Road trip

road trip checklist graphic

Does your vehicle pass the road trip checklist? Keep reading to find out.

Road trips are a great alternative to traditional plane, train, or bus-based travel right now. If you want to avoid packed airports, and the germ-spreading potential of recycled plane air, driving yourself to your vacation destination is the way to go. It also ensures that you are only traveling with your “close-knit” crew, be it friends or family, and not exposing yourself outside of your social bubble.   

Before you through a weekend bag in your trunk and pick a travel playlist, we recommend doing a once-over inspection of your vehicle of choice. Here are 7 things you should always check on your car before setting out on the wide, open highway.  

1. Fluid Check & Oil Change   

If it’s been a while since your last oil change, you should get one done (or do it yourself) before any long trip. You should change your oil approximately every six months (depending on M/KM usage). While you are at it, check the status of your transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant, as well.  

2. Battery Voltage   

If you have your own test equipment, you can do this at home. Otherwise, take your vehicle to a trusted service provider and ask them to test the battery voltage. If the reading is too low, or it’s been over three years, you might consider a battery replacement. If your battery needs a charge, it can take anywhere from 4 to 24 hours to do so. So, leave enough time in your schedule to handle this before you go. Battery problems are one of the top reasons AAA listed for emergency intervention on the road, so make sure you are ready.  

3. Brake Check  

Typically, the brake warning light on the car console will come on if there is an issue; however, it’s always good to do a quick self-lead check. If you already did the fluid check (above) then you’re ahead of the game. When testing your brakes: listen for any abnormal noises (squealing, scarping), note if the vehicle is erroneously pulling to one side or the other, and make note of the pedal feel as you press it. If anything seems out of whack, take it to a shop to get checked.   

4. Turn Signal Lights & Headlights   

For this, you’ll need a partner. Have someone stand outside your vehicle as you flash each turn signal (have them check back and front lights), brake lights, headlights, and fog lights. Remember that a burned-out bulb can get you a very easy-to-avoid ticket! Be sure to change any light bulbs that are performing poorly.   

5. Tire Air Pressure (Including Spare)  

Tire trouble is not only very common on long trips, but it is so, so easily avoidable. Check the tire pressure before you leave and keep a portable tire pressure gauge in your vehicle for on-the-go inspections. Fill your tires with air according to the levels recommended in the vehicle’s manual. If you have a spare tire: fill that one up, too! After all, it won’t do you any good to lug around a spare tire if it’s flat.   

6. Insurance Paperwork, Registration, and License   

Sometimes the most obvious things get forgotten about. Do a quick check to ensure that the insurance paperwork is kept somewhere obvious and accessible. Check the expiration date on your license. And make sure your plates aren’t due to expire any time soon.   

7. First Aid Kit & Emergency Items   

This is one of the most important parts of any road trip checklist. Be sure to have a roadside assistance emergency kit in your vehicle at all times, particularly when you are about to embark on a long road trip. You can also cobble one together yourself. You’ll want to include bandages, alcohol pads, a flashlight, candles, matches, jumper cables, reflective devices, and maybe even an emergency blanket.

Planning a road trip this year? Check out La Casa Cottage Resort’s vacation rentals in the Kelowna and Vernon areas. Booking now for summer 2021. 

Packing tips for travel

Who doesn’t love a peaceful winter weekend vacation away from home? Or, you might have plans to travel for holidays coming up: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and so on. These packing tips will help you prepare for last-minute travel or long-standing plans alike.

Pack More Socks than you Think You Need.

It’s cold out…but not always. Fall tends to flip-flop between balmy sunny days and chilly winter storms. That means a lot of moisture and mush on the streets, sidewalks, and in the parks. That means you might have to swap out soggy socks mid-day for a fresh pair. Not to mention that on the chilliest of days, you might want to wear two pairs in your boots, particularly if you like autumn hiking.

Pack Waterproof Footwear.

To prevent the above scenario, you could also just make sure to pack shoes or boots that prevent slush and moisture from leaking in. They should be something you can see yourself wearing on a warm day as well as a cooler one, as fall tends to flip-flop. One of the best packing tips you’ll hear is: bring the right footwear for your destination.

