Trains, Planes & Automobiles
Now is the best time to plan a summer road-trip.
Not sure how to get started? Get out a map and draw a circle around your home. Next, decide on the mode of transportation you wish to use. Will you be flying, taking the train, and do you need a vehicle or a rental?
You’ll want to figure out what you consider a reasonable distance for you and your passenger(s) to cover. Plan out everything from the number of days the trip will require, as well as the dates you would like to take this trip. Ensuring you have developed a proper budget is also important. Keep track of things like food costs, fuel/travel, and accommodations. Another thing you’ll want to do is check into what kind of health coverage you have and what you’ll need. For example, if the only health coverage you have is OHIP, you only have minimal health insurance outside of the province. Some benefits plans will also provide travel coverage, but there may be limitations on those as well. If you need to add extended health insurance, there are multiple options. Don’t be afraid to call different locations and check what is included. Most banks offer traveller’s insurance plans, as do most travel agencies, and CAA. If you are going to be driving, don’t forget to make sure your vehicle is in good condition before leaving. Adding some form of roadside coverage, such as CAA, will help keep you protected in case your car breaks down. Should you decide to take a rental car, make sure you’ve investigated out-of-province insurance, additional coverage, and the type of vehicle you want. One of the ways you can save on road trip costs is to bring along your own food. Load a cooler into your vehicle, and stock up at the grocery store each morning before heading out. Ziploc bags can help keep your food fresh throughout the day, and you can restock on ice, fresh vegetables, and plenty of other healthier and more affordable options than you would find in the drive-thru. Some other items you should make sure you have before leaving include: sunscreen, maps, a GPS, a current passport (if travelling out of country), additional phone coverage, money for tolls (if travelling to the US). Don’t forget to investigate things like border requirements, customs rules, etc, before crossing the border. Now, here’s my recent road trip. My buddies and I spent two days, at Dearborn (near Detroit) Missouri’s Henry Ford Museum, and it was awesome. We stayed overnight in Windsor, ON (for $100/night), and crossed the border daily. Our admission was $36 US for the two-day pass. One day would not have been enough to explore. You could easily spend four days there if you read and saw everything. The museum houses more than just Ford vehicles. You’ll see cars, trucks, trailers, and motorcycles. Some of these vehicles included the 1964 ½ Mustang (sold to a Newfoundland pilot) and the ‘61 X100 Lincoln limousine, which JFK was assassinated in. It was eerie to stand beside world history. I was only four-years-old at the time of the shooting (Nov. 22, 1963). I do remember seeing the funeral on our black and white TV. After JFK was shot, the convertible was upgraded, receiving titanium armor plating, bullet-resistant glass, and a bulletproof permanent roof installed. It was also lengthened by 41 inches. The limo served four more Presidents until 1978. The Ford Motor Company had leased the $7347 car to the US Government for $500 per year. It traveled 50,000 miles until it was retired. I swear the museum’s floor area is larger than the Roger’s Centre in Toronto. The museum covers nine acres of the 250 acres of the site. We found out that only 20 percent of the collection is on display at any given time. Outside you’ll find Greenfield Village. Famous homes, & buildings are there. This includes where Henry Ford was born, as well as the Wright Brother’s Dayton, Ohio bicycle shop. The complex is very clean and beautiful, and the staff are friendly and very knowledgeable. Another exciting part of the adventure was touring the nearby Rouge Plant. For an extra cost, you can head over and see the new F-150s being built. Dearborn and Downtown Detroit are roughly five hours from Orangeville. It’s more than worth the drive, and I think I learned more in two days than I learned in high school history class! My trip is just a one possible journey to take. There are many other affordable ideas on both sides of the border. Travel safe, and remember these trips create lasting memories. Written by Larry Barnett