8 Tips for Safe Winter Road Trips

As much as I hate to use the ‘W’ word since we are just starting to see Autumn appear, we have to face the fact that winter-like weather can happen at anytime. In fact, parts of Alberta saw snow in late August and early September. And here we go, but are you ready?

Living in Canada means that our weather doesn’t coincide with what the calendar says; it can be hot and sunny one day with frost on the ground by morning. This means that we Albertans have to be prepared for whatever our crazy weather throws at us, well before we think it might come.

This is also a time of year when Canadians take many road trips; for reasons such as activities, events, to visit friends and family, or just for fun! Yet before the family jumps in the car with their devices and suitcases, there are some important steps to make, to ensure that road trip is a safe one.

8 tips for safe winter road trips


Here are 8 Tips for Safe Winter Road Trips

1. Ensure your vehicle is winter ready – Ensure your vehicle is full of winter washer fluid, and check those tires as they lose air with drops in temperature. This is a good time to replace wiper blades too. Whether you do it yourself or have someone else do it, now is the time to get a winter tune-up to ensure brakes, lights and battery is in good working order. As soon as it snows, install those winter tires to improve vehicle handling and safety when on snow and ice. Everything mentioned contributes heavily to that safe road trip!

2. Check the Road Report – Before you leave for any road trip, familiarize yourself with the weather resorts and road conditions. This could make or break the entire trip, actually. You might need to postpone or delay leaving for your road trip if driving is risky.

4. Pack an Emergency Kit – While it’s advised to always keep an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times, checking for supplies in the kit is necessary before you depart on that road trip. You might need to add extra items like water, foods that are filling, a couple extra blankets, and a candle. When stranded for longer periods of time in the winter months, safety and health is a top concern and if roads are really bad, it might be some time until assistance arrives.

5. Know the Road – Before you leave for your road trip, take time to map out your destination. Check weather conditions at your destination as well, and do a quick online search for any closures or road warnings. It’s a good idea to ensure your GPS is up to date with current information, your phone is charged – and don’t forget to notify someone not travelling with you, of which route you are going to take.

6. Have a Full Tank – One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given when I got my first car was to never let my gas gauge go below half-way, to prevent the fuel line from freezing. This advice has stuck with me since, and one that I faithfully keep on top of. So, you might have to set aside time in your trip for a gas station pitstop.

7. Drive Safely – This may sound like an obvious one, but it’s so crucial that it has to be included. Plan your road trip accordingly, which may mean assigning extra time for driving if road conditions mean driving a little slower. Leave plenty of space between yourself and other vehicles for safety, and ensure you are alert and attentive for your drive.

8. Ensure you’re Covered – I’m talking about insurance! Before you depart, brush up on your insurance policy and make coverage adjustments if necessary, depending on your itinerary and needs. It’s better to be safe than sorry in all situations, and this includes coverage. 


Esurance, backed by Allstate has been operating in the states since the late 1990’s, yet did you know that it’s now available to Albertans? It’s an insurance company that provides self-directed consumers with smart choices for auto insurance.

esurance alberta canada

It’s a fact that our country is among the highest rate of internet usage in the world. We Canadians are top online users for everything such as banking, booking travel, and shopping online. Consumers like those in the province of Alberta, also prefer to shop for their insurance online – and Esurance comes with a modern-world approach to auto insurance.

With Esurance you can research insurance options and access documents online, day or night, 365 days a year. The end-to-end online experience goes from quote to online purchase and beyond, allowing consumers to manage their auto insurance how and when they want it, from the comfort of their own home.


Esurance offers a suite of innovative benefits for life in the modern world, including:

  • Coverage Counsellor – An online tool that helps consumers find the right insurance coverage for their needs and empowers them to save time and money on their auto insurance. The Coverage Counsellor tool suggests coverages to consider based on answers to a few questions.
  • What If® Calculator – Provides personalized online estimates of how certain events might lower or raise one’s premium. The What If Calculator lets you see how accidents, tickets, changing vehicles or moving could affect your rate.

In addition to online, Esurance customer service agents are available 24/7 by phone if customers need a little extra support, so everyone can find the right coverage at the right price.

Before you take that next road trip, ensure all the bases are covered and this includes being prepared for unpleasant experiences along the way. While it’s hoped not, you might experience a trip interruption along the way.

With Esurance, no matter where you are and what road trip you are on, they are with you. 



Disclosure: I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.



  1. My tip is to make sure you always have your cell phone with you and to have some sort of roadside assistance like CAA.

