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null Road or boat trip: How to get your vehicle ready


To travel safely and avoid unnecessary stress, take the time to plan your trip, as well as follow government guidelines and our maintenance tips. In fact, it can be very useful to check government websites to see whether any areas, roads or waterways, especially for cross-border travel, are closed due to the pandemic. Our checklists will also help you anticipate any mechanical breakdowns or oversights that could spoil your vacation.

Vehicle inspection

Make sure your car, motorcycle or motor home is roadworthy and 100% functional. If your vehicle is getting older, it will need even more of your personal care. It's recommended that you or your mechanic check the following:

  • Fluids (oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid), especially coolant
  • Brake pads
  • Hoses and belts
  • Spark plugs
  • Battery
  • Tire pressure, including on your spare tire
  • Air conditioning
  • Headlights and windshield wipers
  • Air filter (helps reduce fuel consumption)

Boat inspection

Before setting sail, an inspection of your boat is in order. For example, a boat taken out of winter storage will need an oil change or at least an oil level check. Here are a few things to think about so you can enjoy your trip:

  • Fluids (oil, power steering fluid, coolant)
  • Battery
  • Spark plugs
  • Filters
  • Electronics (navigation lights, instrument lights, depth finder, GPS, etc.)
  • Chocks
  • Check for signs of wear or fraying on hoses, cables, straps and mooring lines
  • Fire extinguisher

COVID-19 kit

For a safe trip, don't forget the following essentials:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Masks
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Thermometer

And be sure to wash your hands with soap and water whenever you can.

GPS and map

Whether you're using a GPS for driving or for navigation, remember to bring along a paper road atlas or nautical chart in case you lose your network connection, or the device breaks down. It could save you a lot of trouble!

Tips and tricks to reduce distractions on the road:

  • Enter your destination in your GPS before leaving
  • Ask the person in the front passenger seat to be your co-pilot

Licensing and insurance

For guaranteed peace of mind, make sure that your home and recreational vehicle insurance policies are up to date and meet your needs. Also, remember to bring all the important documents you have to take with you, such as your valid driver's or boat operator’s licence, registration certificate and insurance papers.

Emergency equipment

Be prepared for the unexpected by carrying the following items:

Road trip

  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Flares
  • Whistle
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Spare charger
  • Spare batteries
  • Bottled water
  • Compressor and tire sealant
  • Tire jack
  • Spare tire
  • Blanket
  • Booster cables
  • Duct tape
  • Toilet paper
  • Non-perishable food

Boat trip

  • Life jacket
  • Floating catch line
  • Reboarding device
  • Flashlight and/or flares
  • Manual propulsion device and anchor
  • Bailer or manual bilge pump
  • Sound signal device
  • Navigation lights
  • Magnetic compass
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Radar reflector

Note: Transport Canada regulates what safety equipment you must have on board, even for personal watercraft.

Keep physical distancing and washing your hands, and you'll be ready to hit the road or set sail!

For more on this topic:

5 unforgettable road trips in the Americas

Safety tips for Night Driving

What to know about your car and COVID-19

Road or boat trip: How to get your vehicle ready

The pandemic may have put a stop to your plans to travel abroad, but it may not have stemmed your urge to explore your home province. Either by car, motorcycle, motor home, boat or even personal watercraft, summer is the perfect time to go on an adventure!  

These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.

In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.

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