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PHOTOGRAPHY [PRODUCTS] COURTESY OF PARTNERS; [TAI POOLE] YASMINE MATHURIN/CBC; [SNACKS] THATPHICHAI YODSRI/ISTOCK, SUWANPHOTO/ISTOCK; [FAMILY IN CAR] MONKEY BUSINESS IMAGES/SHUTTERSTOCK. ILLUSTRATION FREEPIK.COM The navigator is an essential part of the team—a trip captain, driver's assistant and mediator rolled into one. Here's how to be extra helpful on the road. HOW TO HELP THE DRIVER SUMMER 2021 | 29 If your road trip takes you out of province, it's important to get travel insurance before you go. Visit for more information. Before you go, consider a battery test to make sure yours is in good shape. CAA's mobile Battery Service can come to you for a quick and easy checkup. Go to battery-service for details. Stock up on road trip essentials— and get Member-exclusive pricing—at your local CAA Store, or shop 24/7 online at To access roadside assistance (and track its arrival) and to find out about CAA partners that help you save money and earn CAA Dollars® along the way, download the CAA Mobile App TM . Learn more at membership/caa-mobile-app. HOW CAA CAN HELP Get a tune-up "The first thing you need to do is make sure your car is mechanically sound," says CAA automotive expert Ryan Peterson. "If you haven't had your car in to a shop within the last six months, have a full mechanical inspection—belts, fluids, hoses, wheels, brakes and suspension. Technicians can always see so much more than the car owner." Nothing will derail a trip faster than a breakdown—particularly in the middle of nowhere. Avoid one altogether with preventive maintenance. To find a CAA Approved Auto Repair Services (AARS) facility where Members earn 3% in CAA Dollars on parts and labour, visit approved-auto-repair-services. Check the oil "Always make sure the oil is topped up, especially if you're travelling several thousand kilometres," Peterson says. He advises getting the oil changed at the same time as the tune-up. Inspect the tires "If the tires are looking like they've seen better days, have them replaced," Peterson says. "If you're driving long distances, your tires can generate a tremendous amount of heat. If there are any weak spots, like cracking or bad belts, those tires can let go and cause a collision." Accessorize Peterson suggests packing a small safety kit that includes first-aid essentials and emergency tools like booster cables. Make sure you also have a working jack and a good spare tire. "I always bring extra water, a few snacks and a little battery bank with me to charge devices," he says. Your phone is your vital link to the world if you get stranded and need to call for help. Pack the safety net "Don't forget to bring your CAA Membership card," Peterson says. "Because you just never know." Pre-Trip Safety Checklist Get your vehicle ready for a highway adventure with these insider tips Be ready with the right apps on your phone. These can include Bathroom Scout, Gasbuddy, Yelp and the CAA Mobile App TM to find deals on the go. Google My Maps is a road trip planning tool hooked to your Google account that delivers robust trip-planning customization. And also comes in handy with trip inspiration, planning and map plotting. Be organized with items like charge cords, water bottles and snacks at the ready. Bring a mess kit, so you can take care of spills and ills with wet wipes, paper towels, plastic bags and poop bags, if you have a dog along for the ride. Bring a paper map to head off technical difficulties if GPS or phone reception eludes you in remote areas. Better yet, order a TripTik® from your local CAA Store. As well as the navigation, take care of the music and environmental controls, anything within reach that makes the driver comfortable and better able to focus. Act as a quieting influence on the kids (and the radio) when the route becomes difficult, such as unfamiliar city routes or extreme weather, so your driver can concentrate. Share the driving, so everyone has the opportunity to rest or enjoy the scenery.

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