  2. For a successful road trip, we always ensure our vehicle has an oil change and winter tires if required, we make a check list of what we need to bring and we pack a lot of snacks and water!! ????

  3. Cheese fondue with fresh bread would be my first choice – homemade of course, I love it πŸ™‚

  4. Your question is the same as another giveaway. Hot Cheesy Crab Dip is the recipe I would love to try.

  5. I think this is the wrong question for this giveaway, I don’t think cheesy dishes have anything to do with road tripping..lol, but I love a good gooey and cheesy homemade mac and cheese!!

  6. My cheesy recipe i love to make most is potato skins with loads of hot peppers,bacon,and a load of cheese

  7. The Mexican stuffed peppers…

    but on the topic of road trips, I’m going on one on Friday! I’m driving 4 girlfriends to join 3 more up in Vernon for a spa and wine tasting retreat! It’s going to be so much fun.

  8. Keep an emergency kit in your car in case something happens and also it’s very handy to have roadside assistance.

  9. My biggest tip is to communicate itineraries. Cell phones sometimes don’t work or batteries die. Knowing where people are and when to expect them is a great back up system.

  10. My best tip is to make sure you have a full tank and stop for gas whenever you have the chance. You never know when you may get stuck and need to have the car running quite often to keep warm.

  11. Always have a cell phone with you ad make sure to have your vehicle maintained before you go.

  12. Plan ahead, let somebody know when you left and when to expect you. If you have a problem at least somebody will be looking for you.

  13. Pack a emergency blanket , first aids , candles and non- perishable snacks , you never know

  14. For long road trips, we get our car serviced before leaving to catch anything that needs tuning up before heading out.

  15. slow down everyone is in such a hurry and drive way faster than they should in certain conditions. If you need to be somewhere leave earlier, give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination. That way you have a much less stressfull drive

  16. Besides snacks, its probably making sure the car is in good running order. Check all those fluid levels including window washing fluid.

  17. I think that having winter tires and a full tank of gas is my best tip for a safe and successful road trip!

  18. My tip is to have your vehicle service before heading on a road trip and to have blankets, water, snacks, BCAA number and make sure you have your cell phone too if you have one.

  19. My tip is to make sure your vehicle has been serviced before heading out on your road trip and make sure you have blankets, water, snacks, and BCAA phone number and your cell phone if you have one.

  20. My tips is to make sure that you have a fully charged cell phone and an extra portabe charger in case you can’t use your car to charge it.

  21. bring a cell phone with emergency numbers, snacks, water, always carry a road safety kit, blankets, candle/flashlights, prior to departure check tires for pressure & wear (including the spare tire) and ensure all fluids are topped up

  22. we always keep a blanket in the trunk and we pack drinks and snacks – just in case!

  23. Prepare an emergency kit or bag, for as many people as are travelling with you, in the event you got stuck in your car for 72 hours — a “bug-out” bag. It should contain extra warm and waterproof clothes and footwear, a first aid kit, plenty of extra water, non perishable food, votive candles and matches in a mason jar with holes in the lid, a cell phone charger, a neon X vest, pen and paper for notes or messages, flashlight with extra batteries, toilet paper, a small pail, plastic bags…you just NEVER know what could happen on the road, or what kind of severe weather could disrupt our journey.

  24. Check fluids and tire pressure before leaving to a road trip. Bring a blanket, candles, flashlight, water and food.

  25. Make sure I get enough sleep at night and enough food throughout the day to stay healthy, nourished and ALERT!

  26. We have our vehicle serviced before a big trip. Don’t EVER forget booster cables…. pack a few snack, candles, blankets & entertainment items such as cards, crayons, etch a sketch’s are wonderful on road trips!

    Always make sure someone close to you knows where you are going and when to expect you home.

  27. my biggest tip is to have lots of food and drinks in the car to avoid stopping along the way so much, and to keep everyone awake and alert.

  28. My tip is slow down. So many drivers are in a hurry and speed and bad roads don’t mix.

  29. Always check your tire pressure and fluid levels before heading out on the road.

  30. I always have an emergency kit in both of my vehicles and a call phone at hand

  31. For a safe trip we make sure we take our cell phone,and we make sure our tires look good.We make sure we have lots of gas and oil and we take the GPS system with us.

