Traveling during the winter season is definitely more stressful than traveling during the summer or any warm weather. The best way to go is just to pack well, plan ahead and be well prepared.
The more information you have, the better you can plan ahead and avoid setbacks or issues that can make a wonderful trip go wrong.
Traveling during the winter season
Here are some top tips for winter travel, whether you are traveling by car, plane, bus or train.
Plan Ahead (more than usual)
Preparation is important when traveling, even more so during the winter season.
Do as much research as you can regarding flights, layovers, weather, etc. Knowing exactly what you’re in for will help you pack, plan and have an overall great trip. Make sure you check the weather often, more frequently the days before you’re leaving.
This will help you keep an eye out for extreme conditions, be it at airports or once you arrive at your destination. Issues like snow storms or icy road conditions can really set you back upon arrival. Read up on your destination and find out details such as peak travel dates, crowds, popular events and common issues that can come up.
Emergencies do happen so plan ahead. Leave for the airport early to avoid traffic delays.
Be mentally prepared for delays. Take along a good book, some snacks, a days supply of medication and wear warm clothing but nothing too heavy that will hold you down. A sweatshirt or sweater can double as a pillow or blanket.
Put important telephone numbers in your cell phone. Also write them down so you can contact your rental car office, hotel and/or family members if they are going to pick you up from the airport. Although it may cost more, try to book a direct flight to avoid delays at connecting airports. It’s a greener way to travel, too.
Driving in Winter Weather
If you are planning to road trip locally, be sure to maintain your vehicle for cold weather driving. If you’re renting a car at your final destination, make sure it’s the right model for winter driving. Add anti freeze and have your oil changed, install new wiper blades to keep your windows clean and snow tires that will get you through snow, ice and slush.
If you’ve planned a ski vacation, you will need those snow tires and possibly even chains. Make sure you’ve arranged this with your car rental. Pack warm clothing, stay hydrated, take extra blankets, a good flashlight and an emergency road kit.
Packing the Right Stuff
Packing the right items is extra important when traveling during the winter time, especially if you are traveling with young children.
Experts recommend dressing in layers with a soft shell, this way you can remove layers if you’re too warm. Other than this, the right clothing can be key when traveling, not always the woollen heavy stuff is the best to pack and/or wear. Look for special fabrics that help keep you warm but are still light and breathable. The right pair of shoes can make or break your winter trip, pack waterproof boots and enough socks to keep you feet dry and warm.
With busy holiday traveling dates, try to leave a few days early. Book flights ahead of time and, if you can, book direct flights to avoid delays on any connecting flights.
If your trip is composed of many flights, try to pick southern countries to avoid layovers.
Avoid popular destinations such as well-known ski resorts, Disney or cities like New York, these places will be swarming with people and setbacks during these seasons. Remaining calm is also key here, busy seasons such as Thanksgiving, Christmas or the New Year are specially crowded, so just be patient and run with it.
You can have a great time traveling during the winter season. Just take some time in advance to plan, so you can avoid issues that often come with cold-weather traveling.