Winter Travel Guide: Stay Safe and Stress-Free
Guest blog post by Brigitte Evans, a Cosmetic Skin Care Consultant and an editor for highstylife.com
The holiday season is the perfect period to take a little road trip. Gathering your friends or family around and driving off to a warm cabin where you can spend time bonding and relaxing from everyday stress is a magical experience, but you have to be ready for it. Ice, snow, and the general muck of winter weather can make car handling a true nightmare, and if you don’t have everything you need, you risk damaging your car and ruining your vacation. Fortunately, you can easily prepare even for harsh conditions and we’re here to tell you how. If you want to stay safe and truly enjoy your trip, here’s a handy guide that can help.
Plan the details of your trip
Staying organized is the key to an easier life, and it’s no different when it comes to traveling. If you prepare everything on time you’re less likely to face stressful, last-minute situations, and things can just run smoothly with very little effort involved. Allocate a travel budget, check your passports and IDs, get the tickets, get travel insurance, book your hotel, and figure out where you want to go and what you want to see. It also doesn’t hurt to get a map and install a few useful apps on your phone to help you navigate and make the trip a lot easier.
Make sure your car is ready
You need to make your car ready for winter. Winter tires, snow chains, and snow socks are the bare minimum you should have at hand, particularly if you plan to drive in harsh conditions. If you are traveling by plane and want to rent a car only when you reach your destination, always ask about the winterization kit that was used on the vehicle. This is especially true for countries such as Sweden, Finland, or any other snow wonderland where it’s likely you’ll spend a large part of your time on ice-covered roads.
Don’t delay repairs
In countries like Australia, taking your car to a mechanic before a big road trip is considered to be common sense. The roads are long and it takes quite a bit of time to reach anything, so the car needs to be in a sturdy condition to handle it. Most people hire a mobile mechanic from Perth to come to their home and get everything done, so there’s no hassle involved and the vehicle can be ready on time. You can do a similar thing and have a professional come for a checkup, or at the very least give the car a thorough examination yourself. Check the tires, battery, and oil and coolant levels, and make sure the windshield doesn’t have any cracks on it. Test the brakes and take your car for a spin if it’s been sitting around for a long time, and put a spare winter tire in your trunk.
Check the forecast
Follow the weather forecast carefully. Simple sites like AccuWeather let you check the forecast for several weeks in advance, and this can help you plan your trip accordingly. This is particularly important in countries such as Canada, where there are frequent and unexpected temperature drops. Don’t let the weather catch you off guard.
Try traveling during the middle of the week
Most people travel near the end or the beginning of the week, so that’s when the roads are busiest. If it’s possible, schedule your trip for Tuesday or Wednesday when you won’t have to deal with crowds, traffic jams, or nervous drivers shouting at each other. Of course, this may not be possible if you only manage to get a few days off, in which case you can opt to travel really early in the morning (around 4AM) or right before noon (10-11AM).
Prepare an emergency kit
Accidents happen, and it’s best to be prepared if you want to stay safe. Make a winter survival kit to keep in the back of your car, and put a few useful things in it: jumper cables, a foldable shovel, an extra blanket, a small box of tools, a flashlight, extra batteries, travel charger, a water bottle, and maybe a few granola bars. Some people also carry a small bag of kitty litter or salt to give their tires traction in case they get stuck.
Once you’ve got the essentials down, you can relax. With these tips in mind, your vacation can begin and you can enjoy your time off without worrying.