Tips for Planning a Road Trip from New York City to Canada


Traveling as an adult can be challenging. But if you plan responsibly, you'll avoid a lot of the pitfalls that make traveling annoying. If you're looking to get out of New York but are on a budget and don't want to spend a lot on plane fare, do the next best thing: Drive to Canada. Quebec, Canada is like mini-France. They speak French there, sell delicious macaroons, and give you double air kisses. If you're sold on taking a road trip to Canada from New York, here are five tips.

Tip #1: Purchase a Portable Smart Phone/Tablet Charger

Traveling from New York to Canada takes about seven hours. That seems like a lot when you're not doing anything besides eating a Snicker bar. But if you're binge watching TV shows or reading a book (when not driving), then the time will fly. The battery life on your smart phone will be long gone before you arrive at your hotel if you plan on using your phone. Factor in having to share your car charger with your other road trip buddies and you might run into the possibility of your smart phone shutting off. Before your trip, stop by an electronics store to pick up a portable battery charger. These things will recharge your phone and another person's phone faster than any car charger, will make life easier and your road trip less stressful.

Tip #2: Check ID Requirements for Canadian Entry

If you do anything else, remember to be prepared for this. Don't get to the border then remember! If you already have a passport, then you'll be fine. But if you're one of those New Yorkers with an expired passport or someone who doesn't have one at all, it's important to check ID requirements for Canadian entry. At the time of this article, a birth certificate and a New York State ID will do just fine for proving citizenship when crossing the Canadian border. And if you're traveling with kids under the age of 18 without both parents present, the parent absent must send along a letter noting their approval of the trip and their contact information.

Tip #3: Tell your Credit Card Companies You'll Be Traveling

The last thing you want is to get a hold placed on your only credit or debit card you specifically brought with you for purchases. Before leaving for Canada, let your credit card (and the bank you have your checking account with) know that you'll be leaving the country. Yes. Canada is our neighbor so technically you're not going too far, but your credit card company will definitely view a purchase for poutine in Montreal as suspicious if that's not something you buy often.

Tip #4: Download a Reliable Phone App

This may not apply to phone users whose mobile providers offer free calls from Canada. But for those of you whose cell phone company tact's on roaming charges whenever you leave these United States, you better get to downloading. This writer can attest to using phone apps to stay in contact with family while out of the country and can vouch for how much of a lifesaver (and penny saver) it is to have a phone app on your phone. The trick is to find a hotel that offers free Wi-Fi that you can log-on to use the app. Examples of phone apps include Whatsapp and WePhone.

Tip #5: Plan to Take Breaks and Make Stops

Whether you plan to drive to Canada solo or with a crew, you should schedule in stops. If you know traveling to Canada in seven hours is not your thing, stay at a hotel or motel along the way and make a night of it. If you plan to get there taking no breaks, then pre-plan stops. You'll need to eat and will want to see something other than the road to Canada. It's a good idea to research rest stops ahead of time. Know the food they offer and the souvenir shops that are available. This will eliminate the chances of you stopping just anywhere and not finding what you want and spending money on something you normally wouldn't if you had the choice.

Safe travels!

Samantha Greaves is a freelance writer born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She credits the pizza and strawberry shortcake for the reason she's never left. When not freelancing, she can be found blogging about life, writing, and urban pop culture via her blog SamanthaGWrites.com.

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