Weary winter road trippers know the value a hot drink, warm blanket or even a roadside shovel can provide when trying to make it through a long, cold drive – especially those of us in Minnesota! With so many things to prepare, however, essential items are always left behind. We put together a quick list of winter road trip essentials so you’ll never forget these important items again.
Staying Safe in Your Car
Winter weather conditions present a set of hazards that can put you in serious life-threatening situations. As such, you should be prepared with a set of supplies that will help you in the case of an emergency.
First, get your car checked and tuned-up before you leave. Get a full tank of gas, check in with the weather and plan your route beforehand — don’t rely on a smartphone app to guide the way, as you could always lose power or service. Once you have that checked off the list, you can start packing the following essentials.
Window scraper: these keep your windows clear from snow and ice and are especially essential if you plan on stopping at any time throughout your trip.
Road flares and a trusty flashlight: if you wind up having car problems and it’s dark, you’re going to have a tough time seeing what’s going on, whether you have a flat or an overheated radiator. Not only that, other people will have trouble seeing you if you’re parked on the side of the road. Road flares will let people know that you’re there and that you’re in need of help.
Emergency shovel: these compact shovels fit neatly in your trunk, giving you a way to both dig your car out of a snow pile and still leaving enough room for your luggage. If you happen to go into the ditch, a shovel will be a big help in getting your car unstuck.
Jumper cables or jump starter box: while jumper cables will be fine if another car is present, jump starter boxes can recharge your car’s battery through their own power, meaning they’re the safer option. Jump starter boxes have become more convenient and powerful with recent tech advances. Some of them are small enough to fit into your glove box and when fully charged, can last for a surprisingly high number of jump starts.
Spare tire: a winter road trip essential includes a spare tire. Ensure that the spare tire is properly inflated to the right PSI. You don’t want to get a flat and then realize you can’t use your spare tire.
Warm clothes and blankets: gloves, hats, boots, coats and blankets will help keep you warm should an emergency arrive and you get stranded in cold weather.
Essential Driving Items
These items will help you get through your road trip stress-free.
Driver’s license and insurance: obviously you should remember your driver’s license in case you get in an accident or pulled over, but make sure you also have updated insurance and that it’s in your glovebox before you leave.
Traditional paper map: while smartphones have opened up a world of navigation opportunities, a winter road tripper should never be entirely dependent upon one. With shoddy service in certain areas around the country, you can get lost pretty quickly. Additionally, maps never run out of battery power.
A credit card and plenty of cash: don’t forget cash, that’s often the only thing that some small town or roadside shops will accept. Additionally, credit cards make it quicker and easier to buy gas and get back on the road. A smart way to handle money when traveling is to use your credit card whenever as a first choice. It will save your limited amount of cash for the situations when credit cards are not accepted. Trust us, there’s nothing worse than not being able to pay for food or even gas because you already went through all of your cash.
Charging cables and car-USB adapters for devices: a USB plug for your smartphone is crucial for keeping it charged. Also, make sure you have a couple cables in case one quits in the cold weather.
Essential Food and Beverage Items
No road trip is complete without delicious food and beverages! Here are some essential items you’ll need to satisfy your appetite on a long drive.
Snacks: pack a snack with a nutritious punch to avoid eating empty-calorie junk food when you’re bored. Protein bars, trail mix, popcorn, carrot sticks and grapes are all good options.
Beverages: coffee and water are must-haves on any winter road trip. Large plastic gallon jugs of water are easiest to pack and last a long time. Before you leave, load a heat-storing thermos full of coffee to enjoy a hot cup of joe whenever you need a pick-me-up.
Commuter mug: for those road trippers that enjoy drinking out of a traditional mug, choose the Commuter from Deneen Pottery! The slim bottom, with shortened handle fits perfectly in your cup holder for kitchen to car convenience. With a brilliant glaze finish, and handmade artwork on the front, you can have a gorgeous mug that’s perfect for on-the-go, road trip sipping.
Is your company looking for another way to stay in front of customers, even while they are on the road? Imagine them staying warm, while drinking their favorite hot beverage out of a mug with your logo on it during their winter road trip. This is a great way to associate your brand with a high end product, and get the word out to more people. Contact us now to get a catalog of options.