Summer may look a little different this year but road trips have always been a favourite way to travel and explore Canada. Factoring pandemic times means a few added steps before hitting the roads. A drive out of your neighbourhood that you’ve been confined to for the past few months is a great way to get a change of scenery for now. Why not? Chances are there will be less traffic on the roads and maybe even cheaper fuel along the way but planning an outing means being more prepared than ever before — even if it’s just for a day. So, what to consider?

LOCATION:  As things begin to open up again we are all still encouraged to maintain certain levels of caution. Road trips are easy to help maintain social distancing and an ideal travel option. Choosing a destination usually includes a few stops along the way. You may want to check ahead to find out the best places to stretch your legs.  We’ve discovered the recently launched Hagerty Touring Series (now live and featured on the Rallista App) for well thought-out driving routes. More routes will be added soon and available through in-app purchases. In case you haven’t heard of them, Hagerty is an automotive lifestyle company offering drivers and car lovers positive experiences. Hagerty is also the world’s largest provider of specialty insurance for enthusiast vehicles and supports keeping car culture alive. Learn more about them here.

WHAT TO PACK: Careful planning has never been more important. Think about all your essentials even for a day-trip. Pack a picnic lunch, snacks, drinks, first aid kit, and sunscreen. Of course, bring masks and hand sanitizer just in case.  Being self-sufficient is key to help minimize contact with others. During these times, you’ll want to check ahead for where you can safely make bathroom breaks too. Also, be sure to have your phone charged up before you head out.

CAR CONDITION: With fewer things open, it’s key to consider things like where to safely refuel. Always check your tire pressure, fluid top-off, wipers, etc. before heading out. Have an emergency car kit handy. Be sure to review your car insurance coverage before heading out. Do you know how far of a tow your plan will cover if you get stuck on the side road? How many service calls do you have?

As mentioned, Hagarty Touring Series offers up a few easy and scenic road trips on the app.  What we love about these planned out routes is that they are interesting for both the driver and passenger(s). Start with easier and shorter routes, and then go further. The routes planned out on the app presume you’ve started the day with a full tank of fuel. Given that these are short teaser routes, they haven’t factored in fuel stops. Due to Covid-19, you may find that washroom stops are not as readily accessible in small towns, at gas stations, or anywhere along the route. They’ve included half-day, as well as full-day options so that you can plan accordingly depending on the current pandemic regulations in your area.

Here’s a quick look a three road trip ideas…

FORKS OF THE CREDIT ROUTE:

• The route begins in the North end of Brampton, on Highway 10.
• The route includes a stop at Higher Ground coffee – check ahead to see if restrictions have been lifted as things are changing rapidly.
• The route will take you past the Cheltenham Badlands, a unique geological formation. If you plan to get out of the car, be sure to check ahead of time for up to date opening hours during COVID19.
•The route concludes on the west side of Brampton, near major highways so you can return home easily.

DOWNTOWN TORONTO ROUTE:

• The route begins in The Beaches, across from Woodbine Beach.
• Hagarty has picked the best route around Toronto that affords the most twisties, and some unique views and vistas. While Toronto has gotten busier, these roads were for many years considered “after-school”, or “after-work” fun driving route. With the reduced traffic, due to most people working from home, this is a fun route for driving enthusiasts to take in.
• The end of the route is in the Distillery District, but you could easily depart the lower area wherever is convenient.

PETERBOROUGH ROUTE:

• The route begins in the West end of Peterborough, in Fowlers Corners. You can use 6 Lindsay Rd, Peterborough, ON K9J 6X3 as an address for your GPS to find the start location.
• The route explores some of Toronto’s early cottage country, the very south end of the Kawartha Highlands.
• Driver should be careful to watch for wildlife, especially in the early morning, late afternoon and at dusk.

The app also includes road trip routes in other provinces and popular road trip destinations in the US. When we’re moving around with less restrictions, there are some great ideas that include recommendations for restaurants, attractions, great vista points and even fun facts.