Photo via Pexels

Photo via Pexels

I would like to thank Jesse Clark for contributing this article!  Check out her information at the end of the article.

According to CNBC, Americans are ready to return to holiday travel norms this year, with spikes expected in road trips and air travel. However, with airfares creeping up, road trips may lead the pack. And it makes sense, too. In general, taking a road trip versus flying is significantly less expensive, offers more flexibility, and can be an excellent way to make multiple stops while on vacation.

However, alongside the pros of hitting the road, there are arguably still health and safety considerations to keep in mind when traveling during the winter months. Aside from COVID-19, extreme weather conditions, fewer hours of daylight, and an increased risk of illness should all be thought of prior to leaving for your destination.

If you plan to travel by vehicle for your upcoming holiday excursion, Let’s Go Road Trippin’ invites you to explore these tips for staying safe throughout your road trip.

Prepare your vehicle for winter conditions

Before any road trip, taking your vehicle in for servicing is highly advisable. Whether you need new tires, an oil change, or a simple safety inspection, these visits are an invaluable way to reduce the risk of an accident or injury while on the road.

During the coldest months of the year, be sure to perform upgrades that are specific to winter weather conditions. To enhance the safety of your vehicle, it’s wise to install features such as winter or snow tires, windshield wipers (and fluid) that are designed for ice and freezing temperatures, and antifreeze.

On top of safety upgrades, make sure to protect your vehicle’s interior. Salt and melting snow can damage fabrics and surfaces, which is why it is crucial to winterize the inside. For example, quality floor mats are capable of shielding factory-installed carpets from harsh and messy elements and can prove to be a great investment over time.

Bring an emergency road kit

You’re probably no stranger to the phrase “expect the unexpected.” This definitely applies to preparations for your winter road trip. One of the best ways to “expect the unexpected” is to bring a well-stocked car emergency kit on your next vacation.

According to, some of the most essential items to pack in your emergency car kit include a blanket, ice scraper, cell phone charger, flares, and jumper cables.

You should also pack common over-the-counter medications (e.g. ibuprofen), a first aid kit, and any needed emergency medications (e.g. an EpiPen).

In addition to these items, one often overlooked piece of equipment to include is a snow shovel. Winter storms can quickly cause snow to pile up unexpectedly, which can result in your car being stuck in a snowdrift. Having a shovel will help ensure that you don’t end up stranded.

Protect your health

Now more than ever before, taking health precautions while traveling is essential. In winter, cases of the cold, flu, and other related illnesses tend to rise. With the added threat of COVID-19, it is of the utmost importance to protect your health.

When making stops at gas stations, restaurants, hotels, and other public places, be sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and to use hand sanitizer frequently. Carry extra face masks, and do not visit with family or friends who suspect that they have COVID-19 (or any other contagious illness).

Also, foodborne illnesses tend to rise during the holiday season. As such, handle all raw meats with care, avoid cross-contamination, and do not let items requiring refrigeration sit out for more than two hours.

Remember to have fun

It’s true that traveling during the holidays can and will wear you out. But after all the planning, remember that this is still time off from work, and you owe it to yourself to have fun and enjoy your getaway. In fact, look for ways to make it more enjoyable. In addition to your to-do list, ZenBusiness shares a great not-to-do list that offers suggestions on how to make the most of your time off. Like not counting calories for a few days, leaving work completely behind, sleeping in, ignoring your watch, and investing in activities or purchases that can be considered investments in your well-being. By giving in to a vacation mentality, you can make the most of this special time with friends and family.

When you make smart decisions about your health and safety, it is easy to have an enjoyable road trip during the winter months. No matter how you choose to prepare, or where your adventure takes you, be sure to experience the joy of the holiday season.

For regular tips, videos articles and insights into the joys of road trips, be sure to subscribe to Let’s Go Road Trippin’ today!

“Jesse Clark is a traveler, so she’s no stranger to experiencing wanderlust and that strong desire to travel. She created Soulful Travel because she believes that travel is good for the soul – getting lost is often the best way to find yourself.”

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