December and the time around Christmas and New Years are one of the most popular times for Americans to travel. With relatives in other states to spend Christmas with and the great temptation to take a ski vacation, we have so many different reasons to travel. This is nothing to frown upon either. People travel to be with their loved ones and just to have a blast during the holidays. However, there is just one issue with traveling during this season: the weather.
Winter is relative to your destination
Living in Arizona, winter is fairly mild, especially south of Flagstaff. We just don’t get the now, rain, ice, or frigid temperatures in most states. But as it so happens, a lot of people end up traveling to those states and areas where winter is quite brutal. Even going to up to Flagstaff can be dangerous as they can get several feet of snow and, since it’s Arizona, no one really knows how to drive in it. So if you plan on traveling somewhere this winter that is known to have harsh snowy winters, you might want to do a little prep work before going.
Getting there, and once you do
Everyone travels a little differently. Some of us fly, others drive, and a special few take long-distance trains which can be rather magical – but man does it take forever! So, subject to how you decide to travel, there are a few different ways to successfully prepare yourself.
For flyers, you should really check the weather. The last thing you want is to be stuck in some airport trying to go or leave while flights have been grounded due to terrible weather. If you happen to know the weather might be horrible, then I suggest bringing a lot of snacks, water, and things to do because airports tend to be REALLY boring. Additionally, I would have someone pick you up from the airport and rent a car later if you must. Again, you would hate to have to maneuver your way through a foreign city in the winter when it could be potentially snowing.
On the other hand, if you decide to drive instead of fly – God knows why anyone wants to drive more than 10 hours – then you should be prepared. As with any “road trip” you should have plenty of snacks and water. Don’t forget it’s winter too, so you should also bring some extra jackets or blankets in case you get cold or lost. Just in case, you should probably check the weather as well.
Likely you already have a good understanding of what to expect, you’ve probably been there before, but in the event the weather is forecasted to be terrible, pack some chains, a scraper, and a portable shovel. These will just make your encounter with snow a lot easier. Oh, bring a sled because everyone has to pull off the side of the road to go sledding at least once in their life.
Training? or is it Locomoting?
You see, with a train you really don’t have to do that much. All weather conditions are considered by the conductors and engineers. So if there is heavy snow, they attach a snow plow or blower to the front. Trains are hardly ever delayed and if you are traveling far enough on one, they likely have plenty of food.
However, it never hurts to bring water, snack, blankets, and things to preoccupy yourself. Download some movies or games on your phone, or if you’re really old school, bring a board game or puzzle! Although trains rarely get stuck or delayed, they tend to be the slower method of transportation. All I can say is sit back, relax, and make sure you have plenty of things to do, eat, and drink. Overall though, trains are the most relaxing method of travel.
Other methods of travel
Unless you are insane and want to walk or bike hundreds or thousands of miles for your holiday trip, there really aren’t any other mode of transportation. Sure there are boats and what not, but then that’s basically a cruise. Ferry rides aren’t that long either and close when the weather is too bad.
Otherwise, that’s about it. So have a great holiday trip, stay safe, and have an awesome adventure!
Author: B. Delamater