WINTER IS COMING

It’s still fall, but the chilliest days of the year loom ahead. Your business doesn’t stop just because the snow starts falling, and you can’t cancel your holiday dinner with loved ones. We know how stressful winter travel can be: it brings congested traffic, greater weather delays, and longer lines.

Unfortunately, ‘tis also the season for accidents: the FHWA estimates that 25% of car accidents occur in icy or snowy conditions. What can you do to practice safe winter travel? How can you avoid losing your mind on your holiday trips? Here are a few handy tips to help you manage the season.

In the air:

-Find non-stop flights to help you avoid winter weather delays. If you can’t, try your best to catch an early morning flight.

-Fly on the actual holiday to avoid the dreaded Wednesday before Thanksgiving/Christmas rushes.

-Don’t forget to check traffic at your destination. You don’t want to arrive to the surprise of a transportation shut-down due to bad weather.

– Use an app like GateGuru to help you navigate the airport in the worst-case scenario–you are stuck at the airport overnight. Apps like FlightStatus will report any changes in flight schedules.

-To avoid high season rates, book your flights now! It’s not too late! You’ll pay more if you book it the week before Thanksgiving.

On the road:

-Decrease speed by about 50%.

-Speaking of 50%, keep at least a ½ tank of gas at all times.

-Avoid driving when you’re tired. Inclement weather driving demands max alertness.

-Snag all the latest travel apps for the road, like GasBuddy.

-AWD might keep you moving in icy conditions, but it will not help you stop. Brake slowly and carefully.

-Don’t crowd or pass those snowplows! Their only speed setting is SLOW.

-Get your brakes and fluid levels checked. Also check air and fuel filters, exhaust systems, thermostats, lights, heaters, and defrosters.

-Consider investing in winter tires. They have much better traction on icy roads. If your state hasn’t banned tire chains, they give additional slippage protection. See state guidelines here: http://drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/tire-chains/

General:

-Be prepared: pack snacks, blankets, pillows, cell phone/charger, medications/medical supplies, and contact numbers.

-Call a family member to alert them of your departure time and ETA. That way they can check in if you’re running late.

-Holidays present extra dangers for travelers because of all the alcohol at holiday parties and bar hops. In fact, “Black Wednesday,” the day before Thanksgiving, is one of the busiest nights for bars nationwide.

Most importantly… relax. There’s no doubt that your winter or holiday trek will require more flexibility, determination, and patience than a breezy summer vacation. However, if you follow these guidelines, you’ll have a safer, easier travel season.

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