As much as our family enjoys road trips, there are certain times of the year when we would rather not get in the car and drive 14 hours to visit family. One such occasion that comes to mind is anytime during the winter months.
Roads aren’t as easy to travel and everything is white (there goes playing Eye-Spy). With airfare at a higher rate during some peak winter visiting times (eg. Christmas), sometimes road trips are the only option.
Some extra planning and time goes a log way in arriving safe, and sane. Here are some tips to consider when planning a winter road trip.
Have contact numbers on hand
Look up the numbers for any hotels you’ll be stopping at on your trip (and let someone know the names of all of your stops in case they need to start calling around looking for you). Know the numbers of friends and family, and CAA in the event you need assistance.
Communicate your location
Keep in touch with friends and family while you travel. Let them know the exact roads you will be taking and when you expect to be at your next stop. Check in as much as possible with your location and your ETA to your next stop.
Pack an emergency kit
In the event you are stranded on the side of the road, you want to be prepared for as much as possible. You will also want to have enough supplies in case help doesn’t immediately arrive.
This may include:
- blankets (enough for everyone in the car)
- first aid kit
- parka (with reflective material), winter boots, hand warmers
- small shovel
- non-clumping kitty litter (great for traction under tires)
- jumper cables
- road markers or lights/flares
- something to charge your phone that does not rely on the car (in case you can’t start your vehicle)
- flashlight (with extra batteries)
- extra food (non-perishables like granola bars, nuts, cereal – minus the milk)
- tool kit (beside running out of gas and sliding off the road, a flat tire will be one of the popular hindrances in winter driving. Make sure you have what you need to attempt a tire change if needed)
Go slow and drive during daylight hours
Pay attention to road conditions and take your time so you can properly navigate road conditions and avoid dangers like ice patches. Know sun rise and set times so you can get the most out of your driving time and arrive at your next stop before the sun goes down.
Get your car ready
Snow tires are always a great idea when driving across Canada in the winter. Make sure your car has been serviced and all oil changes are up to date.
What tips do you have for winter road trips? Share them in the comments below. Drive safe everyone.
Disclosure: Article written as part of an ambassadorship with Church & Dwight. Opinions are not influenced.