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Holiday Travel Tips: How to Stay Toasty on the Road

Getting prepared to take a road trip is exciting, but it's not without its share of challenges. Be ready to travel in comfort and with peace of mind by taking a few simple steps in advance for the most enjoyable travel experience.

Get a Tune-Up in Advance of Your Road Trip

Your vehicle works hard, and if you want your engine and heating system to function optimally for your travels, it's best to get a tune-up in advance. Ward off potential problems by checking filters, wiper blades, spark plugs, and even tires to see if they need to be replaced. Fluids may need to be changed or minor repairs may need to be made. Any maintenance items and potential problems can be headed off in advance so you're not left stranded when you're supposed to be having a good time traveling.

Prepare an Emergency Travel Kit for the Road

Even if you've had your vehicle properly serviced, it's good to be prepared for emergencies, especially when traveling in chilly temperatures or when inclement weather is possible. Pack an emergency road kit with essential items in case the unexpected happens. Good items to have include:

  • Emergency space blanket or fleece blankets
  • Extra change of warm clothes
  • Winter accessories like a hat, scarves, and gloves (waterproof gloves are handy if an emergency occurs)
  • Hand warmers
  • Bottled water and non-perishable food or snacks
  • Flashlight with extra batteries (check the batteries before leaving on your trip)
  • Extra cell phone battery
  • First aid kit and emergency medication
  • Jumper cables
  • Extra ice scraper
  • Small shovel
  • Flares or emergency reflectors
  • Mini tool kit
  • Tire chains or cables

Get Cozy for Your Winter Drive

When your mind is at ease that emergency items are on hand for an unexpected situation, you can focus on making the trip fun, warm, and cozy. Pack cozy throw blankets or children's sleeping bags and travel pillows or small cushions to make the ride more comfortable for the family. Fill a large thermos with hot chocolate or coffee and pack disposable cups with lids or reusable travel mugs so everyone can have a warm drink on the road. Other good hot drinks to consider are regular or flavored teas, broth, or hot cider. To help protect the seats and keep everyone extra cozy, line the seats of the car with large fleece blankets.

Gift Small Items to Add to the Warmth

Another easy way to stay toasty on the road is with winter accessories. Just before the trip, give gifts like warm socks or cozy indoor/outdoor slippers that people can wear in the car during the drive.

Wear Warm Clothes for the Trip

When it comes time to travel, layers are best. Start with base layers like tanks, tees, and leggings, and then add other items that will help you and your family stay comfortable and warm. A fleece jacket, soft hoodies, and cozy turtlenecks are all ideal for winter travel. Pullover sweaters, winter vests, scarves, winter wraps, and shawls all make great choices for winter travel apparel. Besides leggings, jeans, loose trousers, chinos, yoga pants, joggers, and fleece or sweatpants are all cozy, warm choices for traveling in chilly temperatures.

Keep Snow and Slush at Bay

Nothing dampens a great road trip like getting wet, cold, or chilly. You can prevent this in a couple of ways. First, make sure everyone knocks any slush, snow, or water off their shoes or boots before entering the car. Keep some small bath towels or microfiber cloths on hand to dry off any remaining moisture. Also, keep a small bag with extra socks and an extra set of comfortable clothes (like sweatpants and tee shirts) in a bag for each member of the family if clothes get wet.

Stop to Stretch and Grab a Hot Bite to Eat

Stay comfortable by stopping to stretch every few hours. This will help keep your muscles from getting sore and keep everyone happy. Stopping for a hot meal or snack, or to top off the coffee or hot chocolate every few hours, will also keep the trip going smoothly and keep everyone on the trip comfortable.

Have the Right Jackets on Hand

Another consideration to remember when traveling is to have not only the warmest winter coats for when you leave home, but also that you have the right outerwear for your final destination. Are you planning a ski, snowboard, or other outdoor adventure? You'll need your parkas ready to stay warm and dry when you arrive. Are you visiting an area that's warmer than where you live? Maybe you'll need light or mid-weight jackets instead of your thicker waterproof winter coat.

Travel Well for Your Holiday Trips

Your holiday adventures can run smoothly and be filled with warm, cozy memorable moments with a little foresight and winter supplies. Build great memories and keep everyone on the trip safe and comfortable by prepping for toasty travel.

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