How to Survive a Road Trip in the Winter
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Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m off celebrating with the hubs, but wanted to take some time to share another episode of “What I Did Wednesday”. While the previous week’s activity included a lot of Netflix binging, this past week had me off the couch and in the driver’s seat! Given that, I decided to share a few tips on how to survive a road trip in the winter along with my recaps!
We started off heading to Saint Louis, Missouri for our denomination’s state celebration. We came together with other ministers and members from the state to worship and be encouraged. It was incredibly cold, which meant dressing to my ears to stay warm. It also meant doing my best Rachel Zoe impression (if she were a pastor’s wife). I think I nailed it.
Unfortunately, as we were getting prepared to head to Saint Louis, we learned a beloved member of my husband’s family passed away. He promised to preach the funeral which would be held in South Carolina on Saturday. That meant cutting our time in Saint Louis short and spending over 38 hours in the car this week.
Given we were traveling such a long distance in brutal cold temperatures, it was important to be prepared and have a strategy. So here is how we managed:
1.) Snacks and drinks
Having the proper snacks and drinks in tow can really help keep you energized and save money. We typically take things like bread and peanut butter, chips, and nuts. In the way of drinks, we always make sure we have plenty of water as well as tea or juice. Being prepared in this way also helps keep stops minimal for refueling our bodies.
In brutal cold temperatures, it’s important to have warm clothes. However, once the car warms up, you won’t need to be so bundled. The key is layering and taking off layers as the car’s temperature becomes more comfortable. I like to wear sweater tights and jeans with a long sleeve shirt, fleece pullover and winter coat. To keep my feet warm, I wear wool socks which help with your overall body temps. I also have my crochet slouch hat and gloves close by for stops. We also make sure to carry a car electric blanket to get us warmed up fast if we need it.
We have really become fans of listening to podcasts while on the road. There are really some great ones out there including fiction podcasts. We find these are a step above audiobooks because they are done with many character voices and sound effects. We’ve enjoyed “Limetown” and “LifeAfter” to name a couple. Most of the fiction podcasts seem to be in the science fiction genre and can be sort of intense. Be warned.
Music is also pretty important for the times we don’t necessarily want to get too involved in podcasts. Having a mix prepared or something like Pandora or Spotify on hand will keep you stocked with plenty of things to listen to.
There are several things I need in the car on trips like these. I use my smartphone for music, gps and podcasts, so it’s important to have an aux cable, windshield smartphone mount, and a dual USB car charger.
When it comes to being prepared for emergencies, we also like to have a portable car battery charger that can also charge your phone (if the car isn’t working). We also have a roadside emergency kit complete with tow cables and reflectors in case we get stuck on the side of the road.
5.) Travel Partner
Since my husband and I travel together, I have a travel partner for life. It’s so much easier to make long trips when you don’t do it alone. When the driver gets tired, the passenger can take over. This gets us there much faster and keeps us safe and alert on the road. Grab a friend if you can and enjoy each other’s company in the process of making it to your destination.
Those are just a few tips to keep you safe on the road during the cold weather months. Aside from all that, try to travel when the weather report doesn’t have the chance for precipitation. It’s hard enough when it’s cold. Adding snow and ice on top of that makes it even more hazardous. If you have to, make sure to take along an emergency shovel to dig out of the snow and kitty litter to help gain traction under the tires when needed.
Have you ever traveled during the winter? Did you encounter any struggles on the road? Were you prepared?