Whether you’re visiting family over the holidays or planning a special ski trip, cold-weather travel can be tricky. But with some careful planning and these key winter travel tips, you’ll be warm, safe, and ready to embrace the beauty of the season. 

Pack wisely

When it comes to winter travel, packing is key.

  • Research the climate where you’re headed so you know what types of clothing to pack.
  • Bring items you can wear in layers to allow for temperature changes. For cold weather climates, thermal undergarments, moisture-wicking socks, and a winter coat are essential.
  • Don't forget accessories like hats, gloves, scarves, and waterproof boots to keep you warm and dry. 

Don’t forget the essentials

No matter the time of year, never leave home without your medications, toiletries, some cash, and a phone charger. An extra battery is also a great idea as spending time in cold weather can reduce the performance of your device’s battery. 

Stay Hydrated

It doesn’t have to be warm out for you to get dehydrated. The dry winter air combined with cold-weather activities like skiing or skating can lead to increased fluid loss. Be sure you stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water throughout your trip, and limit caffeine and alcohol, which can contribute to dehydration.

Protect Your Skin

Winter can be extra tough on your skin with its biting winds and low humidity. That's why you need to take extra steps in the cold. A good skin moisturizer along with a lip balm are vital for your winter excursion. And don’t forget sunscreen! You might not be laying on a beach, but the sun’s rays are still strong in winter, especially when reflecting off snow. 

Plan for delays

Winter weather is often unpredictable, causing flight delays or cancellations. It’s a good idea to check weather forecasts for your travel route so you know what to expect. When booking your flight, consider those with longer layovers to allow for potential delays. It’s always a good idea to have a back-up plan in the event of sudden changes too.

Research local winter activities and customs

Check out the local winter activities at your destination to find something that will make your trip unique and memorable. Whether it's skiing, snowshoeing, or ice skating, many destinations offer unique cold-weather experiences that can add an extra layer of enjoyment to your trip. And staying active while you’re traveling is good for your health and wellness.

Also, different cultures have unique ways of celebrating this special time of year. Look into local customs and traditions, such as winter festivals or special events, to enrich your travel experience and connect with the local community.

Be safe in wintry conditions 

Winter conditions can be challenging and dangerous. Dress appropriately for the weather. Wear sturdy, non-slip shoes or boots. Be extra cautious on icy surfaces. Carry essentials like a first aid kit and emergency contact information. If you're heading outdoors for activities, inform someone about your plans and expected return time.

Road trip safety

If a winter road trip is your plan, there are special precautions to take.

  • Know your route and have a physical map with you just in case your GPS isn’t working.
  • Have a winter survival kit with you in case you’re stranded, which includes non-perishable food, water, blankets, a flashlight, and batteries.
  • Refuel often so your gas tank is never less than half full. 

Protect Your Health

Be sure you’ve gotten your annual flu and COVID vaccines as these will help you fight off those viruses you will likely encounter in crowded security lines and airport terminals. Consider wearing a mask while you’re traveling too, as added protection. 

By following these essential winter travel tips, you can ensure a cozy, safe, and enjoyable experience, and create memories that will warm your heart long after the snow has melted.

Lifespan Blog Team

The Lifespan Blog Team is working to provide you with timely and pertinent information that will help keep you and your family happy and healthy.