With as many as 23% of Americans preferring to go away in winter, it’s not exactly as unusual as those who dream of beach vacations might think.
Along with all the usual tips that come with traveling, there are some things that need specific consideration in the winter months. The cold brings about a whole new different type of travel.
You’ll be fine — but you do need to bear some things in mind.
Read on for some winter travel tips that will see you right as you brave the snow and cold for your vacation, family time, or whatever reason you have to travel for!
Winter travel packing is a little different from summer packing. In the summer, the clothes you’ll require are generally light and airy, meaning they don’t take up too much suitcase room or weight. It’s the best of both worlds!
In winter, you’re likely carrying some bulky clothes, unless you’re going to the other side of the world.
if you’re taking a heavy coat and flying, wear it on the plane or carry it with you to save suitcase room. If you really have to pack a lot and go over the weight limit, research which airlines will charge you less for this. Overweight bag fees can set you back by a lot more than you might think!
Have Everything Booked Sensibly
This might sound like a general rule for any travel — and it is — but winter requires more care.
For example, you might want to try and book a nonstop flight to take less risk of cancellation. If you’re taking three instead of one, there’s a much bigger chance you won’t make it to your destination because of snow.
It’s also important to book everything well in advance. Hotels, flights — everything. People tend to assume winter is a dead season for traveling, but this isn’t so anymore.
You should even ensure you book winter airport parking far in advance, as the last thing you want to do is be far away from your car when you land home again in the freezing cold. Make sure it’s close to the airport and you can get to it easily.
Account for Delays
Even if there are no flight cancellations, there are likely to be delays in winter. It’s just the nature of the beast.
Try to account for these. If you must have a flight layover, leave a few hours so a delay on the first flight won’t make you miss your connection. Leave some room on the other end and if you do get delayed and will arrive after midnight, call the hotel as they know — often, there is a cut-off time for arrival!
It might be tempting to just play it by ear, hope for no delays, and wing it, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared. You might be bored at the airport during a layover, but it’s better than being stranded with nowhere to go.
Don’t Wrap Gifts
Carrying some late holiday gifts through TSA? Don’t wrap them.
TSA x-rays items to see what they are and if something looks suspicious, they’ll want to see the item. The smallest of things can look odd to TSA on their machine — especially if it has wires and cables — so by wrapping them, you’re only going to end up disappointed.
In fact, TSA specifically asks people not to wrap their gifts, because they might have to tear them open. Carry wrapping paper with you and wrap them after you land if it’s important to you — otherwise, use gift bags that things can be slid in and out of easily!
Carry Emergency Items
Don’t put emergency items such as medication or chargers in your checked luggage. In the event of delays and cancellations, you’re much more likely to be separated from it, so anything you really need is going to be away from you!
Carry enough in your carry-on that you could survive for a couple of days of winter travel. This includes some fresh underwear, a water bottle, and any items you need to stay warm, because the last thing you want is to run out of clothes after being separated from your luggage.
It might be annoying to lug that backpack or carry-on case around, but you might thank yourself for it later.
Have a Back-Up Plan For Home
It’s not only on the way out that you might end up delayed — you could have it happen on the way back!
Make provisions for the way back. If you have pets that are being watched, ask if it’s possible if the person could stay an extra day or two if necessary. If it’s a boarding facility, ask if you could pay for a couple of nights on short notice if the worst were to happen.
The last thing you want if you’re delayed on the way home is to be in a panic about work or pets, so make sure it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if you were delayed. Leave a couple of days before you have to be back at work if necessary and you should be all good.
These Winter Travel Tips Will See You Through!
It’s important to bear these winter travel tips in mind. They’re things you may not have thought of, but you definitely need to.
Winter travel can be particularly unpredictable. Keep yourself safe and secure by thinking ahead.
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