We all love a good road trip and no one is more so than those of us blessed to live in North America, but have you ever considered road tripping in the winter? While certainly road conditions can be challenging, a winter wonderland also offers some amazing scenery. Here are a few winter road trip tips to get you started.
This post may contain affiliate links, and Traveling In Heels may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.
Winter Road Trip Tips
From Mexico in the south to Canada in the farthest reaches of the north, we have some of the most amazing national parks, scenic drives, interstate, and cross-continental routes, and towns of all sizes. If that isn’t enough, how about some of the most spectacular scenery and wildlife anywhere on earth?
But wait, there’s more! We also have winter approaching and with the anticipation of the season’s first snowfall, comes to a whole lot more, read on.
RV Winter Road Trip Tips
You’ve probably already entertained getting your RV ready for the spring or summer, perhaps even the fall but not many people think about doing it in the winter. It’s a real shame because some places in the North American landscape simply come alive in the winter in ways you can’t imagine.
The Great Smokey Mountains National Park in North Carolina offers some of the most amazing vistas, trails, and landscapes when the suns shining and then when winter leaves her coat on? You’ll be left truly breathless.
But before you hit the road and start exploring our many snow-covered landscapes, you should also work through a quick checklist first – safety first and you’ll need to be aware of a few things you might not usually have had to when road-tripping at other times of the year.
For those traveling by car, consider these 10 great destinations for cabin rentals and these 7 great American Road Trip tips.
CHECKLIST 101 Winter Road Trip Tips
First up, you need to decide where you’re going, when you’re going, and how you mean to get there. In other words, what routes are you going to travel, and are you familiar with them at all? Will your trip require an overnight stay in a lodge or motel and are they open this time of year?
You’ll also want to do regular check-ins with the National Weather Service to make sure that you’re safe and clear to get to where you’re going. Remember, the whole idea of a winter road trip is the experience – not getting to your end destination in record time.
Safety First Winter Road Trip Tips
You want to plan your road trip so that most of your traveling gets done during daylight hours but prepare for a situation where you might not be able to. So that means, regular flashlights as well as high-powered flashlights and plenty of spare batteries.
Make sure that your first aid kit is well stocked and that all medications are in plentiful supply and well within expiration dates, any specialist gear like nighttime invisible aligners, asthma pumps, or other breathing apparatus should be kept all in one bad so that everyone always knows where they are.
Read More: 7 Simple Family Road Trip Tips
MAP Your Winter Road Trip, From Beginning to End
Plan your whole route from departure to arrival and keep a solid itinerary that you can send to family and friends and emergency contacts. Keep all your electronics fully charged.
And yes, it’s convenient to use google maps or other navigation systems, but if technology fails, it’s always good to stash good ol’ fashioned maps or a road atlas.
Also, make sure that if you have younger kids that they have their favorite road trip gear with them. You don’t want to be saddled with “but where’s Dino” for hour after hour.
At the best of times, driving for more than a few hours a time without a rest break isn’t recommended, but driving on snow or icy conditions means your concentrating more could get fatigued sooner than usual, so split driving duties too.
All of the usual guidance to road trips apply. But for a winter road trip, drivers have the added responsibility of making sure that their vehicle is well suited to snowy or icy conditions. In addition, carry loads of warm clothing, blankets, and soft fluffy things, for if you don’t get to where you’re going on time.
If you’re planning on camping somewhere in the winter, you should only attempt this if you’re a seasoned winter camper already.
Whether your road tipping in the summer or winter, you’re going to love it and experiencing this land through a different lens, is always a good idea.