With cheap gas, a weak dollar, and plenty of bucket list-worthy roadside attractions in your home province, it’s the perfect time to plan your road trip. And while I might not understand the complex geo-political events impacting our currency and oil prices, I know all about road trips. From Cape Breton to the Big Muddy Badlands, a well-executed road trip transcends any destination. So where does one begin?


Choose Your Route

Which direction do you point your vehicle? Ford’s vehicles give us some clues.   Are we hoping to Escape to somewhere quiet? Go on an outlandish Expedition?  Find a spot with Edge?  Be a back road Explorer? Are we looking to charge down highway miles in a Mustang or Taurus, or Focus on urban Fiestas? A road trip is as personal as your toothbrush, and yes, it’s all about the journey. Think about how much time you want to spend in the car, traffic considerations, familiar or new terrain, and a vague sense of what you want to accomplish.



Even with the cavernous trunk space in Ford vehicles, you’ll want to be light and nimble. Pack what you think you’ll need and cut it by half. I make sure I’ve got enough essentials (underwear, socks, a spare outfit) and that I have multi-purpose clothes that will service any eventuality. A wedding! A hike! A swim in a lake! I keep a blanket, beach umbrella and fold-up chairs in my car all summer – just in case. A bag of snacks and bottle of water also helps keep the momentum.


Roadside Attractions

Keep your eyes peeled for road signs, and don’t be afraid to investigate. On my way to Big Muddy, I saw a sign about the Willow Bunch Giant, and found a quirky museum dedicated to the tallest man in Canadian history! Attractions drive our journey forward, providing the connect-the-dots image our car paints across the landscape. With time for the random discovery of serendipitous destinations, all you need worry about is a place to sleep for the night. Everything else can manifest.   If you’re lost, just tap the Navigation button on your SYNC® panel.

Robin Esrock with the Willow Bunch Giant

Robin Esrock poses with the Willow Bunch Giant, a quirky road-side attraction.

In-Drive Entertainment

T’was a time when we had a box of tapes for a road trip. Now I bring USB sticks loaded with hundreds of albums, connect my phone through Bluetooth with the SYNC® system for podcasts, or flip on the Sirius-XM satellite radio (First Wave 80’s Alternative! Lithium 90’s Rock!). Every once in a while, the perfect song matches the perfect road. Hit a prairie road with Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game on the surround-sound speakers. You won’t need a convertible to feel the wind in your hair.


A Comfortable Ride

I always tell travellers: Never pass up a bathroom if you have the chance.   Fortunately, with the outstanding mileage each Ford delivers, you can easily breeze by a gas station. Check the information display to see how many kilometres you have to empty, and eliminate the guesswork. Ford’s easy cruise control features a sensor that automatically keeps its distance from vehicles up ahead, and a handy yellow dot on the side mirror indicates someone’s sneaked into your blind spot. Automatic lights and wipers, rear cameras, park assist – it’s all there to make your road trip as comfortable as possible.


Emergency Kits
Depending on where you’re going (along with the season) it’s never a bad idea to have an emergency kit.  Always better to have and not need, then need and not have.  A kit should include items like rope, a flashlight, some water and a small shovel.  Throw in a warm blanket and gloves and it will see you through the winter too.


What are your road trip tips? Share them with us.


Renowned adventurer Robin Esrock is the author of The Great Canadian Bucket List, and host of the OLN/CityTV series Word Travels.


Visit The Great Canadian Bucket List online, follow the Facebook page, or watch videos on YouTube.


The Great Canadian Bucket List, along with Western Canada, Central Canada and Atlantic Canada editions, are available on bookshelves nationwide.


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