from other provinces (update: now open to all Canadian travellers with a 14 day isolation period). Other provinces require an isolation period of 14 days upon arrival, and are discouraging non-essential travel. With so many restrictions in place, it may be best to keep your road trip 'close to home.' If you're planning on visiting any attractions, make sure you understand the guest capacity limits and the timed ticket options (which many venues have implemented). This might make things a bit trickier when you're travelling. Ensure to book online when you know you're ready to visit. Check what protocols each attraction has implemented for COVID-19.

Pack Your Food
Pack a well-rounded assortment of healthy road trip snacks and drinks, especially water to minimize stops, and therefore exposure and interactions along your route. We have some suggestions for Heathy Eating on Road Trips, including what to bring. Be prepared to pack as much food as possible since eat-in dining options aren't currently available. Food choices will be limited to fast food take-out so keep in mind that there may be line-ups or even temporary closures — not the best when you're travelling with hungry kids.

Sleeping Arrangements
If you're planning on staying at a hotel, call ahead to book and confirm your reservation. Some hotels may still be closed, or running at limited capacity. Hotels are rethinking their approach to sanitization and social distancing in light of the outbreak. Most have ramped-up cleaning and safety standards, and are offering contactless guest check-in procedures. Check what your preferred hotel accommodation has implemented, to keep your family safe.

What to Pack
You made your list and checked it not twice, but at least 10 times. As far as you can tell, you have not forgotten anything – not the wet wipes, not the blankets, nor the anti-carsick pills. Hmmm, are you really ready for take-off? Just to be sure, we've got a Road Trip Checklist with everything a family needs to bring.

Make the Journey Fun
Don’t be in such a rush and take breaks; it will make the trip easier. Leave yourself enough time to take a detour here and there, to visit attractions along your route. It may be a museum or a zoo. Just be sure to research all your recreational activities before you leave on your trip, due to COVID-19. Or, give yourself an hour to park beside a river and have a picnic lunch while the kids kick a ball. Keep a 'swim bag' in your car so if the kids get hot and tired, you can stop at a swimming hole or park splash pad, to cool down. Keep swim suits, towels, water shoes, sun hats, goggles, and sunscreen on hand — chances are you’ll need those items on your vacation anyway. Other equipment that should live in your car: badminton racquets and a birdie, a frisbee, and a ball.

Keeping Kids Entertained
With the right gear in hand, kids are perfectly capable of amusing themselves for hours. This will avoid parents being the ones to ask 'Are we there yet?' Bring their favourite devices, movies and video games, puzzle books, small toys, and make sure each child has their own headset (for overall peace and quiet). A must is a few travel-sized board games; these are designed to store all the parts in one place so you don’t lose them. Pieces are usually more compact for playing in the car and when you’re done, you can pack up very easily. See suggested travel games below. Driving in the dark? Give your kids glow sticks, little book lights, or tiny flashlights ... just a little extra fun for the kids during night driving — before they fall asleep.

Road Trip Treats
Stash these items in your bag: a few inexpensive new toys, games or activities for kids to unwrap during the journey (for those times when they (you) need a little distraction).

Fun on the Go - The Best Travel Games for Kids
Keep the kids entertained on the go with these travel games so they can take a break from electronics. These fun games will get you and your kids through a road trip, so don't leave home without them!

Record the Journey
Give the kids a diary to keep track of their daily activities. Have them read them aloud. You’ll love hearing their thoughts! Not into writing? Then keep a list. Kids like to keep lists. Have them record all kinds of facts about the trip: number of kilometres driven each day, animals seen from the road, places/attractions visited, foods they ate, etc. Or, keep a picture book. If writing doesn’t grab them, move on to images. Kids can sketch animals, hotel rooms, parks, zoos, and other attractions visited. Sometimes pictures really do speak louder than words. Summer of 2020 during a pandemic will be an interesting experience to look back on.

Road Trip Car Games
Teach your kiddos a bunch of road trip games to make your next family road trip a fun and whine-free one. These favourite classic games just take some imagination and don't cost a thing! More

Road Trip Safety During COVID-19
The best and easiest way to protect your family from COVID is simply to stay at home. But summer is here, and after months of confinement, families want to get away. Experts do agree however, that travelling by car is currently a safer option. Road trips provide you with a bit more control over your activities, and you can minimize your interaction with others. Use common sense at all times along with the following tips, to keep your family as safe as possible. More

Keep a Schedule
When travelling, try to keep your daily routine as consistent as possible. Kids will be less cranky if they eat and sleep at the same times.

Love it or leave it, the family road trip is still the ultimate bonding experience — if you do it right. Happy travels and stay safe!

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