Getting ready for spring road trips

(NC) After a long winter, most of us are itching to head outside to enjoy the milder weather. A great way to have fun with the family is a weekend road trip. Use these tips for a safe and entertaining drive.

Check out local gems. Looking for a getaway on a budget? Avoid common tourist traps and explore what nearby smaller towns and cities have to offer. There are affordable spots across Canada filled with activities like local theatres, museums, national parks and more.

Keep kids happy. No one wants to hear “are we there yet?” hundreds of times before reaching their destination, so come prepared. Stock up on colouring books, toys and games from dollar stores and thrift stores to make sure the little ones have something to do. If you bring tablets or other mobile devices, download movies and apps that don't need an internet connection or in-app purchases. Those can quickly burn a hole through your credit card.

Skip the drive-thru. Both adults and kids will be in better moods if they aren't feeling groggy from a greasy meal or fired up from a sugary drink. Avoid the temptation of fast food by packing nutritious meals and snacks from home, like Mason jar salads, cereal and hearty sandwiches loaded with veggies.

Prep your body for the drive. Whether you've got a couple of hours or a whole day of driving ahead of you, make sure your body is up to the task for a smooth journey. Be sure to get a good night's sleep the night before your trip and schedule a few pit stops to rest your eyes and stretch your legs.

Maintain a clear mind. You'll need to stay sharp and have quick reflexes when driving, especially on unfamiliar roads. Always drive sober, since using drugs or alcohol can impair the skills needed to drive safely and can result in dangerous collisions. While the risks of impairment from alcohol are well known, you may not be aware that cannabis also impairs driving skills and can double your chances of being in a crash. Find more information on the health effects of cannabis at

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