Taking a Winter Road Trip? Do These 5 Things Before You Go

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"Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go..."

Heading out on a family road trip during the holidays is a time honored tradition. But as much as I love gathering with my loved ones this time of year, sometimes winter weather threatens to spoil our fun. Traveling with my twins and my husband, I'm not taking any chances in winter weather, so I have a few things that I always do before we head out on a winter road trip. And thanks to Sam's Club Auto Dare to Compare (who is sponsoring this post), I know we are staying safe and getting a great deal too!

Stay safe on your winter road trip with these easy tips! Protect your family while you're out on the road this winter, and take care of your car too.

Things to Do Before Your Winter Road Trip

Follow the Forecast & Be Flexible

Winter weather can be unpredictable. Make sure that you've checked the forecast for your route, your destination, and for home around the time of your return. And be prepared that you may need to change your plans based on the weather. My dad and I went on a pre-Christmas road trip to visit family in Canada several years ago and were delayed a couple of days in coming home - not by the weather up north but by a surprise blizzard at home! Fortunately we were aware of the forecast and decided to stay put until the storm passed. It's always safer to wait for weather to clear and for cleanup crews to do their work before you hit the road.

Pack an Emergency Kit

My mom grew up in Iowa and always taught us to pack our cars with emergency supplies at the beginning of winter. It's a good idea to keep this kit in your car all season long, and double check that it's stocked and ready before a road trip. Be sure to include:

  • Small shovel, ice scraper, and a snow brush or small broom
  • Bottled water and non perishable snacks - energy bars, nuts, or granola are great
  • Flashlight, battery powered radio, and extra batteries
  • Cell phone charger
  • Blankets
  • Extra hats, mittens, and boots
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sand or non-clumping kitty litter (for traction)
  • Tire pressure gauge

Ditch the Coats

We're taking two road trips before the New Year - to visit both sides of our family - and I have two kids in car seats. Bulky winter coats and car seats don't mix - so we take off our coats and leave them in the back while we are driving. We dress in layers and keep the heat on so we stay warm, and grab our coats when we need to stop. And since we are all wearing similar layers, we can more easily adjust the heat to keep everyone comfortable. Check out this great article for more on keeping warm and safe when using car seats.

Fill Up the Tank

Keeping a full tank is even more important in winter. You don't want to run out of gas when it's freezing outside! Fill up before you leave and stop frequently so that you don't run low - you never know when you may hit unexpected traffic.

Make Sure Your Car is Road Trip Ready

Making sure your car is ready is critical before heading out on a winter road trip. Be sure your fluids are filled, your battery is strong, and that your tires are in top condition.

Good tires are essential to safe winter driving, and if yours are not (or if you're not sure), head to Sam's Club for a complete tire check up. Sam's Club is my go to when I need new tires, because I can grab all my other essentials  - groceries, clothes, or even gifts - or have lunch in the cafe while my car is being serviced. If you've ever tried to run errands with little kids you know that multitasking like this is the way to go.

Beyond convenience, when you shop for tires at Sam's Club you know that you're getting a great price with their all-in price matching offer, which includes some really great brand names like Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, and Pirelli. And beyond a great price, Sam's Club's Tire Installation Package is seriously awesome, especially if you're planning a road trip! In addition to tire mounting, lifetime balancing, and lifetime rotation, you'll get lifetime no charge flat tire repair and 24 hour emergency roadside service as long as you're an active Sam's Club member. How great is that?! Check out all the details here.

Complete terms and conditions of all Sam's Club warranties and services can be obtained at any Sam's Club Tire and Battery Center location.

Don't miss the amazing savings on tires at Sam's Club before you head out on your holiday road trip (and be sure to stock up on your winter road trip needs while you're there too).

  • Michelin - $70 off any set of 4 new Michelin passenger or light truck tires. Ends Dec. 24th
  • Goodyear and Pirelli - $80 off 4 new passenger or light truck tires. Ends Dec. 31st

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sam's Club Auto Dare to Compare.
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