Winter vacations are in full swing with many trying to get to warmer locations or heading to the ski slopes. Along with winter vacations comes winter travel woes and problems. A snow or ice storm can drastically change your plans over-night. Even dipping temperatures can create a problem. When traveling in winter it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected and to have a back-up plan of some kind.
Whether you plan to travel by air or by road during the winter months, brace yourself for the possibility of delays and changed plans. Winter travelers shouldn’t let unexpected challenges and changes stress them out and just need to be as prepared as possible. Here are a few tips to keep the stress out of winter travel:
Subscribe to Weather APPS
Subscribe to weather apps such as the Weather Channel or Accu-Weather, as well as the APP for the airline you will be flying with, in order to receive the most accurate, up-to-date, real-time information. You will then receive notices, in real-time regarding flight delays, road conditions and possible storms. Why leave for the airport if you flight is being delay or cancelled?
Have a Winter Travel Safety Kit
This is most import if traveling by road. Be prepared for weather-related delays with a kit that includes a blanket, scarf, sweater, gloves and a hat. It’s important to have a little bit of snack food should you get stuck on the road so pack some energy bars and water. A flashlight (with extra batteries), your phone charger and a first aid kit are also important to have, along with your normal car jumper cables, windshield ice scrapper, etc.
If traveling by air, be sure to have a sweater to wear – airports get chilly! Some snacks and a change of clothes (just in case) should be in your carry-on. No matter how you plan to travel, be sure to have any prescription medications where they are easy to access.
Take the Road Well-Traveled
When hitting the road in the winter, it’s not the time to take the scenic route. Stay clear of back roads. Stick to major roads and highways that are most likely to be well maintained and cleared of snow and ice. Should you get stuck, emergency crews, tow trucks and road assistance will find you quicker on major roads. Only travel during daylight and daytime hours so that you will be assured to find repair shops or stores if you need them. If you do get stuck, try not to leave your car running too long. Conserve gas so that you have enough to drive away when you can! Don’t leave your car and start walking, especially in the dark and especially in an area that you don’t know. Use an APP similar to WAZE as soon as you are stuck to tell you exactly where you are and what is in the area.
Choose the Right Airport
Flying during peak winter season? Try to fly out of a larger international airport even if it means a longer trip to the airport. At larger airports, you have a greater chance of flying out because those airports are better equipped to clear runways and de-ice planes. You will also have a better chance of being re-booked on another flight. If possible, don’t check luggage. Traveling with just carry-on bags puts you in a much better position for changing flights and ending up at your final destination with clothes to wear!
Do you have any tips to share for winter travel?