Thursday, September 28, 2023

What To Do Before Going On A Winter Vacation This Year

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Winter is approaching, so it’s time to start putting your holiday vacation plan in place. Whether you intend to travel to join the family or spend your holiday in an exotic location, you must prepare for the cold weather. Experts predict that this year’s winter will start stormy with blizzard conditions. Of course, that’s no reason to stay locked up behind closed doors. But taking the necessary precautions is important if you plan to head out for an extended period. Here are some important tips before going on a winter vacation this year. 

  1. Don’t leave your moisturizers and skin care products behind

Going on any winter trip without packing effective moisturizers and skin care products is not advisable. Remember the frustrating itchiness you always have during winter? Your towel or bed sheets aren’t the cause. Itchy skin (especially after taking a shower during winter) is mostly a result of dry skin. Dry air and low temperatures can dry out your skin and cause cracks on your lips. That’s why moisturizing is super important for any winter trip. But don’t just pick any product on the shelf. Invest in top-quality moisturizers. Also, it’ll probably be freezing or dry wherever you’re heading, so it’s highly advisable to pack enough hand and body lotion. That will help your skin feel more comfortable. Please don’t forget about your sunscreen, too. Just because you can see the sun doesn’t mean your skin isn’t exposed to its rays. 

  1. Make preparations for the kids

If you plan to bring kids along, you must prepare them adequately for the trip. The right preparations will depend on your child’s age and health, but you can do some general things to ensure that your little ones experience a stress-free winter trip.

Start by dressing them in layers, and keep enough extra clothes available. Remember to pack their winter essentials, such as gloves, hats, scarves, heated blankets, and boots, and keep a first aid kit on hand. Children can be incredibly unpredictable, and you should plan for the worst. Let them stay hydrated by taking water regularly throughout the trip. As mentioned, packing moisturizers, lotions, and essential skin care products is important. But only buy kid-friendly skin care products for your kids. 

  1. Plan indoor activities

The last thing you want to do is plan outdoor activities, especially in inclement weather. Sure, you can go skiing and ice skating, but these should be as limited as possible to avoid over-exposing yourself to the weather. Wear protective clothing if you still want to enjoy outdoor activities during your winter trip. But consider adding many indoor activities to your itinerary so you don’t spend too much time outside. For example, you can consider touring museums, visiting art galleries, watching winter movie releases or stage performances in theaters, and spending cozy time in warm cafes. 

  1. Check road conditions 

The dangers of winter road conditions are well documented. Piling snow, ice, and poor visibility are common driving hazards during a winter trip. It’s even worse if you’re going on a road trip. It’s important to know the current state of each road network, street, and major highway you want to use before you set off. Listen to local weather channels or use Google Maps alerts to notify you about real-time traffic information and road conditions. Leave nothing to chance, even if you expect safe driving conditions. Equip your vehicle with snow tires and chains to help you negotiate the terrain with less hassle. Also, practice defensive driving and stay alert whenever on the road. Watch for unscrupulous or careless drivers and do your best not to stop to confront them or engage in any form of road rage. Should you be a victim of a road accident even after driving defensively, an injury lawyer can give you the legal assistance you need and ensure you receive the settlement you deserve.

  1. Research your preferred accommodations 

It’s always wise to take a second look at your preferred accommodation before you book in advance. But it’s twice as important and even critical during winter. You want more than a place to lay your head or spend the night. So, conduct thorough research before you book.

Take the time to double-check some of the most critical essentials. For example, determine if the facility will provide bedding and heating systems, especially when booking cabin accommodations. What about transportation, if you need to move around and shop? Find out if the hotel has vehicles or if you must rely on public transport. Also, will your hotel be close to what you must do or do you need to cover long distances? And what if you’re snowed in and can’t leave the hotel because of inclement weather? You must consider if you’ll have easy access to food and other essentials without leaving your hotel. These questions can guide your research when looking for accommodation to book. 

  1. Pack thermal undergarments

Remember to dress in layers and cover as much of your skin as possible during a winter trip. But you can do more than that. Pack thermal underwear. A good pair of thermal underwear will keep you warm and wick away moisture. That means you’ll avoid getting cold without worrying about unhealthy moisture buildup in certain body parts. Thanks to their moisture-wicking and insulating abilities, thermal underwear will keep your body dry (but not dehydrated) and prevent the uncomfortable chill associated with wetness or dampness. That is particularly important if you have outdoor activities planned during your trip. Most thermal undergarments have a base layer that creates a warm microclimate by trapping heat in your body. It improves your body’s ability to resist the winter cold and enjoy activities without worrying about catching a cold. The most important thing is that you choose a style that fits your body and isn’t too tight. Also, look for a breathable and quick-drying fabric. 

  1. Have an additional four to eight hours of buffer time

Even after booking early, airports can be very busy during winter holidays. Flight schedules may be delayed for hours due to unforeseen or unexpected changes in weather patterns, and you may have to stay in your location longer than expected. A similar issue can also happen when driving, and you may be caught up in lengthy delays on the road. These can easily destroy your travel plans, especially if you’re time-bound. So, create an additional buffer time to cover such unexpected delays. Ideally, it would help if you created a buffer of about 4 to 8 hours for your plane and ground travel schedules. But try not to plan over or extra to give your schedule better flexibility. Your buffer time will cover you if you need to spend as much as an extra day in your location because of bad weather. 

  1. Make smart financial arrangements

Winter holiday trips usually cost more because of the extra preparations you need to make. Abandoning your vacation plan mid-way because you’ve run out of funds is a nightmare, but this is very common. Thankfully, some smart financial moves can help you see your trip through without spending more than you can afford. For example, if your flight charges more for extra travel equipment, leave them at home and rent them at your destination instead. Also, take the time to research the extra airline charges on ski and snowboard gear. Next, compare those prices to the cost of renting them at your destination before deciding which option makes better financial sense. Also, booking earlier may be a financially wiser move, as you may avoid additional charges, especially if you’re planning your trip during Christmas or Thanksgiving when accommodation prices skyrocket.

  1. Fly non-stop whenever possible

This option may not always be available, depending on your travel destination. But consider flying non-stop instead of going through connecting airports. You may have noticed that the weather always seems to worsen when you’re halfway through your trip at a connecting airport. Minimize your chances of being stuck in the middle of your route by flying non-stop. If your hometime flight is canceled, you simply have to head back home and wait it out. And if a flight cancellation happens on your return trip, there’s a good chance your rented accommodation will allow a few days of extended stay. But just to be certain, learn about their cancellation and delay policies, which leads to the next point. 

  1. Have a plan B

The heightened risks of winter trips mean you should expect the unexpected. Sometimes, the unexpected can derail your travel plans, and you may have to cancel everything. As painful as that sounds, that’s the reality. So, have a backup in place, just in case. 

Sudden weather changes, flight cancellations, extended delays, accidents, and other unforeseen setbacks beyond your control can ruin your plans. Check the cancellation rules and refund policies when booking your accommodation or making other travel arrangements. Also, identify an alternative activity or make backup travel plans. 

If you plan to drive to your destination, identify your potential backup routes, ideal spots to pause your trip, or any side trip you can make. Road closures and time constraints can force you to find alternative routes. So, start working on them before your trip. 

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