If you’re dashing through the snow this winter, you have to put safety first. It might be time to trade in your old clunker for a new Hyundai SUV. They’re designed to navigate in chilly conditions and give you the extra space you need for snowboarding or ski gear. However, having the right ride is just part of the equation. If you want a smoother winter journey, it’s time to do a little prep work. Winter getaways are totally different than your summer road trips, from what you pack to planning ahead for emergencies. Here are six ways to make your winter travels better, safer, and more memorable:
- Allow for extra time. When the roads are icy people drive slower (smart) and there are going to be more accidents. Tack on an extra ten minutes to every hour of your journey to reduce stress. Also, make sure you check your ETA well before heading out the door. This will give you a heads up of accidents or slow conditions so you might be able to re-map your route or wait it out. Getting there might be part of the fun, but it’s never any fun to get stuck in traffic.
- Get the right tires. Having winter tires is an absolute must in many regions. This might mean seasonal tires that you swap out every year, or maybe going with chains just for a difficult pass is more your speed. No matter how you tackle tires, don’t wait until the last minute. It’s possible for chains to be sold out at the few stores open during a storm or that you’ll miss out on the best deals for winter tires. Talk with your dealership to figure out the best option for you and your needs.
- Make time to check out the scenery. Take a look at the winter wonderland around you, and consider taking a scenic route (as long as it’s a safe passage). If you’re on a road trip, make sure there’s time to stop, get out, snap some photos, and play in the snow. It’s not a race to get there. Instead, make the most of the journey. Create snow angels, have a snowball fight, and build some memories.
- Update your emergency kit. Do you know what’s in your current emergency kit in your car? Or have you not made one yet? In the winter months, what’s in that kit can change. You’ll want to keep some extra-rich spare snacks as well as warm winter clothes. Remember that you won’t always get stranded in ideal gear. What happens if the car breaks down and you’re wearing slip-on shoes or heels? Keep a spare set of warm, water-proof clothes for every passenger throughout the winter months.
- Spring for the seat warmers. If you’re buying a new car and you’re on the fence about seat warmers (or steering wheel warmers), know that it’s worthwhile. There’s nothing cozier than slipping out of the cold and into a seat that’s instantly warm and comfortable. This can be difficult to remember when shopping for cars in the summer months, so if you’re in the mood for an upgrade now is the perfect time to go SUV shopping.
- Download some podcasts. Switch up the music and start a new podcast with your fellow passengers. There are plenty of holiday-themed podcasts out there, if that’s your preference.
As the days continue to shorten, it’s important to keep stress levels in check. Your commute has a lot to do with it, especially if you’ll be heading on long trips for the holidays. Make your journey a little smoother and a little more comfortable; consider it a holiday treat to yourself.