Tips to Make Your Summer Road Trip Awesome

How to make your summer road trip awesome

You can already hear the chorus and you haven’t even left home yet, “Are we there yet?”

If you’re contemplating a summer road trip with the family, you’re probably both excited and a bit apprehensive. After all, summer road trips are great for memory building, but they can also bring out a whole lot of whining if you’re not adequately prepared. That’s why we’ve gathered some tips to help you make your summer road trip the best kind of memorable.

Safety First

Before heading out on the road, make sure your car is road worthy. Get your fluids topped up, do an oil change and check your tires and air filters. You may want to get a safety inspection done to minimize the chances of a car breakdown mid-trip. Also, put together an emergency travel kit with any first aid supplies you might need.

Stock up on Snacks

Stock up on snacks for the long haul so you can minimize having to pull over for less-than-healthy food. Granola bars, rice cakes, nut mixes, crackers, dried fruit — these will all hold up well over long distances and hot temperatures. While you’re stocking up, set aside a bag for recycling so you can save your wrappers and bring them back to London Drugs. And don’t forget to fill a bunch of water bottles. You can freeze them the night before you leave so they’ll stay cold the next day.

Bring the Entertainment

All great road trips need great tunes and fun games. Before you leave, make a playlist with songs everyone in the family will enjoy. Then, load your smartphone with apps and your car with games that’ll keep all your passengers busy and well entertained. You could even try some good old fashioned games like i-spy or round robin to while away the time.

Make it Comfy

Long hours in a car are made infinitely easier with some of the comforts of home, like pillows, blankets and kids’ favourite stuffies and toys. Passenger window sunshades can be helpful to shield sensitive eyes from the bright sun and a windshield sunshade will keep the car cool when you’re out exploring.

Get Travel Insurance

Whether you’re staying close to home or travelling further afield, you never know when illness or accidents might happen. Ensure you’re covered in case of emergency with travel insurance for you and your family.

With all this taken care of, you’re almost ready to hit the road, Jack! Pack light, plan your route, and get ready to have the road trip of a lifetime!

Health Tips Video: Stay Safe and Healthy While Travelling

Find out what travel vaccinations you need at London Drugs

Travel is an incredible way to get outside of your comfort zone, both figuratively and literally. You can enjoy new experiences, try some exciting new foods, and meet amazing new people across the world. It’s no wonder that travel is good for your mental health. But stepping outside of your normal routine can sometimes make it harder to keep up your physical health.

When planning a trip, there are a few things to take into consideration in order to stay healthy.

Pre-trip Vaccinations

Getting vaccinated before your trip can protect you from dangerous diseases you may encounter while travelling.

We’re incredibly lucky in Canada that we don’t have to worry much about getting serious diseases like typhoid, yellow fever, or Japanese encephalitis. But travellers need to consider the health risks where they’re going and ensure they’re prepared, says London Drugs pharmacist Lily Liang.

What Vaccines Do You Need?

The vaccines you need will depend on where you’re going and what you plan on Find out what travel vaccines you need at London Drugsdoing there. The risks will be different in different countries, or in urban areas versus more remote locations. Thankfully, many diseases like Hepatitis A and B are preventable with immunization.

The Public Health Agency of Canada lists travel health notices on its website, or you can talk to a London Drugs Travel Clinic Pharmacist for advice about what vaccinations or precautions you should take.

Some countries will also require proof of vaccination in order for you to enter. For example, proof of vaccination for yellow fever is required for people visiting certain countries in South America and Africa. London Drugs is a Designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre, and our Travel Clinic Pharmacists can vaccinate you and provide a certificate of proof.

How to Pack Your Medications

Find out what travel vaccines you need at London Drugs

If you have a chronic health condition, you can still travel! Make sure you have enough of your medications to last through the trip (plus some extra just in case!), and carry a record of all your medications and vaccinations. Be sure to keep your medications in their original containers.

Get a letter from your doctor explaining your condition and any medical supplies you’ll bring with you. This can make it much easier to get through security and borders without any trouble.

If you’ll be crossing time zones, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about adjusting your medication schedule.

Buying Medical Insurance

Find out what travel vaccines you need at London Drugs

Lastly, consider travel medical insurance. Your provincial health care plan and extended benefits through an employer may not cover every situation. Accidents happen!

The best way to ensure you’ll have a fantastic trip is to be prepared. Talk to a health professional or one of our Travel Clinic Pharmacists at least 6-8 weeks before you travel to ensure you have all the information you need.

For more information about travel immunizations and staying healthy while travelling, visit our travel clinic webpage or book a travel clinic appointment.

My Family Cruise Nightmare: Why Travel Insurance is Always a Good Idea

When I prepare for a big trip I always include a few travel essentials on my list. I make sure to pack plenty of clothing options, comfortable shoes, toiletries, a good book and an extra phone charger just in case. But a few years ago, my family learned that the most important travel accessory is one that you can’t even see: travel insurance. While some people may be wary of purchasing this optional coverage, on our last family vacation we very quickly learned about the value of travel insurance.

