As you know, my husband and I are currently driving across Canada as we move out west from Prince Edward Island to Alberta. We have spent five days in the car and have another three days to go. We’ve compiled a list of some of the essentials we have been using while on this extended road trip and thought it’d be fun to share. I just want to point out that I’m not sponsored by any of these products or services, and we purchased these ourselves and the reviews are our own.
- Google Maps. I know, I know, before we had smart phones, everyone including my parents had to use a real map. And while I could figure one out if I really sat down and tried, the ease and convenience of using the GPS on my phone just can’t be beat. We’ve been using Google Maps for our entire trip and have had no issues with it at all.
- Our next essential is good music. Every road trip needs a good playlist. Since our road trip is close to 5000 km, we needed a lot of good music. Now, I’ve mentioned this app before, but our favourite way to play music is through Spotify. We pay ten dollars a month, and have access to almost any song we fancy. You can create your own playlists and – this is the best part – download the playlists to your device so that you can listen to your songs without using any data.
- When we get sick of listening to music, Rick likes to put on an audio book. He has a subscription to Audible, which boasts a large collection of audio books. Since I’m always the passenger, I can read to my heart’s content, and now Rick can listen to a book as well. He’s currently making his way through Game of Thrones. I’m currently reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I can’t believe I haven’t read this classic, and neither could my friend Amanda, who gave me the book. I’m only a few chapters in, but it’s fantastic so far.
- This and the next one are related to the fact that we use our smartphones so much in the car. We bought a Magnetic phone holder that is extremely convenient. We have one from Spigen. It comes with two adhesive thin metal plates which you can either stick to your phone or stick to your phone case. The magnetic part attaches to your air vent in the car, and it’s strong enough to then hold your phone up. Rick says that it is the best phone holder he’s had.
- We also purchased a SoundBot Bluetooth device. It enables you to play music from your phone via Bluetooth and also make and receive phone calls. Our car doesn’t come with any of these features so it was nice to find a small device that works well. Both this and the Spigen holder were purchased from Amazon.
- Car Games. To be fair, we only ever play Twenty Questions. When we’re not chatting, I’m usually reading or playing a game on my phone. If you have a great car game that we can play, let me know!
- A cooler full of snacks. We have a big cooler at my feet but it’s not full of much. The cooler is great because it keeps drinks cold for a long time. Currently we have some seaweed snacks and a honeybun from breakfast. Snacks are a road trip staple. We also keep some candy on hand when we are feeling a little low on sugar 😉
- A bag for trash, or rubbish, as my husband says. Very important. We even have a little hook on the lower dashboard to hold the bag.
- Caffeine. My choice is coffee or tea, but since hubby doesn’t drink either of those he tends to choose energy drinks. It’s funny how driving can be so exhausting – all we’re doing is sitting in a car but I find myself yawning the day away!
- And finally, AirBNB. Yes, we could choose a cheap motel when we need to stay overnight, but we can often find a room on AirBNB for less than a motel and we get a much better experience. For instance, last night in Sault Ste. Marie, we stayed in a Howard Johnson motel. We paid more than we have during our other nights through AirBNB, and the continental breakfast was pitiful. In Quebec City we used AirBNB and paid thirty dollars less and received a wonderful breakfast. Plus, we love chatting with and getting to know new people, which is something that you rarely get the chance to do at a motel.
We are at our AirBNB in Thunder Bay, tomorrow we head to Winnipeg. Hope you all have a wonderful night! xx