9 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Winter Travel!

Snowy, plowed roadWith the winter holidays or if our hobbies include skiing or escaping to warmer weather, travel in the winter season is a must. Here are some tips to make your winter (or cold) travel easier and safer!

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1. Some Annual Trips

Most people consider summer as the time to travel, but if you're a skier booking an annual trip is a must! Or maybe you live in an area that gets snow and cold, but you want to golf; again, it's time for a winter trip! The good news is winter travel usually means cheaper airfares and hotel rooms, less traffic, and fewer crowds. If you like solitude and a bargain, the off-season can make for a fantastic getaway!

2. Fly Nonstop

Flying in the winter can be hard due to weather delays. You have snow, blowing snow, and icy conditions. Plus, you have to plan on deicing time, which delays planes even more! And with all of these delays and cancelations, you could end up sleeping in the airport or an unplanned night in a strange city. By flying non-stop, when possible, eliminates the risk of getting stranded in a different city. Sometimes, flying non-stop isn't feasible, keep an eye on the weather forecast for your connecting airport[s]. If it looks risky, call your airline in advance to see if there's the option to redirect through another airport to avoid delays.

3. Consider Renting Gear

If you've already invested in ski or snowboard gear, you probably want to take it with you to the slopes. Make sure you check with your airline for their baggage fees and policies. If you're traveling with your family, checking all of the gear can cost you a lot before you arrive. Do the math to see if it's worth it to rent your gear at the resort once you arrive. As an added bonus, renting can help you travel lighter and keep track of fewer bags.

4. Leave Early

The winter travel season is packed with holidays that are travel-intensive. If you are traveling this winter, be aware that around Thanksgiving and Christmas, crowds flood the airport. If you can, strategically book your flight for a day that will have fewer crowds. If you're stuck flying out a couple of days before Christmas, historically one of the busiest travel days, give yourself plenty of extra time to make it to the airport and through security.

5. Don't Wrap Gifts

It doesn't make any difference if it's a hostess gift, birthday present, or holiday gifts, do not wrap them before you leave home! TSA can rip them open in the security line, and not in an exciting holiday way, but in a purely practical manner that will have you wishing you didn't spend so much time making the perfect bow. Either wrap them when you arrive or save yourself the hassle of carrying them yourself and ship them directly to your destination.

6. Boost Your Immune System

It doesn't make any difference how you travel, wash your hand often. In fact, carry hand sanitizer for times when soap and water are not available. Airplanes recycle air, make the air on planes loaded with more germs than fresh air, which can present a risk for immune systems. Before flying or traveling in general, many experienced travelers will take supplements including Vitamin C, Vitamin B, and probiotics, that will provide a boost to the immune system. And, if you haven't already had your flu shot, get one a couple of weeks before traveling.

7. Take Breaks

If you're driving long distances it can be really tempting to drive for long stretches at a time, but you need breaks! Plan ahead and include time for frequent rest stops. Use these stops to hydrate yourself and stretch your legs. Sitting for a long time, being a driver or passenger, increases your risk of a “deep vein thrombosis” or DVT. This can happen no matter how you are traveling. Getting up and moving as often as possible will help!

8. Inspect Your Car

If you're driving, it's always a good idea to give your car a quick inspection before heading out. At the minimum, you should check your tire pressure, oil levels, and fill up the gas tank. Even better, take it to your local mechanic for a check-up to make sure everything is working correctly.

9. Drive Safe

If you are going to be driving through snowy or icy conditions (check the weather along your route), use common sense. Prepare a safety kit for your car in case of a delay or emergency. The kit should include blankets, water, a flashlight, scraper, shovel, lock de-icer, nutrition bars (or candy), plus anything else your group would need. It's also a good idea to pack some kitty litter, which can help you gain traction if you get stuck in the snow. Also remember, 4-wheel drive vehicles won't stop any better in icy conditions than a front or rear-wheel drive vehicles.

Safe Travels!

When traveling in the winter, remember you should be moving slower. If you know someone traveling during the winter, send these tips to them, they'll thank you for them!

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