The holiday season may be behind us but many of us still travel during these harsh winter months. Whether it’s a vacation to a warmer destination or a road trip home for a wedding, a happy occasion can become extremely stressful when the weather conditions take a nasty turn.

If things get really bad, it’s probably best to postpone or cancel your trip but, if you can’t, here are some suggestions to help you navigate through winter travel.

Driving

Loading everyone up into a vehicle and hitting the road is one of the most economic options for travel but, during the winter, it can also come with the most unexpected problems. For this reason, it’s essential to monitor local and regional forecasts for the most up-to-date information.

If you’re able to embark on your journey, double-check your tire pressure, heating system, antifreeze levels and car battery. Additionally, try to keep your gas tank more than half full during your trek and make sure your vehicle is equipped with blankets, food, water, essential medication, jumper cables, a spare tire, bag of sand, snowbrush and a shovel. You can never be too careful!

Flying

Airlines will take the guesswork out of winter travel by determining whether they deem it safe enough to fly. In order to have the most recent updates, consider subscribing to the airline’s email service and follow them on Twitter.

If your flight is canceled, remember to be kind to the airline representatives since they are not responsible for the inclement weather and will likely be more helpful if you are nice to them.

Do not wait to rebook your itinerary since all of the other passengers will be scrambling for any open seats. You do not want to be the one stranded in an airport for a day (or more!).

Expect Delays

If you must arrive at your destination for a specific date, you may want begin your travels a day or two earlier than you would in warm weather. Anything can happen so, if you are trying to make it home for your aunt’s 90th birthday, give yourself plenty of time in case the unexpected arises.  Additionally, pack extra medication, clothing and toiletries so that you are well-equipped if your trip lasts a little longer than planned.

Keep Devices Charged

This one goes without saying but make sure you fully charge your cell phone, tablet and/or laptop before you leave home so that you are not trying to find a power source in an emergency. Once your device is charged up, avoid using it so that you don’t drain the battery.

Use Common Sense

When it comes to winter travel, always consider as many factors as possible before making a decision. If you’re just going to hang out with friends in a neighboring city but the roads are treacherous, it may not be worth the risk.

Finally, pay attention and respect any travel advisories.  It could save your life.