Pack a Portable Battery Charger.

Autumn can be warm at times but don’t let that deceive you. Getting stuck somewhere when the sun goes down will be unpleasant, even on the warmest days. You should always have a charged phone in case you need to call a friend or a cab if you get stranded or need a ride. That’s why packing a portable charger is a good idea, especially if you are on your phone a lot or it has an older battery that is prone to dying.

Pack a Neutral Scarf.

Scarves take up a lot of room in a bag and can be uncomfortable to wear if you are too warm. You probably won’t want to haul around more than one so make sure you pick one in a neutral colour like black, brown, beige, or grey that goes with everything and anything you might be wearing.

Pack a Tablet or Smart Reader.

Fall weather can be unpredictable. You might get anything from rain or hail or sun or snow. If there are days that you can’t go outside, you’ll want enough entertainment to get you by. A smart reader is a great way to pack every book you’ve been meaning to read without taking up much space in an overnight bag.

Pack Sunscreen.

You may be bundled from head-to-toe on a chilly day but that doesn’t mean the sun can’t reach delicate areas like your face, neck, and hands. Even on overcast days the UV rays can get through and sometimes clouds even amplify their strength. This is important if you’re skiing or snowboarding, too, to avoid picking up a goggle tan.

Haven’t picked a fall trip for yourself yet? Consider staying at one of our beautiful vacation rental properties in B.C. Contact us for more details.

Harrison Hot Springs

Best Places to stop between Vancouver & Kelowna

Are you driving from Vancouver?  Want to break up the drive or extend your vacation?  Here are a few great places to stop, either for an afternoon or an overnight stay!

Open from April till October, Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park is a quick and easy stop just east of Chilliwack.  The park is named after Bridal Veil Falls, a beautiful waterfall that cascades 60m down the side of the rock face.  The area is surrounded by valleys and mountains, making it a stunning picnic and photo opportunity.  Enjoy the small hiking trail that takes you to a viewing platform at the base of the falls – only a half hour walk!

For a relaxing one night stop over, why not take a break in Harrison Hot Springs?  The village is home to two of BC’s hot springs: Potash (40 degrees C) and Sulpher (62 degrees C).  Water is pumped from these springs into an indoor public hot pool that any visitor can experience.  Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa also has their own indoor and outdoor pools which are also sourced from the hot springs. No matter which pool you choose, you’re guaranteed to leave Harrison totally rejuvenated!

Open throughout Summer and Winter, Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area is the perfect place to stop along the Coquihalla Highway!  There are a number of hiking trails accessible in the summer, whilst the recreation area is popular with backcountry skiers and snowboarders in the winter.    It’s also great for snowshoeing! If you’re just looking for some picturesque views and a quiet moment during your journey, then you’ll also find that here.

As you get closer to the Okanagan, you might stumble across Kentucky Alleyne Provincial Park in Merritt.   The park is home to two lakes, Kentucky Lake and Alleyne Lake, and these are surrounded by grasslands as well as dry forest areas.  The colours are striking between April and October when the landscapes are bright green and the waters are turquoise.  This is also a great area for fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking and even ice fishing!  An absolutely ideal place to spend an afternoon.

British Columbia

If you are planning a trip to Kelowna then why not stay with us here at La Casa! More details about all our cottages can be found here.


Written by Hannah Poaros

Road Trip

How to Survive a Family Road Trip

So it’s nearly Spring in BC, which means it’s the perfect time to start planning your summer road trip.  We know that long drives with the kids in tow can throw up a number of challenges, which is why we have compiled a list of hot tricks and tips to get you prepared for a hassle-free journey!

  1. Stock up on activities

    You’ll want to have a full selection of coloring books, reading books, pens, pencils, card games and more! Depending on the age of the child, these classic past-times are ideal for long road trips. Nobody likes being bored.

