Driving or traveling during winter is not a wise thing to do. However, at times, it’s inevitable to travel during winter. In such situations, it’s vital to take precautions, for even a little mishap can cause great havoc and mess up the whole trip. The main concern here is the weather, its effect on roads and its end effect to your health.
Travel reviews advise against traveling during winter for the weather conditions are not ideal for any mode of travel. Traveling during winter revolves around studying the weather and having a precise set itinerary. Failing to consider the weather will have an overall negative effect on your travel, either by road or air. So, what do you need to do to have a safe and sane trip? Read on to figure out.
Always Check the Weather Forecast
Checking the weather forecast is essential for any winter travel. Knowing whether the roads are bearable and safe to drive on is paramount when planning your journey. Icy roads easily lead to car crashes, according to travel reviews statistically over 156,000 car crashes are due to icy roads. So, it’s wise to know how the weather will turn out; if a storm is brewing, then you don’t have to drive.
On top of that, check the weather conditions and their effects on the road. A lot of roads usually are closed during the winter season. Knowing closed roads prevents the chances of you getting stuck on the way. Check travel reviews for routes that might experience closed roads.
Careless driving in such conditions is dangerous. Car accidents happen mostly due to reckless driving and unroadworthy vehicles. So, while driving, make sure you drive safely and keep a safe distance between your car and other motorists.
Also, have your headlights on, this indicates to oncoming traffic that there’s an oncoming vehicle. Furthermore, it reduces the risk of a head-on collision, remember the weather is misty and vision is blurry for most motorists. Don’t turn on your rear lights, be considerate of any tailgating vehicle.
Avoid mountainous roads, find an alternative route unless you’ve got no otherwise. Mountainous regions tend to have more icy roads and frequent snowstorms during winter. If you’re not sure of the avalanches ahead of you, check with the weather forecast or halt your travel until you’re sure. Getting stuck in the snow is not at all jolly.
Don’t drive fast, regardless of how late you’re to your destination. Driving fast on icy roads increases the chances of you not making it to your destination. Always drive slowly, at least reduce your speed by half your average driving speed unless you’re a slow driver.
Check Your Car Carefully
The first thing you ought to do is check the condition of your car before embarking. Driving in a poorly conditioned car is calling for a harrowing experience, especially during winter seasons. Start by cleaning your car’s side mirrors and external camera lenses. Cleaning these parts improves visibility and reduces the chances of you ramming to another motorist or getting rammed.
Warm-up your car before leaving, do that by starting it and letting it heat. One important thing to note is, never warm your vehicle in your garage, whether the garage door is open or not. Warming your car in the garage leads to carbon monoxide poisoning, which is hazardous to your health.
Clean off the dirt and ice from your car sensors. This debris clogs your sensors affecting your car’s assistive feature leading to reduced functionality. Also, crosscheck your car battery conditions. Make sure it’s perfect and in shape for such a tough drive. Checking your car also includes updating your car’s tech system, its video monitoring, connectivity, and such. This hack comes in handy when you need to reach out for help.
Check all the necessary parts of your car, whether it’s air conditioning or RV shocks. These are all important for your car’s condition. Traveling on air is not an exclusion especially if you’re using a helicopter. Check the status of your helicopter parts, faulty machines are prone to accidents.
Keep in mind of your Car’s Capability
You’re your car’s safety, and you know whether it can navigate through harsh weather conditions or not. If your car’s traction is pathetic, get new tires or entirely forfeit driving if you can’t. The essential features for a vehicle to have when driving through winter are an anti-lock braking system and excellent traction on its wheels.
Excellent traction and anti-lock braking system, help during emergencies. And during cases of the car skidding from the icy road. If your vehicle lacks these features, then don’t risk driving through the icy conditions.
When Caught in a Storm stay Inside Your Car
In case you get stuck in a storm, don’t leave your car; always remain inside until help comes. Call for help and turn on your car’s headlights. Chances of you freezing to death out in the storm seeking help are high. So, stay in your vehicle, it’s safe there.
You can avoid all these if you monitor the weather through your car’s radio or your phone. Knowing what lies ahead is essential. It gives you the chance to pick another safer route or stopping until it is secure. Also, never try to drive yourself out of a storm, it may seem convincingly true like in the movies. But in real life, it’s more like signing your death note.
Skip The Cruise Control
Your car’s cruise control feature may mess you up, for instance, decelerating when you least want to, so avoid using cruise control. Other automatic features may also not be efficient when driving on snow. So, keep your hands on the wheel and be attentive on what’s around you including animals.
Be Aware of Your Driving Surroundings
Driving during winter may be blurry, especially at night. Therefore, it’s very crucial to be aware of your surroundings. Keep your headlights and taillights on and have a clear windscreen. And in case of an accident, keep in touch with your lawyer and get the right advice.
