Courtesy // Averie Woodward

Essentials for a summer day trip

By Meaghan Archer

There’s a certain spontaneous energy that summer brings and what better way to put it to good use than with a day trip? Alberta is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered, so why not check them out on a free weekend? Here’s everything you’ll need for a successful sojourn.  


Snacks are absolutely essential for any road trip. Fruits that don’t require additional packaging—think bananas, apples, pears—are great because they aren’t too messy, are easy to dispose of, and don’t require cooling. Sandwiches, granola bars and homemade protein bites are also easy to transport, in the car or a backpack, and are a good source of energy. Don’t forget to bring lots to drink as well—it’s always a good idea to keep extra bottled or jug water in your vehicle during the summer months. Finally, stash a pack of wet wipes in the glove compartment for sticky fingers. 

Chargers and battery packs 

Charge up all your electronics, including a portable battery pack, before you hit the road. Since most of us use our phones for GPS directions now, make sure you are 100 per cent charged before leaving the house, and bring an extra charging cable for juice on the road. And don’t forget your emergency roadside kit and AMA card—it’ll save you in any roadside emergency and can be used for rewards partner discounts while you’re out and about. 


While the open road is surely beautiful, a great soundtrack can take the views to the next level. Have fun by creating a day-trip playlist with your favourite tracks, download your top podcasts or audio books, and invite your best pals—or kids—along for the journey. Since you’re only gone for a day or two, you likely have more room in the car without the extra luggage—that means more space to fill with floaties for the lake, board games for the campsite, or a simple deck of cards to pull out at pit stops.  

Wardrobe options 

Even if you’re headed out for just the day, it’s worth stashing a change of clothes or some weather-alternative options in the car. With wild summer storms and mountain weather, you never know what you might run into (or have fall down on you). Plus, if you decide to stay overnight somewhere, you have a change of clothes for the next day. Win-win! And you might as well toss your swimsuit and a towel into the trunk while you’re at it—who can resist a quick dip in the lake when it’s 30 degrees?! 

Summer essentials 

The summer sun requires a bit of extra planning—grab some sunscreen, your sunglasses and a hat to protect you from the heat. And no one has ever regretted bringing along bug spray, a small trash bag, and toilet paper for emergencies.  

Offline maps 

Going somewhere new, or expecting limited Internet access along your route? Download the directions onto your phone, including any pit stops you plan on making along the way. The same goes for any hikes or off-road trips you plan on doing. Apps like AllTrails are great not only for finding hikes but downloading maps, so you always have a resource while you’re on the trail.  

Not sure where you want to go? Check out these hot spots from AMA Travel.