travel

road trip checklist graphic
Jan15

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
Oct02

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.

Mar13

Five Great Hiking Locations near La Casa Cottage Resort

While the Lakeside Cottages are a great spot to spend your vacation in BC, there’s nothing like getting away for an exhilarating afternoon hike up a beautiful mountainside to make the Okanagan truly feel like your home away from home!

  1. Eain Lamont

    Located 34.7km from LaCasa Resort, Eain Lamont Loop is the “official” entrance to Mount Boucherie. Unlike the Mount Boucherie Hike, the Eain Lamont Loop, is very steep and very challenging. It is recommended for serious hikers with some experience and proper equipment. Once at the summit, beautiful, 360 views of Kelowna and the surrounding area can be found. 5.57km round trip.

  2. Mount Boucherie

    Located 34.1km Southeast from LaCasa Resort, in West Kelowna, Mount Boucherie is a short but challenging hike that ends in beautiful panoramic views of of Kelowna, West Kelowna and the Okanagan Lake. Once a 2000m volcano, the now 800m high mountain offers a variety of trails with varying difficulty levels, distances and heights. Mount Boucherie is a well known and much loved location amongst hikers, climbers and those who simply love the outdoors! 2.68 km round trip; approx 60 minutes.

  3. Bear Creek; Canyon Rim Trail:

    Located 22.7km from LaCasa Resort, Bear Creek Provincial Park offers a scenic hiking trail of a moderate level of difficulty. Designed by Dave Brewer in 1981, it is a trail that is manageable for all hikers. With several viewpoints of Kelowna and the Okanagan, as well as many waterfalls and a fresh water creek. Full of wildlife and scenic views, this trail is a must for visitors and locals alike. Be aware of unstable trees and rocks as this trail was affected by a wildfire in 2011. 2.6km round trip.

  4. Christie Falls

    Located 15km from LaCasa Resort. A short but moderately challenging hike that includes a steep descent with ropes to aid you down. Along with a beautiful waterfall, there are also caves to explore. Not family friendly due to the steep inclines, however Christie Falls is a favourite amongst people in the Okanagan and a must see for visitors with a desire to adventure and discover the beauty that the Okanagan has to offer. 2.2km round trip.

  5. Fintry Falls

    Located 4km from LaCasa Resort. A short but steep trek up a set of wooden stairs, leads you to several waterfalls and deep pools. With the option to venture off the trail at the top and follow a beam to another pool and waterfall. Also off the trail are the remnants of old suspension bridges. 1km round trip. Fintry Manor House and other historical monuments can be found at the base of the trail.

  6. Sources:
    Hiking Addiction
    Google Maps
    Kelowna Now

Feb06

If you are looking for a family game that will not only entertain your family members but will also develop creativity and expand vocabulary, this game is the perfect choice!

The dictionary game is great for a big family, or a group of friends. All you need is an old dictionary! (or you can simply download a dictionary app on your mobile phone). One person chooses an unknown word from the dictionary and the rest of the people write a fake definition for this word (trust us, this part is very funny!). The person who picked the word adds a card with the correct definition and shuffles it with suggested answers. After this he/she reads all definitions aloud and players vote for what they think is the true definition. Players earn points when they guess the right definition. Players can also gain points for having the most picked INCORRECT definition (So it pays to be creative!).

This game will not only bring a lot of fun to your family evening but also will help to learn a lot of new words in a game form (especially useful for the youngest family members ☺).

And if you’re looking for a great snack to boost brain power during game night, why not prepare this delicious Chocolate Banana Smoothie