Tips for Planning a Winter Road Trip

Taking a winter road trip is exhilarating but can also be tricky. If you don’t prepare properly, they can become a dangerous adventure that leaves you stranded in the cold. So as you plan your next trip across country or state lines this winter, keep these tips in mind:

Plan for the snow, ice, and temperature.

You should always check the weather conditions before you leave for your winter road trip. Be sure that the roads are clear of ice and snow before setting out on your drive.

If you are traveling in an area where it snows or gets cold, there is another thing you need to consider: having an emergency kit with the proper equipment for driving in snow and ice. This includes a shovel, tire chains, windshield scraper, extra windshield fluid, blankets and flashlights (in case of a power outage), a first aid kit (with items such as bandages and gauze pads), flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables/battery booster cables if needed for jump-starting your car’s battery if it dies from exposure due to poor weather conditions, food rations such as trail mix bars or crackers and extra water bottles. 

Drive responsibly

Remember a few things when you’re on the winter road trip. First, slow down! If you’re on a motorway, don’t try to keep up with traffic going faster than you. It may seem counterintuitive—and it might only be 10-15 miles per hour—but driving slower will help prevent accidents and injuries. You also want to avoid tailgating other cars; this is especially important if there’s snow or ice on the road because it can cause your car to slide forward unexpectedly if someone slows down suddenly in front of you.

Distracted driving is another big concern during winter. If people are distracted by their phones or other gadgets while driving, they’ll have a harder time reacting quickly enough if something happens on the road ahead of them (like ice or snow). Tiredness is another issue during the colder months: when drivers get sleepy behind the wheel, they’re more likely to make mistakes that could lead them to a crash! Keep these issues in mind: impaired driving (drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel) or drugged driving (taking drugs like marijuana before getting behind the wheel).

Keep tabs on your gas mileage

It’s easy to forget that the tank will be emptier than usual when driving in cold weather, and it’s easy to fill up more than you need. You’ll want to keep an eye on the gas gauge and use the car’s GPS or other navigation systems to calculate how many miles are left in your tank at any given time. Suppose you’re planning a trip from point A to B. In that case, it may be best to fill up before starting so as not to run out of fuel along the way.

Still, if this is not feasible for whatever reason, remember that buying gas can be difficult during winter because fewer stations are open (and those often have shorter hours). Also, consider using public transportation if such a thing is available in your area; it may help save money since there won’t be any added expenses associated with owning a car (such as maintenance).

Take care of yourself during the drive

As you plan your trip and prepare to leave, make sure you schedule plenty of time for breaks. While it may be tempting to drive in the car, driving for hours without stopping can lead to fatigue and other safety concerns.

As much as possible, take frequent breaks during your trip. You should stop every two hours or so to stretch your legs and warm up a bit. Keep an eye on the weather conditions: if it’s going to be cold outside (or even if there’s a chance of snow), keep extra blankets around just in case! Also, remember that many hotels have heating systems that aren’t always working properly – having a blanket or two can come in handy if things are feeling chilly after turning off the engine at night.

Make sure that while planning these stops along your route, there’s also time built into each day where everyone can rest properly. This means making sure there are places available where everyone staying together can park their vehicle overnight safely.

Plan for delays

The weather, traffic, and highway conditions can all be unpredictable. To ensure your trip is on time, plan to leave earlier than you think you need to. Plan to get to your destination at least an hour before you need to, even if it means cutting out some stops along the way. Ensure you have enough gas in the tank for unexpected delays, too!

The best way to prevent traffic jams is by frequently stopping for breaks — especially when traveling in the winter months is harder on your body and mind anyway. If possible, take frequent bathroom breaks as well; this will help keep everyone happy (and awake).

Prepare for a roadside emergency

Before you start your winter road trip, have a roadside emergency kit in your car. Include a first aid kit, flashlight, blanket (a sunbeam micro-plush throw works great!), extra layers of clothing, water, and snacks—and if you’re traveling with children: a child-friendly first aid kit.

Remember that winter weather can be unpredictable! You might need to pull over at any given time because there’s been an accident ahead on the highway, or maybe it looks like rain, so you decide to find shelter somewhere. Either way, it’s always good to be prepared for anything that could happen on the road.

Pack for convenience and comfort

The first thing you should pack for a winter road trip is your travel bag, you might want a sturdy one that can hold everything you need. Next, pack extra clothing, including gloves and hats. If it’s going to be very cold out, make sure to have some warm clothes available in case it gets colder than expected. If something happens with the car or someone needs help along the road, everyone will be prepared for whatever happens.

Next up: snacks and water! Everyone must stay hydrated while traveling, so having a water bottle with them at all times will help do that even better. 

In addition to these two things (snacks & drinks), I’d also suggest packing games or cards because sometimes those boring stretches between cities can get pretty boring without anything else going on besides just staring at other cars passing by every once in a while–and if there aren’t many distractions around then boredom sets in faster than usual so having something fun nearby would definitely come in handy here 🙂


Taking the time to plan for a winter road trip can make all the difference in your experience. You’ll be able to enjoy your time on the road instead of worrying about how you’re going to get there, and with these tips, we hope that planning becomes easier! It’s also important not to forget about safety—if anything goes wrong while driving in inclement weather conditions or other difficult situations where you need help immediately, you should know what steps to take place immediately after calling 911.

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