Your ultimate guide to safe road tripping in BC this summer4/4/2023
A fantastic way to explore British Columbia's natural beauty, cities, towns and wildlife is by open road. As the weather gets better and better, British Columbians will be getting even more excited to plan summer road trips.
Read on for some helpful advice on summer trip organizing, vehicle maintenance, packing and route planning, plus a few trip ideas to get you looking forward to summer getaways in BC.
Photo credit: Destination BC/Joann Pai
Places to visit: Our personal favourites to help inspire your next BC adventure
Discover or rediscover our province with these road trip ideas. The information is accurate at the time of publication, but we recommend you contact businesses directly to confirm availability. Try one of these great BC trips this summer:
Trip Idea #1: 12 Unique Experiences Along the Sea-to-Sky Corridor
Trip Idea #3: 5 Reasons to Head East for Mountain Adventure
Trip Idea #4: 7 Scenic Drives Through BC
Things to consider when planning a road trip
Being prepared makes for a smooth and more enjoyable vacation. Here are some road trip travel tips from BCAA and HelloBC to help you enjoy BC safely and responsibly.
Do your research
- Consider a slower travel pace this summer. Instead of checking in and out of multiple destinations during one trip, choose one destination and one accommodation for your entire trip and use that as a 'home-base' for exploring all the destinations nearby.
- Reach out to the local visitor centre for the latest on-the-ground information, and check-in with individual businesses to make reservations for accommodation, attractions and restaurants wherever possible.
- Start planning your trips early. Visit ExploreBC.com to plan your next adventure. Be sure to check cancellation and refund policies before you book.
- If your plans do include any non-refundable accommodations or bookings, consider BCAA's Non-medical Travel Package, including Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance to protect you if your plans change.
- Don't get caught unprepared. Stay safe and save time by downloading the BCAA Mobile App and checking the latest road, ferry, or weather conditions before you hit the road. You can also make valuable Member Savings along the way and get faster access to roadside assistance in case of the unexpected.
Map out your route in advance with our TripTik road trip planner, and download a map to your device for offline viewing or bring a paper map in case technology fails.
Get your car road trip ready
- To ensure that your trip goes as planned, get your car ready for the journey with BCAA's vehicle checklist, and if you have kids, teach them about road safety by involving them in the process.
- Check your Membership plan to make sure you have the right level of coverage in case of a breakdown. BCAA is here to help keep you moving, and with a Plus or Premier BCAA Membership you can drive with confidence knowing you're covered with up to 160/320km of towing distance. To upgrade or make any changes to your membership plan, log in to your BCAA Online Account or call us at 1-888-268-2222.
- If your car has been sitting for a while or just needs some love, play it safe and book an appointment with one of our automotive experts at a BCAA Auto Service Centre.
- If you're travelling in an RV or recreational trailer (or even if you're towing a camper, boat or horse trailer!), avoid common breakdowns with these tips and make sure you've added RV coverage to your BCAA Membership.
- Don't own a vehicle? Book an Evo for short trips in and around the Metro Vancouver or Victoria, or mini day trip adventures to places like Whistler, Manning Park, China Beach or the Sooke Potholes. Don't forget, BCAA Members get a FREE Evo Membership, 60 free driving minutes and save 10% on every trip.
Pack smart and be prepared for an emergency
- Bring an extra set of keys and keep them with you at all times (outside of the car).
- Don't forget the essentials: lots of water and your phone charger. Both will be critical in the event of a breakdown. You'll need to stay hydrated and have a charged phone to call for help.
- Keep an emergency kit in the car. Our suggestions include a first aid kit, warm clothing and blankets, a flashlight, windshield fluid, pylons, a high vis vest and a fully charged portable battery charger.
For a limited time BCAA Members can use their 20% discount on top of the already discounted Emergency Preparedness Kits part of the Spring Membership Promotion.
Don't get complacent about hygiene
- If you're heading to a more rural area of the province, stock up with the essentials before you leave home. Avoid unnecessary stops by ensuring you have everything you need before you hit the road.
- Ensure to pack cleaning supplies like disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, and a thermometer.
- Be mindful of high-touch areas and objects and sanitize your hands after coming into contact with them.
Be patient and kind
- Travel in BC can be challenging at times due to staff shortages. Remember, activities may take longer than usual, or places may be at capacity when you arrive. Have a Plan B researched and ready in case your first choice isn't possible. Be calm, kind and patient and remember, we're all in this together.
- In case of the unexpected, BCAA Roadside Assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, during the busy summer season we do see an increase in call volumes so be prepared for the possibility of longer than usual wait times. Also remember that you can get faster access to BCAA Roadside Assistance online or download the BCAA app for Android or iPhone.
Be sure to follow along on BCAA's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as we continue to share status updates and trip ideas for this summer and beyond. Plus, subscribe to our BCAA Member Rewards e-news to learn about exclusive offers, deals and news from BCAA. Have a great road-tripping summer.