From the seasonal spirit and the opulent holiday decorations to the magical serenity of the falling snow, traveling during winter can be just as wonderful and enjoyable as a warm weather trip. However, in order to be safe and sound during your winter travels, you need to know your options and prepare for anything that might come your way. Whether you’re planning an exciting skiing adventure or simply taking advantage of the low season, here are some cold weather essentials that will keep you safe and healthy this winter:
Check the weather in advance
Many travelers make the mistake of waiting until the storm starts to modify their traveling schedules, but that is a beginner’s mistake. If you’re able to predict bad weather conditions, you can get your plan B in order and make alternative travel arrangements, instead of being stuck in an unfavorable position with no way out. No matter where you are traveling to, always make sure to check the weather in advance. When it comes to winter, weather forecasts are much more reliable than during the warmer months, and snowstorms can be predicted accurately even 72 hours before they hit. While your travel schedule might not turn out to be exactly as you planned, checking the forecast will help you make alternative arrangements and avoid getting stuck in the middle of a storm.
Opt for direct flights when possible
Some of the biggest and most frustrating problems for winter travelers tend to occur at connecting airports. While having your first flight delayed and needing to return home to wait it out may not be such a big inconvenience, it might be a bit different when you get forced to wait in a hotel lobby, or even worse, when you’re stuck in a connecting airport with nowhere to spend the night and no other options than to wait out the storm. So, if you’ve decided to fly to your winter destination, it might be best to book a direct flight, if possible, in order to eliminate the potential problem of getting stuck in an unfamiliar place midway through your trip due to unfavorable weather conditions.
Prepare your car for the road
If you’ve decided to go on a winter road trip, it’s essential to know your route and check out the road conditions before you set off, in order to avoid any closures and reroutes caused by bad weather. Another incredibly important thing you need to do is a thorough examination of your vehicle, especially the parts that tend to be the most problematic during winter, such as brakes, wheels, hoses and fittings, and replace them with new, quality car parts that will keep you safe on the road. Make sure your tires are inflated and have a proper grip, pack a winter travel safety kit, stay warm, and most importantly, slow down and drive safely.
Make accommodation reservations early
If you feel like you might be forced to spend the night in a hotel midway through your trip due to bad weather, it might be a good idea to make a hotel reservation in advance. This is a quick and simple thing to take care of before you depart, but it’s truly essential, as it could make the difference between spending the night in a warm, comfortable bed and sleeping in your car or the airport floor. Just make sure to book accommodation you can easily cancel, in case you don’t end up needing the room after all, and don’t forget to follow the hotel’s cancellation guidelines, to avoid paying for a room you didn’t even use.
Always pack strategically and wisely
Think about the most important things you might need if you get stranded in bad weather, and always pack wisely. If you’re flying to your destination, keep your carry-on bag stocked with all of your essentials, including toiletries, an extra layer for warmth, as well as a portable charger for your electronics, in case you get stuck at an airport. If you’re traveling by car, it might be a good idea to put a few heavier items of clothing in your trunk, as well as some spare blankets, to ensure you stay warm if you happen to find yourself in the middle of a storm. In either case, don’t forget to layer up on insulating undergarments, a warm yet lightweight jacket and winter boots with a good grip, to stay toasty and cozy, while avoiding any potential injuries.
With a bit of preparation and a few precautionary measures, winter travel doesn’t have to be such a nightmarish endeavor – just make sure to take care of these cold weather essentials.