As I write this, snow is coming down outside – and it’s not just a light dusting. Some areas in Wisconsin are expected to get up to 8 inches today. While you lucky folks down South might not have to worry about snow today, a large portion the U.S. will encounter winter weather of some sort this winter– especially while traveling. That’s why we scoured our online resources to share a few of the top winter travel tips to keep you safe during potentially hazardous weather.
Winter travel tips:
Leave at an hour earlier. Winter travel can mean more delays and unexpected wait times. Give yourself more time than usual because you never know when you could run into icy roads and white-out driving conditions on your way to the airport or destination.
Fly non-stop whenever possible. Where has most of my time been wasted while at an airport? While waiting for a connecting flight – especially when that flight has been delayed due to winter weather. While this is sometimes unavoidable, flying non-stop saves on countless headaches or the possibility that your flight could be delayed or cancelled due to severe weather.
Check weather at the airport from which you will board your connecting flight. When connecting flights are unavoidable, check to see what the weather is like where you will board your connecting flight. If the area is going through a severe winter storm or blizzard-like conditions, you may want to re-book the location of your connecting flight. (Or, if you have a travel insurance plan through Travel Guard, call our 24/7 assistance service line and they can eliminate hassle by re-booking your connecting flight for you.)
Check flight status early and often. Most of the time airlines update flight status at the last minute when they are sure that severe winter storms are going to be an issue to flight take-off. Call or check updates on your Smartphone to make sure of your departure time before you leave for the airport.
Choose a morning flight. Not a morning person? You might need to be when planning your trip. Morning flights are less likely to be delayed or canceled than evening flights. Flights that are later in the day face more logistical effects of severe weather, resulting in more flights are delayed or canceled.
Avoid peak travel dates. More travel delays and flight cancellations happen when there are more people out and about. Try traveling a few days before holidays begin or on a weekday.
Put some extra clothing and emergency items in your vehicle. Whether you are only driving to the airport or driving to your destination, make sure you are safe just in case you encounter severe winter weather or your car breaks down or skids off the road. Include a pair of gloves, weather-resistant pants and coat, boots, a blanket, jumper cables, a flashlight with some extra batteries, and a windshield scraper. Throw in a few nutrition bars just in case you’re stranded for any amount of time.I’m sure these aren’t the only winter travel tips out there. Tell us about tips and tricks that you’ve found helpful during the winter travel season.