An Alberta summer road trip is one of the most beautiful adventures you can experience. From the highest point of Mount Columbia to the soothing natural hot springs. And the best part is, no matter where you are in the province, you’re only hours away from something really amazing. But the destination is only half of the fun — first you have to get there.
No matter where the summer takes you, these tips can help make your road trip a memorable one.
- DIY Car Maintenance
Like a thirsty jogger, cars need fluids too. Low fluid levels can make your car use more fuel and reduce engine, transmission and brake performance. Top up your engine coolant and fluids for transmission, power-steering and brakes. It might also be worth swapping out a dirty air filter, as sand and other gunk can clog it up over winter.
- Plan Your Route
Use AMA Road Reports to help map your road trip in advance, and check it the day you head out to make sure you know about road conditions or potential delays before you go.
- Keep Your Phone Charged & Ready
Start out with a fully charged cell phone and keep an emergency roadside safety kit in your trunk. Your family will thank you when you bust out some water bottles and granola bars while waiting for the tow truck. Include first aid supplies, a flashlight, extra batteries and blankets.
- Practice Safe Driving
With so much congestion on the highway, stay focused and listen to your Spidey Senses. Keep your cell phone in your pocket and your eyes on the road. If you plan on drinking, plan ahead for a safe ride home. In 2013, 13 people were killed and another 167 injured during the Victoria Day weekend so please look out for each other on the road.
- Monitor Your Speed
Increase your fuel efficiency (and avoid speeding tickets) by sticking to the speed limit. Use your cruise control when safe and avoid heavy breaking or acceleration, especially at highway speeds.
- If You Need to Pull Over, Do it Safely
If your vehicle breaks down on the side of a busy highway pull far off onto the shoulder and turn on your hazards. Be sure to stay on the ditch side, far away from traffic, and find a safe place to wait for help.
- Keep the Fuel Tank Full
Know what’s not fun on a hot summer day? Running out of gas. Avoid the telltale sputtering of an empty tank by using the Gas Price Monitor in the AMA mobile app. You can find the nearest (or cheapest) gas station and put your savings into the freezies and ice cream budget.