Hitting the Road for Winter Break? Here’s What You Should Know
Are you one of the many families traveling over winter break?
Of course, you’ll be expecting that your trip may involve some snowy, icy, and wet roads.
It can be daunting, but there are some things you can do to make your travels as safe as possible.
Here’s what to think about before you take off.
Check the route before you leave
The Department of Transportation has a website with road condition updates. You’ll want to make sure that your route is open and safe to travel on.
Even if the route appears clear, it’s a good idea to have an alternate in case you need to change course mid-trip.
Have your vehicle serviced
You’ll want to take care of maintenance tasks before you leave. When you have your mechanic check out your car, he’ll look at things like your washer fluid level, check your tire pressure, change the oil if necessary, and test your battery.
Keep in mind that, if you run into a situation while you’re traveling, gas station attendants are a good resource for pointing you toward reputable auto repair shops.
You need an emergency car kit
Chances are, you won’t need the items in this kit, but you should still have one with you.
You can’t predict when severe weather may close a road, leaving you stranded in an unfamiliar place, far from lodging, restaurants, or gas stations.
Plus, it’s important that everyone stays warm, dry, and hydrated should something unexpected happen.
Your kit should include:
- Chains for your tires.
- An ice scraper.
- A collapsible shovel.
- Emergency flares.
- A couple large blankets.
- A 64-ounce bottle of water for each person in the car.
- A first-aid kit that contains bandages, first-aid creams, and any over-the-counter medications that your family may need.
- Duct tape.
- Safety pins.
Be prepared for snow and ice
One of the most important things to remember when you’re traveling in the winter is to be prepared for anything.
You may have to be out in the elements to install chains on your tires or to clear off a snow or ice-covered windshield and you’ll want to have the right tools handy, like waterproof boots, waterproof gloves, and a flashlight.
It’s possible to have a wonderful winter break trip if you take the necessary precautions.
Check your route, have an emergency kit ready to go, and – most importantly – have your vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic before you leave.