Are you planning a winter road trip? Travel safely whether you travel for the holidays, for business, or just for fun. I am honored that our friends at Cars.com commissioned this sponsored post! It gives us a chance to discuss how we can enjoy a safe winter road trip. Being safe is a big part of feeling fit for you and for your family.
I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. A road trip is an opportunity to see the beautiful sites at the coast, through forest roads or in the mountains. Unfortunately, cellular coverage is spotty so I can’t rely on my phone and navigation apps if I get lost or in trouble. A simple trip to visit my parents involves driving over a gravel, mountain road with no cellular coverage for at least 30 minutes of the journey!
Four Tips For a Fun and Safe Winter Road Trip
1. Plan Your Route
The last thing you want is to get lost in an unfamiliar place without cell phone coverage! If your trip involves taking a new route, be sure to plan your route and plan a backup in case of road closure. I like to download Google Maps, some people prefer to print maps. If you happen to be a member of AAA, make use of their trip planning service.
Also, research the seasonal conditions. If there is a chance of snow, bring chains if you don’t have snow tires. Sometimes conditions change dramatically with elevation.
2. Plan a Playlist or Audiobook
Cartime can be quality family time. The Lively conversation and the view may be all the entertainment you need. But just in case, plan a fun road trip playlist!
I suggest downloading the music rather than relying on streaming services in case you pass through an area without cellular service. We have Amazon Prime membership, so I like to download my road trip or travel music.
Alternately, consider a classic family-friendly audiobook such as the Harry Potter series or a holiday-themed book. I prefer a playlist because audiobooks can discourage conversation as everyone gets absorbed in the story.
3. Stock Your Emergency Kit
Perhaps this my native Oregonian side speaking. I firmly believe everyone should have an emergency kit and first aid kit in their car. This is a good idea wherever you drive, but especially if you go on a road trip or pass through rural areas on your way to see family over the holidays.
Car Emergency Kit Essentials
The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and Ready.gov suggest stocking your kit or car with the following items:
- Jumper cables
- Flares or reflective triangle
- Ice scraper
- Car cell phone charger
- Cat litter or sand for better tire traction
- Drinking water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
- Non-perishable food – some suggest three days worth, I admit I usually just have a couple bars per person.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener if you packed canned food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery pack
- Rain ponchos and blankets
- Water filter straw or filter bottle
- Fire extinguisher
- Any medications or personal care items you need
- Games or comforting toys for the children. Paper and pens.
- Matches stored in a waterproof (and childproof) container
- Keep a change of clothing, jacket and sturdy shoes for each person easily accessible
4. Check Your Car Seat
The best road trip is both fun and safe. Before you depart, be sure to check your car seats to protect your youngest passengers. Our friends at Cars.com created an indispensable guide to checking your car seat installation for many popular models of cars. Look to see whether your car is included! Cars.com is not only the go-to source when buying a new or used vehicle, they also provide valuable information like this.
Also be sure to pack games, tablets, or toys to entertain the kids!
Once again, thank you to Cars.com for sponsoring this important message.