Travelling safely in winter time: tips and tricks
December 03, 2019
Winter is an exciting time; Christmas is on the horizon, cosy nights in are a go and we’re all planning our festive/winter sun getaways. Although the period of winter is promising, it is also a time of transport delays, unsafe travel and cold weather. With that in mind, it’s important to be wary of travelling safely in winter and these tips can help you out.
Check the weather before you travel
The weather can affect more than you think when it comes to travel and many people don’t plan ahead or have a plan B. Wherever you’re travelling in the world, it’s good to check the weather prior to your trip. This is in regards to the weather at your destination but also where you’re travelling from. For instance, when the snowy season hits in the UK, it can be a nightmare driving long distances or getting to the airport. Alternatively, sunny locations can have storms even in the wintertime (like south-east Asia) so it’s important to be wary on both ends.
The best thing about winter weather is that storms can usually be predicted at least 72 hours in advance so you have time to prepare for the worst and look out for cancellations. As you’ll have more leeway with this, you can prepare an alternative route to your destination.
Be savvy with your flights
When snowy and icy weather affects the UK, flight delays and cancellations are inevitable for both short and long-haul flights. Dealing with this can be tricky, but booking a non-stop flight is one way to try. This goes especially for travelling long-haul and means choosing a flight with no stopovers, so you don’t risk missing your connecting flight due to a delayed first flight.
Another tip would be booking the earliest flight of the day. Even though it can be hard to get up at 3 am for your early morning flight, it’ll be worthwhile in terms of delays. If your flight gets cancelled, for instance, you’ll have more time in the day to catch another flight, rather than wait overnight at the airport, waiting for a seat to pop up.
Book hotels with a cancellation policy
Holidays may have to come to a halt because of bad weather and you don’t want to lose money, especially during the Christmas period. This is why it’s always good to be prepared with who you have booked your holiday with. When looking for hotels, pay close attention to the cancellation policy and opt for ones that have free cancellations up to 24 hours before – because if you get the warning about the weather a few days before, you can cancel the hotel before you’re charged.
Travelling goes hand in hand with packing – as it’s just as important to prepare what you bring to how you’re getting there. When packing for winter, you should always prepare for the worst scenario as you never know what may happen.
When packing your bags, put all your emergency gear and everything you’ll need over the next 24 hours in your carry-on. This is just in case you’ve checked in your bags and there’s a flight delay – then you’ll have everything you need to hand. Or, the airline loses your other luggage.
In terms of actual items to pack, all depends on where you’re going. For instance, for a winter holiday, wear your bulkiest items, bring lots of different layers and handy items which can help you if you get stuck.
This may not be exclusive to winter but you also want to keep your luggage secure with a lock and combination – that way you’re less likely to get anything stolen.
Follow the airline on social media or download the app
If you’re tech-savvy, then keeping up with your travels can be easy. A lot of airlines will have their own apps so you can track your flight and see if it’s delayed. The same goes with social media – a lot of travel companies and airlines will have social media accounts which post out updates of delays and other issues.
Stock up on supplies
Food and drink supplies are needed, always! But when travelling to the airport or by car in wintertime, they become even more of an essential. If you get stuck in severe traffic delays, it could be hours till you reach your destination which means you’re guaranteed to get hungry and thirsty.
Buy travel insurance
Travel insurance is essential for every trip you go on but can come in handy a little more during the winter months. In winter, traffic delays, flight delays and accidents are more likely to happen when on a colder holiday, make sure you book the right cover before you go away.
If you’re planning to go on a winter getaway, our single trip and annual multi-trip policies will keep you covered.