Winter Weather Wandering

5 tips and tricks to tackle a winter weather vacation

While your first choice vacation may bring forth images of sunny, palm tree pocked beaches, and a frosty tropical drink — maybe it’s time to consider the exceptional experience that can be had with a winter getaway.

If snowy peaks and warm fires are tugging at your heartstrings, here are five tips and tricks to tackle the winter weather.

Kitty Litter 

Even if you’re not a pet person, this tip could save your trip from sliding (literally) into frustrating territory. Icy roads and weather conditions means your vehicles might be in for an extra slippery challenge. When you’re spinning your wheels and can’t find traction, kitty litter can be a life saver. Karen Condor of the website Auto Insurance remarks on how she saved the day when taking a winter road trip with a few native Californians.

“Not having experience with snow, they teased me about packing my vehicle for winter weather,” said Condor. “But after an overnight snowfall, one of them had trouble gaining traction to get out of their parking space, and my cat litter and small shovel came to the rescue.”

Snow and ice covered roadway
Photo by: Ilze Lucero on Unsplash

If you plan on any extended driving while on your winter vacation, look into an equipped four wheel drive vehicle. Also, keep in mind the effectiveness of kitty litter in helping you get out of a pinch quickly.

Protect Your Extremities 

With winter weather, jackets are a primary consideration, but if bracing the cold isn’t a regular occurrence for you, then warm accessories might slip the mind. Don’t fall victim to the sometimes dramatic fluctuations that can occur during winter travel. If you suddenly find yourself in a situation that calls for more vigorous protection, you’ll be glad you have the right gloves, scarf, or cap. 

“It’s your extremities that can get you in trouble if you aren’t prepared,” said Scott Ingram of the website Rustic Pathways. “Fumbling with your keys out of your pocket for even a few seconds when it’s zero degrees fahrenheit can be super painful.”

Look for complimentary winter wear that suits the occasion. If you are expecting weather that is wet and cold, consider waterproof items that shield you from any exposure. If things stay dry and cool, make sure you have equally efficient ways to keep your hands and feet from wandering too far from core temperatures. Remember, you can always take these items off if the weather breaks, but not having access to them can turn your trip sour in a flash.

Winter Weather is Extra Dry 

Something that might seem a little odd is the fact that winter weather can be incredibly dry. It’s slightly counterintuitive seeing that snow and ice is all water, but the condensing factor of cold temperatures means there’s not a whole lot of extra humidity available in the air. As a result, things can get pretty dry without you even noticing. Bernadette Young of the adventure travel company Explore Chick recommends one item to stay protected from bracing conditions.

“I always bring ChapStick with me! Cold weather always dries my skin out and makes my lips crack, so it’s a lifesaver,” said Young.

Lip balm as well as other topical moisturizers can be a great addition to your winter travel gear, enabling you to keep your cool even when it’s getting cool. Also, don’t forget the importance of constant hydration. With these suggestions in mind, you’re one step closer to a comfortable winter vacation.

Are You Hitting the Slopes? 

One of the big draws for winter weather junkies are the slopes. If you are an avid snowboarder or skier, Tony Harrison of Ski Idaho shares his flight booking tips to keep you and your gear slope bound.

“The most important tip for skiers and snowboarders traveling with their own gear is: Fly Delta or Alaska, because they count a boot bag + ski/board bag as one piece of standard checked baggage without an oversize fee,” said Harrison.

Comparison shopping with different travel companies to find the best offers is always recommended, especially when dealing with cumbersome winter gear. Tony’s tip is sure to help some take their winter vacation to the next level and slay the slopes without crushing their wallet. 

Layers, Of Course

This tip is a classic, but we thought we’d remind you. Layers are the key to success in the realm of winter weather. 

“Layer! Layer! Layer! Catching a cold is the ultimate vacation dampener and you don’t want to spend your vacation craving your bed at home,” said Will Hatton of the blog The Broke Backpacker. “Carry chunky scarves, down jackets, wool hats, collared shirts, leggings, socks, sweaters, gloves — basically every piece of fabric you can fit in your suitcase.”

Having that one extra thermal layer can make all the difference on a cold day and doubly so when you are dealing with some serious winter conditions. Remember the mantra: “Layer! Layer! Layer!” and you are sure to hedge your bets against some possibly dire conditions. 

If you enjoyed this article, check out our guide on how to Fly Away on a Budget. For additional travel inspiration, visit Vacationist USA!