How to Navigate Travel with Winter Storms Looming

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It’s officially mid-January, which apparently means: no matter where you are in the nation, you are in the spectrum of chilly to frostbite. Winter storms are canvassing the nation from the West to East Coast and it’s effect travel at every corner as well.

If you have booked a trip between the months of November and March, you’re probably expecting bad weather that delays your flight. Meanwhile, you’re crossing all ten fingers and toes in hopes that the next storm is sandwiched between your departure and arrival. Well, we cannot change weather patterns for you (thanks, global warming), but we can offer some sound advice for making your winter trip a little easier.

Be prepared for air travel delays.

Seems easier said than done. We don’t mean emotionally; we mean physically. Pack your chargers in your carry on. Wear layers comfy clothes during your travel, so you can curl up in a ball and sleep or take off a layer to stay cool. Make sure your apps are stocked with offline content: Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Music all have options to watch and listen offline now. In short, be ready to sit around with your closest friends you’ve never met for an extended period of time.

Do not participate in the spreading of germs.

Just say no to germs. It will make your life easier. Products like Airbourne, EmergenC and hand sanitizer go a very long way when trying to stay healthy while traveling during the winter. If you’re feeling friendly, be sure to offer your neighbors tissues and hand sanitizer if you see them sneeze, but do try to look sympathetic – not manic.

Be proactive with your chosen airline.

If you know a winter storm is imminent, call your airline and ask to depart at a different time! Not all airlines are made the same when it comes to customer service, but if the worst answer you get is no, it’s worth a try. Always try to leave earlier or a domino effect of cancellations could still affect your trip. On a personal note, an airline did do this for me a few years back when a blizzard was set to hit New England and I desperately wanted to go on my vacation to Mexico. They actually THANKED ME for calling to reduce their reactive service after the storm hit. I still think I should have gotten a free drink or something – I guess no change fees was enough of a reward.

Leave extra time to get to the airport.

Seems simple and sometimes can feel like you are overdoing it, but you know your local roads the best. If you anticipate gridlock due to an inch of snow or black ice, leave early! Take an alternate route! Make sure you have enough time to get through that winter weather, checked in and through security to board your flight on time.

Be prepared for your return trip.

If you are going from one winter destination to the next, this tip isn’t for you. However, if you are traveling to a warm destination and will be returning to one that is covered in snow and ice, be prepared! Leave extra room in your carry on for a winter jacket, mittens and gloves. My family traveled to South Florida before the holiday. I was proactive for the kids; packing everything they would need to stay warm on the walk back to the car. They looked toasty warm while my husband and I shivered the whole way. So if you are a parent traveling with the kids: remember yourself too!

Lastly, find your patience and put it in your front pocket.

Traveling through winter storms tries everyone’s patience. It’s a hard thing to be delayed from something important, especially when it’s taking you away from the craziness. Just remember, the everyone is in the same boat as you. Patience goes a long way when people are in stressful situations.

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