Summer in Alberta is all about road trips. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty to do inside the town limits, because let’s face it, if you live in Edmonton, you live for these fantastic summer months. But with the wilderness and outdoorsy stuff we got going on in Alberta, and in either adjacent province, I can’t blame you for wanting to get out of Dodge (or get in a 2016 Honda HR-V?), and head to someplace where you can get your feet wet.
But before you go, here are the five things you need to do before heading on a trip:
#1 – Stuff to listen to
This goes beyond just making sure your radio presets are set to the ideal stations. If you’re sick of listening to music and want something a bit different, I would try out a few podcasts. It’s like having an interesting conversation without actually having to expel any of the mental energy required in having said conversation. Also, depending on the topic, it might send you and your car mates off into a huge discussion about whether UFO’s are real, or discussing films, books, or whether or not a teenager was rightfully convicted for the murder of his girlfriend. Also, I would recommend audio books. It’s a great way to get that reading down that you never seem to have time to do.
#2 – Stuff to eat
Road trip food is a #1 priority for me, which begs the question as to why it’s number 2 on the list. I’m not saying the numbering is arbitrary, but… it totally is. Anyway, let’s get back to the snacks. My favorite aspect of road trip food is that it’s basically an excuse to eat like complete garbage without feeling totally guilty about it. It’s not like the roadside gas stations are offering a wide variety of health-conscious goodies. It’s pretty much all junk and all delicious. A few favorites of mine are chips (any kind really), Nibs, cool pop or tasty beverages you don’t normally drink, and last but certainly not least, beef jerky. It may be a bit pricey but boy is it worth it.
#3 – Stuff to keep you entertained
If music isn’t enough, you’ll need something to keep you busy so that the long highway drives don’t feel like an eternity spent in a doctor’s office waiting room. If you’re the driver, the best way to do that is passengers, not only will they keep you entertained with all the chatter, but they also help cut the cost! If you happen to be lucky enough to be a passenger, pack a car charger for your phone or iPad, both for music, GPS, and games if you get bored. Also make sure to pack an auxiliary cable, and hey, maybe even a good book if you want a little peace and quiet. May I suggest anything by Gillian Flynn, or if you prefer, try out the new Harry Potter book.
#4 – Stuff to keep you comfy
To start off, dress for the part. I always like sweat pants. Shorts are also fine, but sometimes your legs can get a bit chilly. I’m also partial to a pillow and maybe, depending how I feel, a blanket. Just pack whatever makes you comfortable, because the alternative is basically the worst.
#5 – Stuff for emergencies
I’m talking about everything from a flashlight, to water, to a backup snack kick. But seriously, the last thing you want is to be stranded or cold if you break down at night, so pack the proper equipment, make sure your phone is properly charged, so that you can feel safe and have a proper good time.