How to Survive a Road Trip in the Winter

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.

Me doing a Rachel Zoe impression on our way to Winter Celebration service.

 

The awesome praise team at Winter Celebration in Saint Louis.

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.

South Carolina was warm, but not warm enough. That didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy the Palmettos!

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.

2.) Layers

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.

3.) Entertainment

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.

4.) Gear

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?

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10 Comments

  • Our son hates the car rides so so much, that’s always the struggle. I think he starts to feel nauseous because no matter what I do he keeps letting me know how much he hates it. I’m a bit scared what’ll happen when we drive 16 hours from Helsinki to Tromsø this Spring. But when it comes to Winter, my pet peeve with car journeys are definitely other people on the road. People work so unexpectedly in the traffic, especially during winter which makes me more anxious about sitting on the passenger seat haha.

  • After a rather crazy long haul drive this Fall full of unexpected nuisances (evacuating due to Hurricane Irma) I kind of feel like an expert when it comes to emergency car kits and what to bring along to keep stops at a minimum. But the next time we’re headed super North, I’m gonna make some additions based on this list. 🙂

  • First I am sorry about the loss of your family friend. Also I love podcasts, i listen to them more now than music most days. I agree with you the music playlists play such a big roll in my roadtrip happiness. Also I liked your Rachel Zoe impression.

    • Hope it goes well for you! I have to face the reality that when it’s time for my husband and I to have children, we’ll need to learn how to travel with them. I like getting places fast. Kids slow things down a bit in their own, fast-paced way. lol.

  • I’m used to driving in very cold conditions since I’m from snowy Finland and I will definitely make a note of your tips, especially all the security measures – very useful and so important. I’m so sorry for the loss of your family member 💗

  • Company is the first one should choose in any trip I think. I love travelling in winter, my country has so many places to visit even in bad weather days. I love layering my outfits and have my favorite music with me.

  • Great tips! Snacks are essential to prevent hanger (anger because of being hungry). I think every part of your list really is a must. Personally I’d also need some Pepsi or something else with caffeine to survive that many hours driving. Haha!

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