  32. make sure all your fluids and topped up and check your tires before you go on your road trip. i always like to have my battery fully charged just in case

  33. A car safety kit with all the essentials as well as some great snacks make a road trip go smoothly!

  34. Keep blankets, a parka (if you are not wearing one) and warm boots in the trunk for winter road trips.

  35. pack a great just in case box, blanket, candle, waterproof matches and of course snacks

  36. Drive for the conditions and make sure your car is ready for it, like with winter tires, enough windshield washer fluid, etc.

  37. In the winter make sure your tank is full, blankets in the back and phone is charged

  38. Be prepared for anything! Snacks, water, blankets, first aid kit, maps, flash light, spare tire, basic tool kit, candles/lantern, sand/salt, shovel.

  39. Make sure that your vehicle is tuned up and sign up for a roadside assistance service just in case any trouble arises

  40. An important part of travel safety in either summer or winter is to be aware of driver fatigue and to pull over and sleep if necessary.

  41. Preparation. Have the tires checked, make sure the oil is sufficient, gas is topped up, the lights work. Takes maybe an hour. worth it.

  42. As well as a full tank of gas make sure your cell phone is charged, it’s also handy to have extra hand and toe warmers in your emergency kit.

  43. Always carry a blanket and boots with you, as well as snacks, water and candles, when you travel in the winter, just in case of an accident where you’re left stranded in the car for awhile.

  44. Check tire pressure before heading out
    Plan your route ahead of time
    Keep tank full
    Have blankets,emergency kit,flashlight & water in trunk
    Bring cell phone and charger and keep it charged

  45. Do the necessary check up and top up, have an emergency kit, make sure you have a spare tire and the kit to change the tire. Pack a couple blankets and and some snacks just in case.

  46. check over your car ,get an oil change and check tires before a road trip, also carry a auto safety kit , bring snacks and toys/books maybe movies to entertain the kiddos

  47. Before setting out on your trip make sure that your car is tuned up and ready for the trip and check on road conditions.

  48. I cannot believe how many people forget the snow tires! Also bring along those self heating packs for feet and hands to throw in the glove box in case of a winter breakdown.

  49. My best tip is start a long trip when they are still asleep. We pack them in the car in Jammies and cover them with a blanket. We can usually get a a good 3 to 4 hours in before they wake up for breakfast.

  50. For a safe winter trip plan to leave home earlier and allow extra time to reach your destination.

  51. Have an emergency kit, blanket and food. And don’t forget your cell in case you need to call for help.

  52. I make sure that car is maintained, winter tires are on, first aid kit and AMA at the ready for a winter trip!

  53. Check your car kit before you leave to make sure you have enough water and food in case you get stuck and need to rely on them.

  54. let people know when you’re leaving, your planned journey, and update (plans and contact with people) often. thanks

  55. My biggest tip is to always have a shovel, booster cables and blanket in the trunk of your car as well as any other emergency items you may need should you get stuck in the middle of winter. Drive cautiously and courteously in the winter!

  56. My tip is to have a map for the area. It can help you better understand where you are and help you correct a wrong turn, or make a decision about whether to take a side trip because something piques your interest. A map does not run out of power.

  57. My tip is to make sure you have a first aid kit, blankets, spare tire, cellphone charger etc in your vehicle

  58. Always have your vehicle fully serviced, oil change, correct tire pressure, fluids topped up. Also sign up for road side service like CAA

  59. My tip is lots of snacks and make sure everyone is comfortable. Bring pillows and blankets.

  60. keep emergency kit, blanket, flashlight, paper towels and cleaner for the headlights and windshield.

  61. our advice is slow and steady – take breaks when you need them asnd remain more vigilant (of road conditions etc) than you normally would be

  62. It’s always good to take your vehicle in to a mechanic for a road trip inspection before heading out on a longer journey.

  63. My tip is always leave plenty of time to arrive at your destination and always drive according to weather conditions.

  64. Make sure you have your lodging confirmed. Nothing worse than arriving where you want to stay overnight and nothing available.

  65. Make sure there is enough gas and the spare has air in it before heading out on a long road trip.

  66. Honestly, my best tip for a safe winter road trip is always being prepared for the worst; that means having a fully stocked emergency kit in your vehicle at all times.