Frequent stops are essential when driving during the winter season. The energy used when trying to navigate icy roads and the alertness needed for misty conditions quickly leads to fatigue. To curb fatigue, make frequent stops after every hour of driving, get out of the car, and stretch. All these activities improve your alertness and keep you fresh for most of the trip.
Your communication and navigation system should be in perfect condition. Download all ideal applications that you may need for your trip. Apps like google maps and a VPN to protect your data over public networks.
Make sure your car’s radio is working. It is ideal for keeping up with the weather news. Either way, you can still use the internet for that.
Carry Warm Clothes
Whether driving or taking a flight, warm clothes are a necessity during winter travel. Also, put on warm clothes, warm clothes come in handy when stranded. It might be in the middle of a storm, or the airport lobby from a canceled or delayed flight.
If you’re flying, carry extra warm clothes. Cases of canceled flights are very high during winter seasons. Therefore, to avoid situations of getting stranded in an airport lobby with no extra clothes to keep you warm.
Driving through the cold is teeth-gritting especially if you have a limited amount of warm clothes. When caught in a storm, warm clothes provide extra warmth until the storm passes.
Avoid Connecting Flights
As stated earlier, harsh weather conditions lead to many canceled flights. You need to consider this in your travel review.
The problem is during the winter season; traveling is high, and chances of getting placed on another plane after your flight cancellation are low. You might end up stranded in an airport lobby or town for a more extended period than you expected, and this is horrifying to say the least.
So while booking your flight, book a direct ticket full flight with zero connections. If you have to connect, then check the weather conditions of your connecting towns and discern whether to keep traveling or forfeit and wait for another direct flight.
If you have to connect, flights try connecting through southern cities. Here, the weather is conducive and chances of getting trapped in an airport due to poor weather conditions are low.
Book Early Flights
Booking early morning flights, especially during winter, is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, one interesting fact is, it saves you a lot more than you can imagine. Booking early flights creates a window of traveling with minimal weather interference. And in case otherwise, you still get the chance to get another flight if your connecting one is delayed or canceled.
Also, avoid traveling during peak travel times. Most travel reviews confirm that holiday weekends are the worst times to travel due to full flights. Still, on flight booking, try other airports that experience less traffic. A lot of travelers in an airport may lead to delayed flights and canceled flights, especially during the winter season.
Follow the airline’s social media pages to get updates on travel conditions, travel reviews, and available flights. Another added advantage of booking early, you get to arrive early and tend to avoid the commotion that comes with late flights.
Pack What’s Right And Pack It The Right Way
Packing is a daunting task in a travel review, but it should be approached with care especially for winter traveling.
To avoid unnecessary delay with the TSA, make sure you’ve packed as per their regulations and TSA-lock your luggage to avoid losing it. Make sure are carry the necessary items, Extra clothes, earplugs and don’t forget your gadgets.
Have a carry-on bag to carry your most valuable and vital possessions. Use your carry-on bag to carry toiletries, credit cards, and devices. During cases of canceled flights and you need to check in to a hotel, your carry-on bag will make the experience less of a hassle.
Keep All Devices Charged
Having your devices charged gives you a little security. In case of any emergency, you can easily reach out and get help. Also, it’s easy to get flight updates, a travel review, and weather updates and alerts. Your devices including audio visual technology are generally your channel of communication so, you should have them on when traveling during winter seasons.
Apart from having your devices are fully charged, make sure you carry your phone charger. And also, don’t bring one device if you have a tablet and a phone, carry both. The point is to maintain an open channel of communication in case of an emergency.
Lousy weather and canceled flights can devastate any passenger. However, don’t be “any passenger”; try to be understanding and rational with the airline representatives. Screaming or shouting at them won’t change the situation but rather make it worse for you.
Screaming at airline representatives will not make them help you. So, calm down and try to cooperate as much as possible. Airline representatives say they prioritize calm passengers when rescheduling flights over the irrational ones. This is an important tip in a travel review.
Prioritize Your Health
Before traveling, make sure you get a flu shot from your doctor. Influenza and cold thrive in these weather conditions. Also, any travel review expert will advise you to carry extra clothes to keep you warm. If you have health conditions like asthma, carry with you the necessary items to curb any attack.
Looking for a travel review? It’s the simple things that matter such as drinking enough water. It is easier to stay dehydrated during the winter season as your body is not sweating; hence, you don’t find the necessity of drinking water. However, this can have an adverse effect on your health, stemming from dehydration. So, make sure you take water frequently to stay hydrated always.
Make sure that you also eat enough food. Your body needs that energy to maintain the right temperatures. Also, carrying food comes in handy in case you get stranded.
Traveling during winter is harrowing and devastating. Be sure to check out a travel review and know what best suits you. However, if you adhere to this lifestyle advice, if not all, then this nightmare will be bearable.