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5 Essential Items to Have on Your Winter Road Trip

Written by Suzy Guese

This blog post was updated on February 15, 2016.

[mks_dropcap style=”letter” size=”52″ bg_color=”#1e73be” txt_color=”#f7f7f7″]A[/mks_dropcap]rctic temperatures are blowing in bitter cold and with it, problems for your winter road trip. While you need to know how to drive in wintry condition on your travels, you also need to know how to pack your vehicle for winter wonderlands turned into nightmares. Before you hit the road for any winter road trips you are plotting, throw these five essential items in your car.

Jumper Cables:

Car batteries and cold weather don’t always get along. If your battery is in weak condition, you might face a dead battery on your winter road trip. To avoid towing or even lost time, it is a good idea to travel with jumper cables. You never know if your battery will decide it’s too cold to drive.

A Bag of Sand or Salt:

When you are traveling across the country for the holidays or just a winter getaway, you want to be sure you can handle whatever the road throws at you. In some cases, that might include lots of snow and ice you might not have foreseen. If you should encounter a problem with tire traction due to snow or ice, you can use a bag of sand or salt from your car to get out of that ditch. Cat liter also does the trick if snow and ice are spinning your tires. [mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#2164a8″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]Cat liter also does the trick if snow and ice are spinning your tires. [/mks_pullquote]

Blankets and Water:

While you would hope to never get stranded on your wintry road trip, bad things can happen such as car trouble. If you have to wait for help or a tow, you’ll be glad to have blankets in your trunk to keep you warm. Also if your heat starts to go out in the middle of nowhere, you can stay warmer with extra layers. It is also essential to have extra water in case you do get stranded on your winter travels.

Snow Shovel and Ice Scraper:

You might live in a climate where snow and ice are virtually nonexistent. In this case, you could be a stranger to snow shovels and ice scrapers for your vehicle. However, if you are venturing out to Wyoming for Thanksgiving, you are going to need to prepare your vehicle for the change in climate. You might need a shovel to remove snow from around your wheels. Also if there is a thick sheet of ice on the windshield, you will want an ice scraper so that you don’t have to delay your road trip, waiting on the defroster to start working.


Winter driving is not only dangerous during the day, but it can be even more treacherous at night. You will want a flashlight in your vehicle in case anything should happen when you are driving at night. If you can’t avoid driving at night, at least prepare your vehicle in case of a power outage.

About the author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at

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