  67. We always do an inspection of fluids and tire pressure then correct any problems before leaving.

  68. We make sure we have wiper fluid and that they are working and make sure the emergency kit is in the car

  69. My tip is always be a cell phone with you and if traveling with kids, try to pack stuff to keep them busy

  70. My tip is always keep winter emergency kit with you when you are travelling – you never know what road conditions will be

  71. Be prepared. Make sure your vehicle is road worthy and you have a cell phone with a charged battery with you.

  72. We plan ahead, ensure our car is well serviced & that we have emergency supplies ready if needed.

  73. always have a safety kit in your car , extra water, blankets,check fluids and tires before heading out πŸ™‚

  74. Check all fluids before leaving, tire pressure, bring emergency kits, snacks, and technology do the kids don’t kill each other. and pillows. both to sleep with and separate the kids πŸ˜›

  75. My biggest tip for a safe and successful road trip is to take the car in for a service check up before you go. That way all the fluid levels will be full and ready, and any deficiencies can be picked up on before you hit the road. One time our service check revealed a large gauge in our tire that we hadn’t noticed, and the technician said the tire most likely would have blown on the highway at the high speeds we would have been traveling at, and that would have been a disaster! We were so glad we had the car checked over before we left! We did have to delay our trip slightly so that we could get the new tire put on, but it was worth it to avoid an accident on the trip!

  76. My tip is to just be prepared for anything. Road and traffic conditions can change in a flash. Bring a car kit, food, warm clothes, a cell phone, maps, etc., just in case.

  77. Check your car over or have a mechanic check your car over before the trip. It can save you a whole lot of headache on the road. When possible keep a emergency cash tucked away. You never know what could happen.

  78. My tip is to buy a gas gift card and leave it in the car for backup just in case you do run out of funds or lose your wallet.

  79. make sure the kids are well rested and fed before heading out. hungry and tired kids will only become hungrier and more restless as the trip progresses πŸ™‚

  80. My tip for a safe and successful road trip is to make sure your vehicle is in good driving condition. Check it out before you go and make sure to have an emergency kit with you.

  81. always keep a window brush and road flares in the back seat/trunk and kitty litter incase you need a bit of extra traction

  82. have an emergency kit, a well maintained vehicle and let your family know your plans so they know when you are supposed to be arriving home

  83. Make sure you head out with a full tank of gas and that you have checked the tire pressure

  84. Book your rooms ahead of time if using lodging. It saves a lot of stress, and time, and you aren’t driving when you are tired and unsafe.

  85. Having a full tank of gas before heading out, cell phones also a full charge, and an emergency kit on hand is a must.

  86. Check all your fluids before you leave, check your tires and have an emergency bag packed just in case!

  87. Winter tires are a MUST with our Canadian winters. Make sure you have some blankets & mini emergency kit.

  88. Living in the country, I make sure I have a well stocked emergency kit on board at all times. This includes a cell phone with a charged battery (and a little luck that nothing happens in a cell phone dead zone).

  89. My tip is to take your time. There’s no rush to get where you are going if you leave enough time to do so.

  90. A full tank of gas, fully inflated tires, a medical kit, and an extra battery charger for cell phones!

  91. My tip is to be able to navigate where you’re going. If you can’t read a map, Siri doesn’t always know the way, travel with someone who can.

  92. Be a member of a roadside assistance club like BCAA and bring a hard copy of a road map even if you have a GPS.

  93. If travelling during winter have boots, snow suites, shovel in car if you need it, keep a warm blanket and an emergency kit in there and ALWAYS watch other drivers.

  94. Keep an emergency kit in your car and ensure it is current and fully stocked before you leave on your road trip even if it is only for one night.

  95. We make sure the car is serviced before any major road trip or is at least double checked by me and my husband to make sure tires are good, emergency supplies are in order, oil is changed, etc.

  96. Bring books and lower your expectations on the time it will take. Allow the trip to be fun by telling stories in the car and singing along to the radio.

  97. Always make sure you have done maintenance on your vehicle before embarking on a road trip. Have a charged cell phone handy, also have a first aid kit in your vehicle at all times.

  98. I think the most important thing is to have snow tires and an emergency kit with booster cables and your set

  99. Give yourself plenty of time, you may have to drive to road conditions and this could delay you. Don’t rush, you are better to arrive late than to rush in poor conditions with an increased risk of accident.

  100. Drive the speed limit, stay focused, watch your gas gauge and plan your trips carefully.

  101. Don’t drive too fast on the road and if too tired, go to pit stop and take a rest. Also check tire and oil before leaving home

  102. If you can’t see out the windshield, don’t put your head out the window like a dog, you’ll immediately regret it.

  103. We always have our road side safety kit.. extra blankets, lots of snow gear for the kids

  104. Always switch to snow tires, check forecast before leaving home and travel with a charged cell phone, blizzard emergency box in trunk and a sleeping bag too.

