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Summer fun: take a road trip!

GET READY TO ROLL THIS SUMMER. Be Car Care Aware (www. is a consumer education campaign about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair.


Be Car Care Aware (www. is a consumer education campaign about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair.

The campaign provides several free, downloadable guides on its website, including the Family Road Trip Guide! developed to help Canadians prepare their vehicles for spring and summer driving including the 10-Minute Road Trip Checkup, tips for saving gas, protecting the environment and ensuring safety as well as in-car games for kids and meal planning.

Here are some excerpts from the guide.

Amusing Your Kids for a Long Trip

We live in a world of electronics. Hand-held games for youngsters are often seen as a pacifier for our kids as we drive. But try to leave the electronics aside and designate portions of the drive as nonplugged in time to create an interactive, family bonding experience. There are a series of fun and interactive games for driving trips. For starters, parents can take a trip down memory lane and introduce their children to favourite road trip games:

? The Great Canadian License Plate Game. The guide includes a worksheet with pictures of all Canadian provincial and territorial plates. All you need is a pen. To play, see how many different provincial license plates you can find on your trip and check them off your list. You can work together as a team or compete against one another. Check the box beside each plate once you have seen it. Also, you can play "guess the vanity license plate" at the same time, or as a separate game altogether.

? Rock-Paper-Scissors. The Game is played where the players substitute the three elements of Rock, Paper and Scissors with hand signals that are delivered all together by the players. The outcome is determined by the following trio of possibilities (Rock wins against Scissors, Scissors wins against Paper and Paper wins against Rock).

? I-Spy. This old favourite involves silently selecting an object that can be seen by all the players; saying, "I spy with my little eye," and then give a description of the object, such as "something that is big," "something that is round" or "something that is blue." The other players take turns trying to guess what the object is. The player who correctly guesses the selected item picks the next object, or take turns in order.

? Punch Buggy. Participants hit each other upon sight of a Volkswagen Beetle. Two points are awarded for an older style Beetle, and one point is awarded for a newer style Beetle.

? Name That Tune. One player hums a tune, and the others have to guess what the tune is. (Variations include theme songs to TV shows, commercials or holiday songs.)

? Twenty Questions. One person thinks of an object, place, or thing, and then everyone else gets to ask 20 questions about it until they get it right.


Ensure you pack plenty of easy and healthy snacks and drinks. This will save you money and give you control over meal stops.

? Divide snacks and meals into portions in reusable plastic containers so kids will have less spilling and sharing issues, making for a much happier ride.

? Balance your snacks between healthy snacks and "treats" such as chocolate, candies and chips.

? If you are traveling far, plan a lunch picnic. Use the Internet to find parks along the way. This will allow the kids to run around and burn off some energy and get refreshed.

? When choosing fast food, avoid sloppy foods such as chili, fries with gravy and especially dairy products, which can get quite nasty if left in the car.

? After preparing snacks, place them all in a central cooler bag to make snacks easy to find. It also provides a great place for empty or disposable containers.

? To manage waste and garbage purchase car accessories such as clipable garbage bags and extra cup holders.

? One lifesaver is baby wipes for all categories of spills - on the car or on a child.

The goal of Be Car Care Aware is to help consumers to make sensible decisions about their vehicles. For vehicle safety and maintenance tips, please visit