Amidst the current Coronavirus pandemic, the truth is many of us likely have trouble even imagining a time when travel might next be on the calendar for us. However, as a true wanderluster, I believe it is important to stay hopeful and positive. While many would advise to plan for the worst case scenario, I say–why not also plan for the best case scenario? The increase in leisure time produced by self-isolation provides a great opportunity to start ideating for some fun winter travel.
Outside of travelling for fashion weeks, one trip I have taken that has stayed with me forever was a trip I took to Canada with my family several years ago.
However, winter travel to Canada can be dicey. There are many sights to see and things to do! Banff National Park, ski in Fernie, visit the Royal Tyrrell museum to see a wide variety of dinosaur and fossil exhibits, check out stunning Calgary homes for sale or relax in British Columbia. This is the travel season made for cold weather warriors, whether you’re escaping your local tundra for an island getaway or sharing the road with snow plows and salt trucks on the way to grandmother’s house for the holidays.
Here are some tips for winter travel:
Winter travel insurance can protect you in two important ways. One, travel insurance can reimburse you for travel costs if your travel is delayed, changed, interrupted or canceled for a covered reason, such as severe weather. And two, travel insurance can provide emergency medical and dental benefits, as well as emergency medical transportation benefits, in case you’re injured in a covered accident.
Try to fly direct as much as possible in the winter. While you don’t always have a say where business travel takes you, if you’re not flying to or from a snowy destination, you can increase your chances of on-time travel if you aren’t stopping somewhere snowy mid-journey.
I cannot stress the importance of this enough. I have disaster stories of having chosen to take connecting flights even when direct flights were an option–and let me just say, no amount of money saved can be worth the headache that those can sometimes cause.
Rent Gear or Travel With It?
The good news is that winter sports gear is actually one of the cheapest items to check. Unlike bicycles and surfboards, skis and snowboards usually do not come with extra, oversized baggage fees. In fact, on most airlines, your snowboard or skis and your boots will both be considered one regular checked bag. Airlines allow passengers one ski/snowboard bag and one boot bag per person, and both bags together are considered one checked item.
Give Yourself Extra Time
Plan for shorter driving days in winter for two reasons: there are fewer hours of sunlight in the winter and winter driving can be more tiring. Also, a 6-hour day on the road in winter can put you into a whole new weather system. Set reasonable expectations. If major cities are on your route, plan to leave and arrive before or after the morning and afternoon rush hours. Navigating a new city can be stressful enough without adding more traffic than necessary and the possibility of bad weather.
Winterize your car. Make sure your car is up to date with fluids, brakes and fuel. It’s best to keep your fuel tank half full during the winter – but particularly before a long trip on the road. Be sure that you’ve recently had your oil changed and that all the other fluids in your car have been topped off before heading out on the road in the cold.
With those tips, I’m sure that should the opportunity arise for winter travel to cold, but wondrous places this year, you will be more than prepared. If we continue to stay safe, healthy, and self-isolated in these times, travel will surely be a possibility sooner than we know.
Here’s hoping this read made you feel a little inspired to stay optimistic, and “plan for the best,” as I like to say!