Top 5 tips for a stress-free road trip

The sun is shining and warm weather is upon us, which makes it the perfect time to pack it all up for a road-trip you won't forget. But if you've never experienced the adventure of driving for miles on end with only the barest of essentials, the idea may sound a bit daunting – especially if you're travelling en famille. But no need to fret! To ensure a no-fail road-trip of a lifetime, we've got you covered with our top five tips. So get packin', rev your engines, and get ready for some wide-open spaces. Summer fun awaits.

As lovely as our home and native land is, there are, undoubtedly, long stretches of the TransCanada highway that are quite tedious and dull. Make sure your car is outfitted with all those time-wasting gadgets: an iPod cued up with a ton of playlists, Bluetooth to keep you connected, satellite radio – essential if you want to keep on top of local traffic reports or you're simply sick of your song selections – and a DVD player to keep both you and any kids entertained for hours.

No, we're not talking petrol but, rather, power snacks! Mixed nuts, pre-washed/cut veggies, sandwiches and any packable finger foods are great to have on hand when there's nary a rest-stop in site. The right refreshments will further help you avoid relying on unhealthy fast food chains and sketchy trucker stops. Be sure to also keep coolers filled with frozen water and collapsible bowls and cups on hand and regularly dispose of any during the trip.

It's a fact of life that sometimes, stuff happens. Make sure you're able to keep your cool in these situations with emergency essentials. Some are obvious: a flashlight, gas, all the tools for fixing a flat tire, a basic medical kit. Others are not necessarily top of mind, but will absolutely save your sanity: a blanket and pillow, umbrella, change for toll booths, a phone card, and up-to-date documentation (license, registration and car insurance) in case, heaven forbid, you happened to get pulled over.

Emergency essentials aside, a little leg room goes a long way to make your car ride comfortable. Be sure to place a one-bag limit on each traveler – we promise, no one is going to notice if you didn't bring that third pair of shoes and junior will just have to understand that the four-foot stuffed giraffe will be happier at home.

Some people are natural navigators, others are better in the backseat. Either way, it's only fair to divvy up the duties based on what each traveler does best. This will ensure that your trip is smooth and fabulously friction free.

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