Written by Feliza Mirasol
On my latest family trip, we took to the road for a 10+ hour drive to Toronto, Ontario. I am one of those people who really enjoys long drives, when the weather is clear and you've got a full tank of gas. It feels good to know you can go for miles and miles.
Hitting the road for Canada was once a family tradition. As kids, my parents would drive me and my siblings to our relatives in Toronto and let us stay there for whole summers. So taking this trip up to celebrate our cousin's birthday was in keeping with family tradition.
But as a kid, it didn't occur to me how long road trips like this need planning and money: food, gas, tolls, maps, etc. Where I live, it's fairly easy to find gas stations with competitive prices, and these days, every cent off counts. But on the road, I find you're pretty much at the mercy of whichever gas station you pull into, and despite prices having come down from ridiculously high highs, it can still take a hefty bite out of your wallet.
On this latest road trip, I eschewed the usual "punch buggy" game used to pass the time in lieu of pointing out hybrid cars on the highway. Once or twice we even passed, or were passed, by the cute little Smart Car, which always reminds me of a clown car at the circus for some reason. I was curious of how much of a difference it made to run on electricity and whether those travelers in the hybrids really needed to stop less often as we did.
I've read up somewhat on varying debates on whether hybrid technology is worth the investment when there still exist cars with better fuel efficiency at cheaper prices. However, with the presence of more and more hybrids on the road, at least according to my re-vamped road game, it seems that there is at least a faction of consumers out there willing to do it the new way.
But in the meantime, while the development of even more fuel economic vehicles marches on, and as hybrid technology gets its kinks ironed out, I'll kick it the good ol' road warrior way. Without the GPS and just the roadmap, a wad of gas cash, a loaf of homemade sandwiches in the cooler, and, of course, the Slim Jim's original beef jerky. Canada, here we come, eh!