Ever been on a winter road trip to North America? Not yet? The sooner, the better. An adventurous road trip to North America during winter brings a real thrill and vitality to your routine life. Snow, ice, and wind sometimes combine into a perfect storm and create hazards on the way. Such stormy situation is a characteristic feature of North America’s winter road trip. I also came to know this when I read someone text messages.
Last winter, I undertook a road trip to North America alone and learned a lot from all my adventures over there. Though I had made my best preparations for the trip, l came across a lot unexpected on several occasions. Having tackled all these urgencies within limited resources, I am now in a position to impart a guideline to the solo travelers. Followings are the most useful tips for those planning a winter road trip to North America.
Tips About The Basics of Your Plan
The first important thing when you plan your winter road trip is to check the weather forecast prior to making your schedule. Do adjust your traveling schedule as per ease facilitated by the weather conditions. Try your best to avoid driving during the cruel winter storm. Clear weather will make a big difference to your safety and consequent enjoyment.
Winter does not allow you long driving days. So, plan for short driving days because there are only a few hours of sunlight. Also, it has been observed that driving in winters tires you more. Usually, weather conditions keep changing after every six hours in winter. So, try to plan your driving schedule accordingly.
You should never be in a rushing frame of mind whenever and wherever you stay on your onward journey. Spend at least two days at each city apart from the one separate day for the traveling.
Whenever in a big city, keep an eye on the rush traffic hours. Plan your arrivals and exits with a view to avoiding these rush hours. A bad weather condition with rushing traffic can be very stressful.
If you plan your winter road trip around a definite theme, you will focus and enjoy it beyond any doubt. Not knowing what you want to get out of your trip will give you no guideline what to do. You will not be able to plan anything. So, always plan around a theme.
Also read, 10 Tips For Planning A Road Trip
Tips About Preparing Your Car
Before leaving for North America, manage short or long-term road assistance if you don’t have AAA or CAA already with you. Your vehicle must be super fit for the winter road trip. So, you should go to your mechanic for a winter tune-up and ask him to concentrate especially on the followings.
- Lights, brakes, heater, defroster, oil levels, and exhaust system.
- The condition of the tires. Generally, all-season tires are good for the trips as well but do ask your mechanic to check if they are suitable for the winter road trip or not. Replace them if he advises so or carry chains for the tires if he recommends for the hilly areas.
- Anti-freeze in the radiator. Without an anti-freeze, survival for your car in the winter road trip will almost be impossible.
- Quality of your windshield wipers. Wipers are meant to clear the ice off your windscreen. So, replace the worn out wipers immediately, for they will only smear the ice not clear it.
- For your own safety, you need to keep safe your phone from any damage. You can do it by apple watch with how to track an iPhone to keep updated yourself from any uncertainty.
Tips About Packing Your Car
You should have both a paper map and a GPS with you to tell you exactly where you are and where to move towards. Carry an extra bottle of windshield washer fluid besides topping up your reservoir. You may need it to pass through sleet or a storm if you happen to hit any.
Spend a few dollars and buy an ice scraper handy. An emergency car kit having a flashlight, booster cables, an air compressor, and a first aid kit will be a great help if need be. A bag of sand or kitty litter to put under your power wheels will help you out of a slippery place where the heavy snow becomes a real challenge.
Surely, you will never like your mobile phone battery to run out on the way. So, do carry a mobile phone charger for the car. Jumper cables and a winter survival kit may be very crucial if something goes wrong in this connection. Do carry them though you may not have to use them anywhere, fortunately.
Also read, 7 Ways That Traveling Helps You as a Person
Driving Tips for a Winter Road Trip
- Get your fuel or gas tank filled up and never let it drop much below half a tank. It will keep your car and its heaters gong if you happen to break down on the way.
- Always drive more slowly in winter conditions when there is snow, ice, slush or black ice on the roads so often.
- Keep in mind the weather forecast so that you may prepare and handle the things accordingly.
- Clean the snow off your car from time to time in order to keep your visibility transparent.
- Stay in your lane and at a safe distance of 4—6 cars between you and the car ahead of you.
- Be fully aware of how to stop in the snow by using either of your brake systems, ABS brake system with traction control or Non-ABS system.
- Turn off traction control where necessary because it will prove your enemy if you are stuck in a snow or at a dead stop.
- Never spin your wheels if you get stuck in snow because you can never get out of the ice slick formed beneath your tires.
- Keep your lights clean and on all the time during driving on your winter road trip. Also, use low beams while in a storm because the high beam makes visibility poor due to the reflection of the snowflakes.
In the end, I would like to advise you not to count on the technology to keep your car under control all the time. Go slow and be vigilant all the time. Wish you the best of luck throughout.