Driving across the country to see your family for the holidays can be a harrowing yet rewarding experience. Because road conditions are likely to be poor in many regions, your car needs to be prepared beforehand.
The holidays bring heavier winds, icy roads and more snowfall, so you'll have to be extra careful when handling your car. Also, you'll want to make sure you have the right tools to stay safe if you get stranded on the side of the road.
Here are three ways to make sure you're ready for your winter road trip:
1. Plan ahead
Before embarking on your journey, you'll want to take your car to a mechanic. Get your oil changed and see if there are any glaring issues that should be addressed while you're there. In addition, you'll also want to plan out a definite route and a few alternates so that you can continue driving in the event of lane closures.
Keep in mind that gas, lodging and food prices will be different every time you stop. That's why it's best to have spare spending money to cover any necessities.
2. Pack extra
Because you could end up with a flat tire or be forced to pull over due to worsening road conditions, it's important to have plenty of lifelines while you're on the side of the road. Keep a set of jumper cables and a small tool kit on hand. You should also keep extra blankets along with food and water so that you don't become dehydrated or too cold.
There's no telling how long it can take for help to arrive if you get stuck in the snow, and your car could become a hazard if it's in the way of other drivers. Having a flashlight, phone charger and enough gas to help you out of a tough situation can be the difference between reaching your destination and being stranded indefinitely.
3. Drive safely
The best advice to follow is to know that your driving capability will have to adjust to those around you. Cars will be less able to stop quickly and will likely have trouble with icy patches on the road. Knowing this ahead of time will allow you to drive slower and make safety a top priority. Accelerate and brake gradually and keep your headlights on at all times.
While driving during the holidays, you'll need a comprehensive auto insurance policy.
CoverHound can help you find a plan that works for you.