Being prepared, packing light and relaxing key to smooth summer road trip says BCAA

Hitting the holiday road

Cindy White

Now that school is out for the summer, a lot of families will be packing up the kids and the car and heading out for some rest and relaxation.

High gas prices might have some staying closer to home, but BC highways will still be very busy, so the BCAA has some tips to get you to your destination safely, and with minimal stress.

“First off, once you’re in the car the trip has already started. So, let’s relax and start having fun. Some road games for the kids often keeps them occupied and keeps the question of ‘are we there yet’ to a minimum,” suggests Josh Smythe, customer care manager and vehicle specialist at BCAA.

Smythe says it’s not worth it to only fill your gas tank part way to save on the weight of fuel.

“Don’t be skimping it out in order to save a little bit of weight to save some fuel economy. Because if you do find yourself in a position where you are a little bit delayed longer than you expect, you could find yourself in a little bit of a different situation than you’re hoping for.”

There are ways to save on gas, including leaving some of the clutter at home.

“Just bring the things that you’re going to use, that you know you’re going to use. Pack some extra water and some things like that in the event that you maybe are delayed in your travels.

“More than likely you’re not going to be taking the road trip to see where the road takes us. It’s going to be the road trip to get to the destination and see where the nature trail takes us.

“Maybe it’s that year we consider, instead of loading up the trailer with the toys, maybe look at renting them when you get there,” he adds.

And be prepared to get stuck in traffic.

On the Victoria Day long weekend, vehicles were backed up for several kilometres on the Coquihalla Highway as people headed home from the Interior to the Lower Mainland, turning a 3-4 hour trip into a marathon. Smythe says it’s difficult to avoid getting stuck in that kind of gridlock but you might want to consider leaving very early in the morning or later in the evening.

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