An Alaskan Dream Cruise

Don’t take a chance on your next vacation

My family went on a travel cruise to Alaska back in September 2011 with the greatest of vacations in mind. We were looking forward to seeing some beautiful natural areas and relaxing on the cruise ship during our downtime. Typically, my Dad does all of the planning because he is an experienced traveler and likes to choose activities at each destination.

At the time of booking the cruise trip, my Dad was 84 years-old and looking forward to spending time traveling with his kids and grandchildren too. The travel insurance premium for our one-week cruise ended up being over $300 but my Dad knew it would be a good investment, just in case something went wrong. Later on, he would find out first-hand just how valuable that small investment was.


A Slip and Fall at Sea

As everyone got ready for dinner on the second day of the cruise, my Dad slipped and fell in the shower. After first trying to shrug it off, he eventually started complaining of back pain, so we took him to the ship doctor to be checked out. The doctor examined him and eventually gave him a few pain pills and muscle relaxers to help sort him out. After resting that evening, it seemed like he was doing much better. In fact, he felt good enough to join us all for a whale watching excursion! After a day of fun with the family, the last thing on our minds was the cruise trip accident.

The next morning, as I was enjoying some coffee with my husband on deck, we heard a page asking for a medic to be sent to my parents’ stateroom. We made our way back down below deck as quickly as possible but once we got there, my Dad was being taken from the room on a stretcher. As we scrambled to compose ourselves in front of the kids, we were told that he was experiencing facial seizures.

A Long Road to Recovery

Luckily, my Dad was quickly taken off of the ship and transported by ambulance to Whitehorse for a CT scan. There we discovered that he had a subdural hematoma and needed to be transported to VGH to undergo a brain operation. He ended up staying in the hospital for over three months due to the traumatic brain injury and a fractured vertebra in his back. Fortunately for us, all of the ship’s medical expenses and ambulance charges were covered by TUGO. Later, my Dad told us that his one regret was the fact that he didn’t purchase trip interruption coverage, because he wasn’t reimbursed for the cost of the cruise.

Invest in TUGO Travel Insurance On Your Next Trip

Without the protection of travel insurance from the Insurance Services Department of London Drugs, our family would have paid for all medical expenses out-of-pocket. Before you travel with your loved ones, be sure to invest in travel medical for your next trip. Visit today for coverage starting at just $20.

Buying a New Vehicle? Don’t Skip the Replacement Cost Insurance.

Make sure you get the right insurance when you buy a new car.

Protecting a shiny new car takes more than your average auto insurance. If your vehicle is totaled in a car accident, basic coverage often won’t cover the full cost you paid at the dealership. After all, your car’s value depreciates over time. Let’s say you bought the vehicle for $25,000 in 2016, but its present-day value is only $14,000. As a result, you’re likely only covered for $14,000 in the event of a collision.

There is, however, an easy solution. By purchasing replacement cost insurance, your new vehicle can be insured for its original cost or the full cost of its dealership repairs. If the car is irreparably damaged, you’ll be reimbursed for a new car of the identical make and model, minus the deductible. We’ll tell you a true story below to show you why you should buy replacement cost insurance from The Insurance Services Department of London Drugs.

Learning From Our Mistakes

A current staff member, let’s call her Dawn, tells a cringe-worthy account of driving to Edmonton in 2015 with her husband in their one-month-old car, which they had declined to insure with replacement cost insurance. “We figured we are pretty safe drivers and we are not going to have any accidents,” explains Dawn.

But during that fateful trip down Coquihalla Highway, Dawn and her husband collided with a deer that ran into their path. “The vehicle was a total write-off from that accident,” she says. Things were, unfortunately, about to get even worse. “While we were waiting to be towed,” Dawn continues, “A tour bus full of US tourists slammed onto the tow truck, which consequently slammed onto our vehicle damaging it even more.”

The Cost of Being an Underinsured Motorist

Since Dawn and her husband didn’t have replacement cost insurance, ICBC only paid for the vehicle’s value at the time of the accident. After the incident, the couple vowed to never buy a new vehicle without investing in replacement cost coverage. “Whenever I have a client who is insuring a vehicle that’s less than 3 years-old, I always tell them my story so that they don’t make the same mistake that I made,” Dawn says knowingly.

Travel safe with the right kind of insurance.In January 2018, Dawn’s new Toyota was stuck in a crash, causing significant damage to its front bumper. But this time, she was prepared with replacement cost coverage. The insurance not only covered the repair costs, but it ensured that genuine Toyota parts were used, instead of generic ones.

Protecting Your New Car Today

If your car is involved in an accident, replacement cost auto insurance can protect you from depreciation and inflation. As a result, your settlement could cover the cost of a brand new vehicle. Visit us at the Insurance Services Department at London Drugs.