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Looking to get out and enjoy the road less travelled?

Before you get the car started, here are a few tips to ensure your next trip is as enjoyable as the beautiful scenery ahead.

Get a park pass. Canada’s national parks are incredible feats of beauty, and while a road trip to a festival or particular destination might be why you’ve initially planned to explore Canada in a vehicle, taking the time to stop in parks you might otherwise never see is something you will not regret. A pass only costs $136.40 per vehicle and is good for a full year of access into 80 different parks, for which you would otherwise have to pay a daily entrance fee to see.

Snack instead of filling up on heavy meals. A large carb loaded meal will make you feel groggy behind the wheel, which is never ideal when you know you’re going to be driving for a long stretch of time. Stick to lighter snacks and meals during the day when you are going to be on the road for a while, and fill up on a heavy meal at night when you are ready to sleep for the evening.

 Stop anywhere that looks interesting. You may have a plan to hit up all the major cities in Canada, but the best part of the journey will come when you least expect it. So stop in the small towns that you will likely never pass by again. Talk to the locals, visit their farmer’s market and discover a new part of the country. While most focus on Toronto, Ottawa and Niagara Falls while exploring Ontario, smaller towns like Stratford and Grand Bend will charm you in unexpected ways.

Curate a fun playlist. The last thing you want during a long drive is slow, calming music that might make you sleepy. Keep it upbeat, and not only will your drive be more fun but it will keep you more alert. It’s also fun to make a playlist out of the artists a particular region is known for. In Ontario, listen to Broken Social Scene and Drake. Hitting up Quebec? Arcade Fire should make the list. The east coast should include Joel Plaskett, while British Columbia should feature some Black Mountain tunes.

When not camping, stay with locals. Airbnb is your best friend on a road trip, as staying with locals in their home is a great way to get to know the best parts of the cities you are visiting. They can point you in the direction of where the best of everything is in their city, from food to art and secret views and hidden bars. Take advantage of their knowledge and you’ll ensure you have the trip of a lifetime while avoiding all the usual tourist traps.

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