Family life

3 smart tips to help you plan your next winter road trip

Maca Atencio of Hey Maca isn’t going to let a little snow and slush keep her family off the roads. These are her must-read tips for staying safe on a winter road trip!

By Maca Atencio, Hey Maca

3 smart tips to help you plan your next winter road trip

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how we are only a few weeks away from driving on roads packed with snow and ice. Pretty soon I’ll be feeling like I’m inside a magical snow globe, while planning getaways with my two kids, Nico (almost 7 years old) and Oli (3 years old). This can definitely be a challenging task, but we’ve decided that it’s time we seek out another adventure as a family of four. Our goal is to drive to as many local places as possible no matter the season, showing our kids how fun this kind of trip can be.

In order to have a successful road trip of any kind with your little ones, you need to line up a few things: good music, good snacks and a good family car that is ready for winter! In partnership with Michelin, I’m super proud to offer some key suggestions for traveling in your family car during the winter while keeping safety as a top priority, so that you can plan a little adventure for the books. Let’s hit the road!

Maca Atencio and her two kids prepare for a winter road trip

Pick your destination and plan the trip using this amazing organization hack

No matter how much we love Montreal, sometimes it feels really good to get out of the city, breathe some fresh air, meet new people and experience new things, together as a family. Am I right, travel lovers?

First things first: Before we take off on a road trip, we pick a destination and calculate the distance. I’m absolutely the planner in this family, so let’s be honest: wherever we go, I always create a really cute itinerary. My planning life hack? A personalized Google map, where I plot all the must-sees we want to visit, the pit stops we’ll need to make (if the drive is going to be far for the kids), and the activities we’ll be doing. This winter, we’re planning to explore a few ski and snowboarding mountains in Quebec with the kid, now that Oli is old enough.

Maca Atencio and her two kids prepare for a winter road trip

Get your vehicle winter ready

After doing a lot of research, we decided to lease our family car, making sure that we added all the essential safety features. Winter tires, a rearview camera, all-wheel drive, and sensors to help us catch anything in our blind spots.

We bought the car during the winter, and I quickly noticed how important winter tires are. They’re designed to perform better in a range of extreme winter conditions like the wet roads, snow, slush and ice that we often get across Canada. The Michelin X-Ice Xi3 contains a unique, full-silica compound called Flex-Ice that maintains flexibility at lower temperatures improving performance on ice and in snow, and maintains firmness at moderate temperatures, reducing wear and improving grip. Win!

Maca Atencio and her two kids prepare for a winter road trip

Take comfort to the next level

Hitting the road has this magical effect on me and the kids, but making sure they’re comfortable is always my number one priority. Here are some of my go-to strategies:

  • Create a brand-new playlist by syncing all my Spotify tunes in a hot second. (Thanks, CarPlay!)
  • Check tire pressure and brakes before leaving the city—especially during the winter. Tires lose pressure as the temperature drops, so it’s really important to check them at least once a month to ensure optimal driving conditions.
  • Pack tons of small, healthy snacks for the family: something Nico and Oli absolutely adore! Our essentials? Cheese strings, fruit granola bars, yogurt, veggie chips, sandwiches, and mini muffins.
  • Carry emergency items in your trunk: blankets, microfiber towels, a first-aid kit and in our particular case, an extra EpiPen.

Are you team road trip as well? I’d love to hear what you are planning to do this winter!

This article was originally published on Oct 24, 2019

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