Ontario Road Trips


Planning A Road Trip?

Back in 2020, when the world shut down, road-tripping around Ontario was not only done for fun; it became essential for mental health. These days, nothing feels better than talking about the pandemic in the past tense – trust us; even though international travel has returned, road-tripping has become more popular than ever.

However, planning a road trip can be overwhelming; in some cases, it’s akin to packing for an international trip. There are a lot of things to consider: everything from destination, distance, stops along the way, accommodations, budget, and snacks, right down to what to pack, and dear, I say what music to play or podcast to listen to.

We, of course, would recommend our very own podcast, Road Trip Ready. But we digress.

Not planning for a road trip can immensely impact the quality of your vacation experience. We hope this page will equip you with all the information and resources necessary to plan for a road trip. So buckle up, everyone!

A Quick Road Trip Checklist for Cars

Planning a road trip and making sure your car is road-ready can be quite a challenge, especially with all the things you have to keep in mind. To help you out, we’ve put together a handy checklist to ensure you don’t overlook anything essential. Happy travels!

Check your fluids.

Before embarking on a road trip, it’s crucial to give your fluids a good once-over. This includes taking a peek at your engine oil, power steering fluid, and coolant (also known as antifreeze), and if you’re rolling with an automatic transmission, don’t forget to check that transmission fluid, too!

Take a look at your tires.

Ensure that they are properly inflated according to your user manual, and give them a careful inspection. Look out for any scrapes, cuts, bulges, punctures, or cracks on the tire tread.
It’s important to note that maintaining proper tire inflation is crucial for minimizing both fuel expenses and tire tread wear.

Check the condition of your car’s battery.

Take a peek at your battery’s well-being by glancing at the voltmeter connected to the battery box. A battery in good shape should show a voltage reading ranging from 12.4 to 12.7 volts.

Inspect your wiper and washer fluid.

If your wipers are leaving streaks or producing squeaky noises, it’s a clear indication that they require replacement. Also, check if you need to top up your washer fluid.

Check your lights.

Make sure all your lights are functioning properly because you wouldn’t want to end up with a hefty fine for having broken lights. It could really put a dent in your wallet during your road trip. So, when planning a road trip, double-check that your lights are in good working order.

Give your car a once over.

Make sure you give your car a once-over. Check the mileage and service history to ensure everything is in good shape. If it’s due for a maintenance check, take it to your reliable mechanic before hitting the road.

Essentials For Road Trips

Preparing for a Road Trip

Preparing for a Road Trip | A Car Checklist for Safe Travelling

Travelling is one of the most enjoyable things to do, but in the same breath, it can be frustrating. This is why preparing for a road trip can be a real game changer between a stunning vacation and one you’d rather forget sooner than later. With this in mind, we’ve come up with all the…

road trip with dogs
Day Trips | Resources | Road Trips | Weekend Getaways

5 Tips For A Successful Road Trip With Dogs Or Cats

Heading out on a road trip to check out the beautiful destinations here in Ontario is an exciting experience, but that becomes even more memorable when you can share that journey with your best furry friend.   Over the last 20+ years, we have had the opportunity to take countless road trips and adventures with our…

electric vehicles ontario
Day Trips | Resources

Epic Day Trips With Electric Vehicles Ontario | Canada by EV

Seeing the electric vehicles Ontario has on the road nowadays is increasingly common. After all, it’s a zero-emissions method to get around the country, and who doesn’t want that positive tick on their moral compass?   In 2022, 5.5% of all new vehicle sales in Ontario were fully electric, and the cumulative number continues to rise….

facts about ontario

64 Fun Facts About Ontario | Fun Ontario Facts & Trivia For The Next Road Trip

Is your voice starting to hurt from belting out all those classic road trip tunes? Maybe those repeating dashed white lines are starting to blur? Are you looking for a way to pass the time on your next road trip? How about some fun Ontario trivia that will have you loving the province even more?…


GPSmyCity: Lose Your Self, Without Getting Lost

At Road Trip Ontario, we are committed to showing you what Ontario has to offer. Whether it’s our inspiring Day Trips & Weekend Getaway itineraries, enabling our readers to share stories and photos in our Facebook Group or partnering with Tourism Boards, local entrepreneurs or companies like Firefly Books to giveaway some excellent books (Waterfalls…

Ontario Road Trip Ideas & Inspiration

We’ve all heard the famous quote, “It’s the not the Destination, It’s the journey.” from Ralph Waldo Emerson or “The journey, not the destination matters…” by TS Eliot, and nothing could be further from the truth.

