How to Plan a Safe Winter Road Trip with Your Family

Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Winter is coming! But that doesn't mean you have to give up taking your favorite road trips. I know, I know, wintertime and road trips don’t usually go hand in hand. But just because they're unusual doesn’t mean they're impossible. Unlike a spontaneous road trip in the summer, winter road trips require a little more planning, especially when you’re with your family. And believe me, you aren’t alone if you like to get away during the winter. Statistics show that 23% of people enjoy traveling during the winter season. Whether you want to escape the cold or enjoy spending time outdoors during chilly weather, here are some useful tips to help you plan your best (and safest) family winter road trip ever.

photo via Unsplash, A. Ouellet

Prepare Your Vehicle
It's essential to prepare your vehicle ahead of a road trip, no matter what the season is. If you plan on using your car, consider having some professionals service it before the start of the trip. Not only will you ensure that everything is in working order, you'll also give yourself peace of mind that you're ready for a safe journey ahead. You might also prefer to rent a car, which is quite easy and doesn’t take a toll on your vehicle. Just do your research and price compare for the best deals in your area. Sites like Edmunds can give accurate information on the cars that drive best on icy roads or over long distances. Plus, if you have a bigger family, you can rent a bigger car to accommodate you all comfortably. Once you decide on. your mode of transportation, be sure to clear those windshields of snow (and pack your safety tools like snow brushes, ice scrapers and portable shovels, too)

photo via Unsplash, K. Eliason

Plan Your Winter Route

Planning your winter route can help you identify which spots have slippery terrains or receive more snow. Typically, locations along bodies of water or bridges ice up faster and can quickly become dangerous. While it might be nice to take the scenic route to admire the winter beauty, you may want to avoid areas that ice up quickly in the wintertime. Keep in mind that major roads tend to be plowed and salted quicker than 'the back roads.' Look out for road signs and warnings that tell you about hazardous conditions or closed roads. There are many smartphone apps (such as Waze and Weatherbug) that can help you keep track of incoming weather and poor road conditions. Check the forecast before heading out so you know what to expect.

photo via Unsplash, K. Shahovskaya

Book Flexible Accommodations

Winter weather is extremely unpredictable, and the last thing you want is to get stuck without having a place to stay. Make sure that you allow for some flexibility when you make your reservations. Know your hotel's cancellation or check-in policies before making a decision. Look for hotels that allow last minute cancellations or make check-in exceptions for weather or traffic delays. Have a back-up plan of alternate hotel locations just in case you can't get to your reserved hotel as planned. As much fun as it sounds to be spontaneous and 'wing it,' a winter road trip needs a plan. Make those hotel reservations well in advance!

photo via Unsplash, C. Meyer

The winter season can be an exciting and memorable time for you and your family, whether you spend time indoors or out. If you’re planning a road trip during the winter season, try to follow some of these easy tips and you'll be ready for an unforgettable winter road trip! Remember to stay safe and be one step ahead of any weather challenges. 

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