On the road

Getting there is half the fun with these 10 road trip activities

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Planning a summer road trip? You don’t have to wait until you reach your destination to start having fun. Here’s ten great ideas to make your next road adventure, a trip to remember—whether you’re trucking with your honey, gal pals, or the whole family.

Another roadside attraction
From the 11-foot Viking in Burnaby, B.C. to the 10-tonne moose in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, Canada is full of super-sized monuments. They are cheesy, no doubt, but it’s fun to embrace them as Canuck culture. To locate the world’s largest apple or a giant yeti near you, visit
Roadsideattractions.ca and BigThings.ca. Or if you’re travelling through the US, visit RoadsideAmerica.com. Don’t forget to take pictures!

Sing-a-long
One of the best things about car travel is the ability to turn up the stereo and sing at full volume. A pre-planned CD collection is a must for any road trip, but why not make the experience even more memorable by mixing a new CD of songs you loved in your youth.

Learn while you drive
Have you always wished you could learn to speak Spanish? Why not do it while you drive? While reading en route makes many people turn green, audio books are an alternative way to take in great literature, learn a new language, or develop a new talent such as managing money or improving your communication skills.

Stump a Canuck
What is Canada’s most northern island? Why is Beatle Paul McCartney wearing an Ontario Provincial Police badge on his coat in a photograph on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album? The most important question: how much do you know about your country? If you like trivia games, why not brush-up on your national knowledge by packing
The Great Canadian Trivia Book, volume one or two? Or, try one of Outset Media’s many Canadian Trivia games (available for adults and juniors in English and French).

Make the road warriors around you smile
If heavy traffic’s got you down, try to squeeze a smile or toot out of your fellow highway riders by posting smiley faces, humorous one-liners, or soothing quotes in your rear window. Favorites: Honk if you love Canadians; I intend to live forever—so far, so good; The mechanic couldn’t repair my brakes so he made my horn louder; Honk if you love peace and quiet.

Get playful
Playing word and eye-spy-like games keep kids (and some adults) occupied and entertained. To brush up on your road-game knowledge, visit
GoRVing.com. You’ll find close to thirty car game ideas—from the Name and Memory Game, to the License Plate Challenge and Are We There Yet? If word games are more your thing, check out 101 Word Games to Play in the Car.

Scrap it
If you are travelling with kids (or feeling crafty yourself) why not get the creative juices flowing by arming them with scrapbooks and crayons. The whole family can contribute to the final photo album by drawing or writing about each day’s events.

Sing for your supper
It certainly wasn’t a high point in Hollywood cinema, but there’s something girlishly pleasing about the karaoke scene in Britney Spears’ debut film, Crossroads. You may not win the pot of gold at a local tavern talent search, but why not get out there and let loose with a group you will likely never see again by stopping for supper at a pub with karaoke.

Tailgating picnic
Eating in the fresh air, under a tree or on a table is romantic, fun for the kids, cheaper than buying lunch, and way more fulfilling than any fast-food pit stop. Plan a traditional basket meal complete with checkered blanket, or get in touch with your inner trucker and cook something up on a
tailgating barbecue grill. Pull over when your stomach demands a break or use your map and scout out scenic views in advance. Make sure you check out our list of great no-fuss picnic recipes before you pack up your cooler.

Find your Zen state
Sitting in the car for hours on end can leave you with stiff muscles and poor circulation. If you’re driving, the best you can do is practice your
Kegel pelvic contractions, get out of the car to stretch and perform pranayama breathing every few hundred kilometers. So why not make stretching an enjoyable event and plan an outdoor yoga date? Bring mats, a blanket or find solace on the grass. For a short tutorial, visit the Zen site.