Researching final destinations or Ontario road trip ideas for your first or next road trip is the easy part. Here at Road Trip Ontario, we made it simple by starting all road trips from Toronto and focusing specifically on why people take road trips in the first place: Day Trips, Weekend Getaways, Multi-day Road Trips, Festivals/Events and Seasonal Travel. First, determine what type of road trip you’d like to take.

The Best Road Trips In Ontario

In addition to the website, you can have inspiration delivered directly to your mailbox by joining our newsletter. We send destination-inspired content bi-weekly and seasonal and time-sensitive festival/events content.

Another amazing place to find the best road trips in Ontario is our aptly named Facebook group: Road Trip Ontario – An Amazing Community For Epic Road Trips. Here you’ll find a very engaged group of like-minded individuals who constantly share tips, tricks and photos from their latest road trip.

Lastly, you can get inspired by exploring potential destinations on Instagram, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Travel blogs and Reddit. Once you’ve settled on a destination, now it’s time for the fun part – the journey: The route, budget, food, and most important…music.

stratford things to do

Discovering Places In Ontario | Planning Your Road Trip Route

The two things people often leave out when planning their route are their total drive tolerance and the hidden gems often missed along the way. Total Drive Tolerance (a phrase we coined) is understanding how far you can safely drive before dotted lines start to blur. This will be different for everyone, but remember, there is a reason why some parents take their infants out for late-night drives to help them fall asleep.

These pit stops need to be factored into the road trip route. whether it’s an ONroute stop for coffee, gas, washroom and a stretch, getting off the highway to have lunch, then shopping in a quaint town (or spending the night to rest up), exploring some incredible Ontario Nature or discovering some historical site.

This brings us to our second point and motto: Life is a highway. But you’re missing the magic if you don’t get off it now and then. Actually, that’s our second motto. Our first motto is Keep Calm & Road Trip ON, which you can find on a t-shirt HERE 😜

All that to say, it’s worth getting off the highway to explore. Just because you have a high total drive tolerance and can drive for 6 hours straight doesn’t mean you should. So, take extra time and days to get off the highway and explore. The true fabric of the province is found off the highway (the beaten path) and in the small towns, cute shops/restaurants and stories the locals tell.

napanee ontario canada
napanee ontario canada

Day Trips, Weekend Getaways & Road Trips

This is how RTO defines Road Trips:


Most of our itineraries use Toronto as the starting point, hence the CN Tower in our logo. It’s not because we are based in Toronto or have some centre-of-the-universe complex – our friends from outside Toronto will know what we mean.😉 We chose Toronto simply because it is the biggest city in the province/country, and everyone knows where it is. That said, travel time will vary depending on your starting point.

Day Trips

At Road Trip Ontario, we define day trips as trips that take less than 2 hours from Toronto. With about 4 hours of total driving, you should have enough time to thoroughly enjoy what a destination offers, depending on the size of the town/city.

Weekend Getaway

We classify weekend getaways as road trips that are either 2-4 hours away from Toronto or a city big enough that it requires more than one day to explore.

Multi-day Road Trips

Any road trip more than 4 hours away from Toronto can be considered a multi-day road trip with half-day, full-day, and overnight stays in cities and towns along the route or off the beaten path toward your final destination.

what to do in woodstock ontario

How do I plan a perfect road trip?

Choose a destination, create an itinerary, ensure your vehicle is in good condition, pack essentials, research attractions and accommodations, plan for meals and rest stops, and be flexible for unexpected changes.

Can I use Google Maps to plan a road trip?

Yes, you can use Google Maps to plan a road trip.

Is there a free app for planning a road trip?

Yes, Roadtrippers is a free app for planning road trips.

How do you plan a trip for beginners?

Research your destination, create a budget, determine the duration of your trip, book accommodations, plan your itinerary and pack essentials.