There’s nothing that can ruin a good road trip faster than bad weather, or having mechanical difficulties along the way. But life happens, which is why it’s important to be prepared before ever leaving the house.
Since I lived in Alaska for seven years, where there are L-O-N-G stretches of road where you never see another car, I tend to over pack my car with emergency supplies, even when going to the grocery store. But there are some very basic things you need—from a spare tire, good flashlight and working cellphone—to some things that you’ll thank me for later—like a warm blanket, extra sets of shoes and gloves, extra food and gallons of water, and even kitty litter.
Even if you have an automobile club membership, it may take time for them to get to you, and in some areas of the country, it can get dangerously cold while you wait in the car. While it would be nice to rely on others for help—you have to be able to help yourself.
Before you find yourself slipping and sliding through the winter season, or driving a long detour after a road washes away, you can save yourself some trouble by getting your car ready for bad weather. Some things I suggest:
No matter what time of year, you should travel with a working flashlight and cellphone, as well as a spare tire. I also carry a car charger for my phone, just in case the battery starts to die. When I think I may hit bad weather, I add:
All of this said, the one most important bit of advice that I can offer is to listen to the experts when they tell you not to travel. If you don’t have to be on the road (and unless you are emergency personnel, healthcare workers, or road crews, you really don’t), then stay home. The more time that crews have to get the roads clear—and the fewer vehicles that they have to avoid—the easier it will be for everyone.
And of course before any trip, make sure you have the appropriate travel insurance policy to cover all of your needs no matter the weather conditions.
Do you have any suggestions for what to carry when driving in bad weather? Leave a comment below.
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Freelance writer. Road tripper. Travel diva. Dog rescuer. Writes for food or kibbles and bits. Based out of Pittsburgh, PA, via Juneau, AK, Vanessa has been a freelance writer for more than 25 years, and has been published in many diverse publications,including GEEK, Recreation News, CATS, VFW magazine, the Antique Trader and more. An avid traveler, she always brings home amazing memories...and often more dogs. Follow Vanessa on her blog, Mood Swings and Other Things, on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram.
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