Tips for a Carefree Road Trip

**This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc.and its advertiser. All opinions stated are mine alone. #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias

Tips for a Carefree Road Trip #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias

Every year for the past 5 years, I’ve spent a week visiting my 92 year old mom who lives on the other side of the country. It’s the only chance we get to spend time together since my mom no longer travels. After 5 years of taking the same route, I’ve got my trip down to a fine art!

I can only handle non-stop flights, so to get to the closest airport that flies direct to the nearest city to my mom’s home I drive 5 hours to Calgary airport. I have a tiny car - a Nissan Micra - that is the cutest little bug of a car. It reminds me of the old Love Bug, the Volkswagen Beetle. It’s comfortable and fun to drive and most of all, I want to make sure it is in top running order before I head out on any road trip.

#CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias

The first thing I do is to give it an oil and oil filter change. Did you know the oil in a car is its lifeblood? If the oil isn’t clean, the engine can bog down, you get lousy mileage, sludge build-up and all sorts of mechanical issues can start to happen.

I headed over to my local Canadian Tire store to pick up some Quaker State® Advanced Durability™ Motor Oil. I’ve been using Quaker State oil for years, it has special additives to keep the oil fresh. It has viscosity improvers and anti-wear additives that help the oil to stay thick and it flows easily in freezing temperatures which is pretty important in a climate that gets as cold as ours. It’s been tested in severe real-world driving and it still performs. The best place to shop for automotive products is Canadian Tire; it stocks everything you could possibly need. Click on this link for more information on the oil that I purchased:

Canadian Tire isn’t only about automotive products, though, it has housewares, paint and paint supplies, sporting goods, boots and shoes, snow removal equipment (Canadian Tire is made for life in Canada!), furniture, carpets, lighting, power and hand tools, gardening tools, seasonal items and so much more - everything you need in a single convenient one stop shop!

Tips for a Carefree Road Trip #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias

I could easily lose myself in there for a day or so… but I’m on a mission today. There is great signage in this store and it’s quick and easy to locate the automotive section. The motor oil section is along the back wall of the automotive section and Quaker State oil is front and center and a great price to boot! It’s also clearly a favourite - check out the empty shelves!!

Tips for a Carefree Road Trip #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias

I headed home to get started on my roadtrip checklist beginning with changing the oil on the Micra. I only need 2.8 litres of oil for an oil change on this car and it’s an easy diy job, too. If you take on this job, be sure to follow safety rules for jacking up your vehicle such as placing an object behind your tire to ensure the vehicle doesn’t roll back. Also, make sure you use the oil necessary for your car, as specified in your owner's manual and check local Canadian Tire stores for availability!

Tips for a Carefree Road Trip #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias

Now my oil is all clean!

Tips for a Carefree Road Trip #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias

I checked the engine air filter and topped up the windshield washer fluid and any other fluids that needed topping up. I usually check the wiper blades as well since the last thing I need on a trip this long is for a heavy rain to hit and the wiper blades to break down! The next check is tire pressure, optimal tire pressure (listed on the inside of the driver’s side door) gets the best mileage. Here's the full checklist:
  1. Perform oil change and oil filter change
  2. Check engine air filter
  3. Check wiper blades for wear and replace if needed
  4. Top up engine fluids (windshield washer, brake fluid, power steering fluid, etc.)
  5. Check tire pressure and add air if necessary
  6. Wash windows inside and out.

Next is packing for the trip. I always pack light, I don’t like checking luggage and it’s summertime so not many clothes are needed.
  • Two pairs of shorts,
  • one pair of capris,
  • four t-shirts or blouses,
  • one pair of long pants,
  • enough underwear to get me through the week,
  • a pair of walking shoes,
  • a pair of sandals
  • pjs

Toiletries are limited in carry on luggage, so I use a bar soap shampoo to save on my liquids and take mini sizes of hair spray, toothpaste, deodorant and sunscreen. Did you know Aloe Vera is great hair gel? It’s really excellent for your skin as well. Everything else I can either buy there or borrow from my mom. I pack my charging cables for my cell phone and tablet. I also pack an extra pair of eyeglasses in case I break the ones I’m wearing. I don’t take a camera since my cell phone takes excellent photos. I almost don’t need to take my tablet anymore either since my cell phone is able to do everything my tablet can do and more, but I like the larger screen for watching videos.

Even when I’m not visiting family, I only take carry on luggage. I prefer to use a laundromat to wash my clothes halfway through my trip than have to drag huge cases around and wait in line at airports to check and pick up luggage or worse, find out it’s gone missing....

On my day of departure, I have a little soft sided cooler that I fill with two frozen water bottles, fresh fruit and a mixture of nuts and dried fruit in a sealed container to keep them from getting soggy. I take one extra bottle of water that is refrigerated so I have lots of cold water to drink on my trip.

Then I’m off! Taking the time to get my car in top condition really pays off in peace of mind. Between the car maintenance and the roadside assistance plan that I have through my car warranty, I can rest assured that no matter what happens I’m prepared for it!

Tips for a Carefree Road Trip #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias
Me, my mom and my sister visiting our favourite lavender farm near my mom’s home.

For more information on the Quaker State oil I purchased, click on this link:

Quaker State® Advanced Durability™ Motor Oil-

Happy travels!

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  1. That sounds a very long journey! That's a lovely picture of you and your family. Sarah x

  2. drive 5 hours to the airport! I say that I am sure it is worth it to you to be able to fly non-stop.....You are a woman of many talents!!! I am sure that your car is maintained by you just as wonderfully as you maintain your home.....Safe travels Anne..your mom is adorable!!! I am sure it is hard for you to live so far away from her.

  3. A long journey but so worth it ti have fun with your mom and family. Love your sweet and cute car. Does your car have a name? I am like many that name my cars lol! Safe travels my friend.

  4. I don't know much about car... But I like peace of mind when I travel as well... I have mine checked by the mecanic every December before my big travel of the year... Driving to Paris to then spend Christmas in Southern France with my grand-mother.

  5. I agree, Anne, servicing your car before a road trip: GREAT IDEA!! I learned the hard way once when our car broke down in the mountains of West Virginia. Thankfully it broke down near a service station and the service tech was able to repair it, whew! Hope you are having a wonderful visit with your mom xox Amy

  6. I hate the 1 hour drive to the airport and can't believe you have to drive 5.


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