Plan Your Family Adventure Before the Snow Flies

For much of the country, autumn brings with it a sense of peace, comfort, and a slowing of the heated summer rush. It also brings a chill with it, reminding Americans that winter is right around the corner. The season of snow has its own charms: the holidays, fireplaces, warm mugs of cocoa, but one of them is certainly not driving long distances.

There’s still time to plan a great family adventure before the snow begins piling onto the roadways, making them difficult, and in some cases, impossible to pass. The kids may be back in school but that doesn’t mean that a long weekend trip is out of the question. And there’s no better time to take in all that autumn has to offer – the glorious colors of the trees, apple picking, and poking through a pumpkin patch to find just the right jack-o-lantern gourd.

Preparing for Your Trip

Even if you are setting out before the first frost, it’s important to remember that weather forecasters are sometimes, well, let’s face it – many times, wrong. A frost or even a snowfall could happen at any time so it pays to be thoroughly prepared.

Items to Bring

  • Jumper cables (Because you never know when a cold snap might drain your battery)
  • Flashlights/LED lanterns with multiple batteries
  • Road Flares
  • Blankets – if the car breaks down and you’re unable to leave it
  • First Aid Kit
  • Snacks and water bottles
  • Portable USB power pack
  • Warm clothes
  • Paper maps (because GPS doesn’t always work!)
  • An ice scraper/snow brush – just in case

Getting Your Car Ready

  • Get an overall checkup
  • Review your insurance coverage policy and get car insurance quotes to be certain you are covered for any possibility, affordably, so you can have peace of mind while you travel
  • Check the tires, be sure they are properly inflated and aren’t too worn
  • Be sure all the lights are polished and working properly
  • Heating and cooling systems should be working properly
  • Consider replacing wiper blades, as they are easily torn
  • Check the battery health, replace if charge is low
  • Get an oil change and consider using cold-weather oil

Popular Getaway Ideas

  • Many ski resorts offer chair lift rides to take advantage of the spectacular views
  • Harvest festivals draw a lot of attention and can provide endless hours of autumn entertainment
  • Many orchards and farm markets offer apple picking
  • Pumpkins, corn mazes, face painting, and bake offs can easily be found in many local communities that celebrate fall
  • Camping in the cooler weather is more pleasant as mosquitoes are generally not as bothersome and sleeping is more comfortable
  • Hiking trails to see firsthand the colorful change of leaves, waterfalls, and gorges
  • If your family is up to the scare, haunted houses crop up in October, just be sure to check if they are appropriate for little ones!
  • Visit cider mills for a look into the process, along with fresh cider and donuts

Post Trip Details

Cars are machines but that doesn’t mean they don’t need some TLC after a long (or even short) trip. Take the time now to be sure all is in order, and it will save you a few headaches in the future.

  • Replace air filters if necessary
  • Top off windshield wiper fluid
  • Check air pressure in tires
  • Depending on the length of the trip, take it for another oil change
  • Get tires rotated and checked for damage/wear
  • Look for cracks (even tiny ones) in mirrors, windows, and the windshield. Small cracks turn into larger ones, which can make for an irritating day in the future
  • Check the paint on the vehicle for chips, dents, and get them taken care of immediately. Chipped paint can turn into rust over the winter and make for an unsightly blemish by spring.
  • Clean the interior – vacuum up all of the Fritos, dirt, and everything else that was gathered along the way
  • Clean the windows –  after a long drive, they’ll have their share of dust, dirt, and bugs plastered on them

For those who live in the part of the country where all four seasons are celebrated, it makes sense to take the time and enjoy each and every one. Take one last adventure with the family before the snow flies but be certain that you are thoroughly prepared and covered for any circumstance.

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