It’s never too soon to prepare when it comes to travel. This is especially true when making winter wanderlust plans. While the season offers amazing opportunities for you and yours to explore the country and beyond, the winter also packs a unique set of variables to consider. Challenges are found within health, weather, and home security and protection. You want to cover your bases on all accords.
Winter is coming friends. What will you do to prepare yourself for travel this season?
4 Tips to Safe Travel During the Winter Season
1. Winter Heath Check
Winter is the season of coughs, sniffles, and high temperatures of another sort. Keep your household on an especially stringent nutritional “best practices” regime weeks prior to your trip. In addition, follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which includes (but is not exclusive to) avoiding close contact with contagious individuals and to not touch your eyes, nose and mouth. The Government of Canada issues weekly influenza reports online, so be sure to check them frequently to see if your travel destination is experiencing instances of concern.
Also, have your entire household get a clean bill of health at least one month before your departure. This includes a dental and eye check-up. Doing so allows you to nip anything in the bud before it can ruin a perfectly good vacation. The resulting peace of mind is priceless. If you take prescription medication, make sure that you have enough to get you through your entire vacation and a few days buffer to account for flight delays, poor road conditions, and so forth. Keep all prescriptions in the assigned bottle/package, not only for your own identification, but for customs officers who will most certainly have questions.
2. Health Coverage and Travel Insurance
Make sure your health insurance affairs are in order. A hefty out-of-country medical bill can ruin, not only your vacation, but your whole financial well-being for many years to come.
Take the time to review the Canada Health Act as it relates travel in and outside of the country. However, don’t assume that you can find the fine print on your own. Call your insurance provider and inquire about all contingencies that could impact the health and travel insurance coverage of your entire household. Be especially diligent when it comes to insurance coverage for trips outside of the country. View more on comprehensive travel insurance. Lastly, ensure that travel documentation (driver’s licenses, passports, and even credit cards) match the exact names specified on travel insurance documents. You don’t want inconsistencies causing complications.
3. Master the Ins-and-Outs of Winter Driving
In order to avoid delayed flights and unbearable airport layovers you may be opting for the open road to reach your destination this winter. Before you put the pedal to the metal, ensure that you are fully prepared for what may lie ahead. Winterize your vehicle, check your snow tires, map out a primary and alternative route, monitor daily weather reports, and adhere to these characteristics of a good driver. Also, keep a trunk full of necessities, which includes a shovel, chains, flares, a first-aid kit, a flashlight (w/batteries), a blanket, extra clothing and footwear, hand warmers, water, and a few non-perishable food items. View our complete checklist for winter driving preparedness. And last but not least, make sure that you have appropriate auto insurance to carry you through all seasons.
4. Protect Your Vacant Home
Winter vacations are often extended ones, lasting a full week or more. Burglars know this. They know that your home will be an open target for at least seven days, giving them plenty of opportunity to make away with your possessions. That is, unless you’ve prepared. For starters, follow these tips to crime-proof your home, from the inside and out. Then, be mindful of your social media activity prior to and during your vacation. Tactics include a social media blackout, changing your privacy settings, monitoring the social networking activity of your entire household, and more. View our five social media safety tips to keeping your home safe while on vacation.
Ne’er-do-wells aren’t the only threat to your home. You also want to prepare for interior and exterior property concerns common to the winter. Frozen water pipes are a big culprit. Deep frost and freeze-thaw cycles expand and contract pipes, stress the system, and can result in a water main break. In addition, snowmelt can impact your roof, eavestrough, and the foundation of your home, resulting in flooding and/or water damage. Have your home and property inspected for faulty plumbing and have your gutter system checked too.
Wishing You Safe Travels this Winter!