  105. My biggest tip is to ensure you have good maps (updated GPS) as well as activities for the kids.

  106. Always be sure you have enough gas in your tank, a backup spare tire, an emergency car kit, a couple of blankets, enough windshield washer fluid.

  107. I always make sure I have my cell phone charged and if I know I am going to be driving somewhere where there will be no service I make sure to tell someone where I am going and when I should be expected to arrive or be back.

  108. My tip would be to have snow tires with the right pressure.
    Also, to have extra water and a well charged cell phone.

    Like your useful tips too.

  109. Have an emergency kit, including blankets, a cell phone and water, and never be in a hurry.

  110. Leave lots of time to get to and from your destination. A relaxed drive makes for a safer drive!

  111. Better late than never. I never understand why people drive fast and without consideration for others, leave an extra hour earlier if you have to . Also you need a snack bag with emergency , food , drinks, extra mittens socks hats, a blanket or 2 the foil ones and some extra money for the just in case . I thank my nana for those tips

  112. Inspect your wiper blades and replace them if they are worn or damaged. Check the levels of fuel, oil, coolant, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid, and top them up if necessary.

  113. I always pack a surprise bag, for the kids. It contains snacks,books & a few other fun items. This way when they are bored with what they have picked to bring with them,I have the things I know they like!

  114. Be prepared for anything and everything! Spare tire, snacks, blankets, flashlight, extra windshield liquid…

  115. Getting car checked at the mechanic prior to trip and once on the trip, many short stops along the way.

  116. Always plan your route, have a winter emergency kit in the trunk which includes blankets and stop on long trips and wait out bad weather, its not worth it pushing through. A hard lesson I learned is always have a pair of boots in the car especially when your wearing stellar heels b/c you have a meeting at work, you never know when you’ll need them.

  117. Buy a spare battery bank, it’ll come in handy for charging devices or your car battery.

  118. I keep a first aid kit and blanket in the car, for road trips always check tire pressures and fluids before you hit the road, and make sure you have a charged cell phone to make calls on just in case.

  119. being prepared is the most important part of any road trip. Enough to eat and drink? tunes-Check! and also being prepared for winter emergencies ie) having a blanket or sleeping bag if you are out on a highway, matches and candle, cell phone charged… and CAA if your car gives you troubles!

  120. Don’t rush. Take your time, and enjoy the scenery. Stop often to freshen up and you might discover something new and exciting.

  121. Always have an emergency kit with warm blankets, a candle and some food and water. A cell phone, shovel, and rope. Also let someone know your travel plans in case you slide off the road or get lost.

  122. Before the snow starts to fall, it is so important to have read this checklist. People become a little unprepared for that first major snowfall so it is nice to have an emergency kit and a plan ready for when it comes. We live in Canada and are bound to have a few heavy storms come our way so it is a must to be prepared. Thanks for the tips!

  123. The best tip I have is to slow down. Winter driving can be very unpredictable, and slippery, even if you don’t see ice, doesn’t mean it isn’t there!

  124. My best tip for a safe and successful road trip is to plan ahead…route, stops for food and bathroom breaks, a full tank of gas, safety check of the car, and a fully charged cell phone for emergencies.

  125. My biggest tip for a safe trip is to be prepared. Make sure the vehicle is well maintained, know your route and follow the road signs as far as speed, etc.

  126. I keep ski pants in the back of the van plus a backpack with mitts and a hat for each one of the family

  127. My tip is to check your tire pressure before driving for long distances – especially highway driving!

  128. Make sure your phone is charged before you leave. Something I tend to forget.

    ps. Don’t see my previous comment, so I posted again. Not sure what happened.

  129. Pack an emergency kit which should include warm clothes or blankets and some granola bars.

  130. I always make sure my kids take appropriate outerwear for the season even if they don’t need it when we leave due to it being nicer, things can change and you just never know what will happen. Also, always have lots of extra water/snacks for same reason. I remember my Mom making us do these very things growing up.

  131. Always make sure to travel safely by having an emergency kit in your car,checking the tires,and oil before you go on a road trip.

  132. A safety tip would be, in winter, always keep a small shovel in the trunk in case of getting stuck in snow or on the side of the road, winter is unpredicatable, and so are snow covered roads.

  133. Best winter driving tip is to have blankets, jackets, candles in car just in case. Already learned lesson and I’ve had to use jackets layered when I was changing a tire in winter

  134. Holy batman, tune up engine. Wow, prize road kit is fab. & splendid. 2 fingers snap. It is tight, fly & off the chain. A life saver. Thank you for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity. πŸ™‚ Pick me.

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