  2. Brings snacks that can be easily distributed

    We all know the pain of being hungry while stuck in a hot, stuffy car. That’s why preparing a selection of healthy snacks (mixed in with a couple of treats) is necessary for putting all family members at ease.  Snacks could include raisins, bananas, cucumber and carrot sticks with hummus, crackers and cheese slices, crisps, cartons of juice etc.  Make sure you get enough supplies for everyone, so that there is no fighting over who is having the last packet of sweets!

  3. Charge all devices & bring portable chargers

    There’s nothing like packing all your mobile reading devices, games electronics and ipods to then discover half an hour into your trip that they all have a dead battery! Make sure everything is fully charged before starting your journey. If you’re having an especially long drive, then bringing a portable charger is extremely useful – this way you can re-boot those dead batteries on the go!

  4. Earphones are imperative

    To avoid arguing over which radio station to listen to next, or whose ipod is going to be plugged in next, make sure everyone in the car has a set of earphones or headphones! That way if members of the family want to play video games or watch DVDs on their portable DVD player, they can do so without bothering anyone else. This is an easy way to avoid many arguments over noise levels in the car!

  5. Comfy clothes & blankets

    Thick blankets and fluffy socks are must-haves for making the journey as comfortable as possible. Even if its hot outside, air-conditioning will make the car cool – so don’t forget to throw in a couple of cozy jumpers!

  6. Stop regularly

    Split up the journey by stopping for bathroom breaks, photo opportunities or picnics! No one likes to sit in the car for 6 hours straight, and the fresh air will do everyone good.  Check out your drive route before heading out and plan the relevant stops along the way.

Road Trip

What are your favourite ways to keep everyone happy on a family road trip?  How many times do the kid’s ask ‘Are we nearly there yet?’?  Tell us in the comments below!  If you’re thinking of planning a trip to La Casa this summer, check out our previous blog posts on Othello Tunnels, or Okanagan Mountain Park .  Perhaps you can pop one of these destinations into your journey or itinerary for your visit to the Okanagan?


If you would like more information on booking a cottage with us this summer, please contact our reservations line on 1-888-226-5566 or email where we will be more than happy to assist you!


Written by Hannah Poaros

Winter Road Trip

6 Winter Road Trip Tips

Whether you’re a summer junkie or a snow lover, no one can deny that winter is just around the corner here in Canada.  There are lots of reasons to still get out and about though so why not take a winter road trip?  Pick your destination and you’re good to go.  Before you head out, there should be a few things you bear in mind as the weather can be unreliable!  Here are a list of winter road trip hacks that are sure to help you out.


Get the right tires for the terrain

It may be a tad arduous but hauling out your snow tires may be necessary if you’re heading somewhere with lots of snow! Some places may even require tire chains for heavy snowfall so be prepared to throw these in the back of your car as well.

Pack a winter emergency kit

There’s nothing worse than being unprepared for a breakdown or unforeseen incident, which is why we suggest that you bring an emergency kit! Be sure to include a shovel (or two!), a first aid kit, extra coolant and windscreen wash, jumper cables, blankets, water and food – that way you’re covered for all situations.

Check for road closures & delays

To make your trip easier, check the news for any road closures or warnings. You may still be able to get to your destination; it might just involved you taking a different route!  Don’t just rely on your GPS system – figuring out your route before you leave is the key to a successful road trip.

Keep an eye on weather updates

As we all know, weather conditions can change rapidly so it is good to watch out for any updates that might occur in the week leading up to your road trip adventure.  Nobody wants to postpone their trip, but if the weather makes this a reality, you’ll want to know before you head out the door rather than getting stuck in the middle of a bad storm!

Charge your cell phone

You’ll want to make sure that your cell phone has full battery before you head out on any long journeys. This way you’ll be able to contact someone in an emergency or roadside assistance if you breakdown somewhere.


Fill up before you go

Definitely remember to fill up your tank before you head out, especially if you are heading anywhere that has limited gas stations on route! It is also a good idea to keep your tank half full and top up frequently if you are going to be on the road for some time.


So there you go – 6 tips to help you out when planning your Winter Road trip!  We would just love to hear where you are off to.  Any exciting plans?


Written by Hannah Poaros