As we brace ourselves for the icy cold and head off to the comfort of family and loved ones, there is one thing looming the back of our minds: the dreaded winter holiday road trip. While road trips can be an exciting way to see new sights or travel relatively far distances with family or friends, in the winter, they can become a chilly source of stress for drivers and passengers alike.
Sure, those of you traveling in warmer climates or short distances have no clue as to what the weary, winter travelers will soon face. And true, that form of blind ignorance is something that most of us would trade all of our holiday loot for. But before you let the winter travel woes set in, check out these helpful tips to avoid frozen debacle and enjoy the frosty ride.
Check Your Car, Before You Wreck Your Car.
Taking your car on an extended trip can sometimes be a bit of a gamble. For cars that are only a few years old or have very little mileage, a long trip can be a great chance to really stretch those tires. But for vehicles that are a little on the old-side or with high mileage, it is best to ensure everything is in proper working order. If possible, take your vehicle into a trusted mechanic just to get a look at it. If that isn’t in the budget this holiday season, ask a friend who might know about your vehicle or checkout the many resources online. Of course, with extended coverage from Endurance, you never have to worry about something going wrong with your car.
Safety First and Prepare of the Worst.
The age-old saying “Hope for the best, but plan for the best” has never rang truer than when it comes to winter road trips. Year-round, I like to carry an emergency kit in my car, preparing for the worst. But these are vital during the winter months. They can be purchased at any local big-box store, but some opt to making their own and personalizing the kit. Necessary items could include: blankets, bottled water, batteries, flares, a flash light, first aid kit, jumper cables, small shovel, matches, and anything else you might need in a pinch.
Be Able to Phone a Friend.
It doesn’t take a genius to know when to ask for help. Make sure that you have brought much-needed cell phone car chargers, back-up battery packs, and a list of all emergency roadside assistance numbers, like the ones included with every Endurance policy. Don’t forget to update friends or family members that you are visiting during breaks from the road.
Don’t Forget About the Kids!
Now, don’t think that we are assuming that you are going to Kevin McCallister your children. But sometimes parents forget just how boring a long trip can be for the little ones. Many mother-run blogs can suggest stimulating activities and some even provide print-out games to take on the road. One pro trip that we suggest is to avoid salty snacks in the car. The higher the sodium content the thirstier the tykes will be, leading to an increase of drinks. And we all know what happens when kids fill themselves with beverages. So unless you have a travel bathroom, steer clear from the salt.
Avoid a Headache and Plan Ahead.
Even though we are living in the day and age of GPS satellites telling you us turn by turn directions, it is always a good idea to check out the road ahead. I recommend doing a “test drive” on the days you plan on traveling. You can check out traffic patterns and areas to avoid by planning ahead.
While the weather outside may be frightful, it doesn’t mean that your holiday road trip has to be. From all of us at Endurance, we want to wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday.
Endurance Vehicle Protection is the nation’s premier provider of extended vehicle coverage. By administering our very own Endurance coverage plans, we are able to “cut out” the middleman and pass along these savings onto our valued customers. This also means that throughout the entire life span of your policy with us, you will be dealing directly with us and not a third-party company. We believe in empowering confidence for the road ahead but we also believe in empowering consumers to buy with confidence.