The winter is upon us, and many of us will be planning to visit our loved ones during the festive holidays. Driving conditions can be treacherous in winter conditions, so we must do all we can to make our journey as safe as possible. Here is the essential packing list for a winter road trip.
Kit Out the Car
Firstly, ensure that your car is roadworthy and ready to deal with whatever winter throws at it. Book your car in at your local garage or car dealerships, for a check-up and service during which the mechanic will check the vehicle’s oil levels, battery, brakes, electrics, wipers, and tire treads. Winter tires or snow chains may have to be fitted to ensure the car has the maximum grip of the road when driving in snowy conditions.
Always take a working cell phone with you on your travels and ensure it says fully charged – you never know when you might need it to make emergency calls. In fact, pack a phone charger and a couple of separate power banks. Have the telephone number of your nominated breakdown rescue service to hand and ensure your membership is up to date. Jumpstart cables and a shovel are more essential items to add to the list in the event of a breakdown.
Pack plenty of de-icer for your windscreen, windows, and door locks. Top up levels of antifreeze in the engine and invest in a couple of robust ice scrapers.
An empty fuel can is a useful thing to pack if you run out of fuel and have to walk to a garage. If you breakdown at night, make sure you buy some reflective warning signs to place outside your car to warn other motorists of your presence. Wear high visibility, reflective clothing so you can be seen in the dark too.
Take plenty of warm clothes for you and your family. Woolen blankets and pillows are useful if the journey is long and your family wants to sleep. Ensure the car is not too hot, as this will cause the driver to become drowsy. Pack warm,waterproof, non-slip boots that are suitable if you need to walk through snow and ice.
You want your trip to be as enjoyable and comfortable as possible so ensure you pack plenty of supplies to keep you and your family happy. Entertain the kids with puzzle books, travel games, and plenty and music and storybook CDs. If they have tablets, take them and download a good variety of movies and tv shows onto them before you leave. Secure the tablet to the car headrest for added viewing pleasure.
Plenty of hydration drinks are essential when you are on a long journey and being blasted with hot, dry air from the car’s heaters. Take a thermos filled with a hot drink if the weather is particularly cold. Fill an insulated back with healthy snacks and sandwiches to sustain you between rest stops. Even pack a few treats – it is nearly Christmas after all!