December 22, 2023

8 Travel Tips for Your Winter Road Trip Through Canada

Every winter, many Canadians eagerly anticipate hitting the road to explore our stunning backcountry. As you cruise through untouched snowy landscapes, you might catch sight of moose and caribou in their natural habitat or witness the awe-inspiring Northern Lights as you zigzag down the Powder Highway.

And for those craving a bit more action, there are many world-class resorts for skiing and snowboarding. But remember, with great adventure comes great responsibility! Those winding, snow-covered roads can be challenging and, sometimes, downright dangerous. In this guide, we’ve compiled eight essential travel tips to ensure your winter road trip is as safe as it is exciting. 


1. Get a Tune-Up

Before revving up for a winter road trip, prep your vehicle with a vital tune-up. Top off all its fluids—coolant, oil, and washer fluid. These are essential for a smooth driving experience during chilly conditions. 

Tires are next on the checklist. They should have at least 5/32 inches of tread depth, providing the necessary traction to navigate slippery roads. If you have winter tires, now’s the time to get them put on your vehicle. 

And don’t forget about snow chains! They’re an essential add-on that could be handy for extra snowy and icy stretches, offering an extra layer of grip and peace of mind.

2. Pack Properly

Here’s another winter road trip tip: pack properly! You’ve got your skis and snowboards ready, but an emergency travel kit is a must. This kit should include essentials like a warm blanket (because it gets cold!), reliable jumper cables for unexpected battery woes, extra washer fluid for clear visibility, and an ice scraper to keep your windows clear. 

Don’t forget a travel shovel for snow-related surprises, sturdy boots with grips to keep you steady on icy surfaces, and some spare rope for towing—just in case your wheels get stuck in the snow. 

3. Assign Roles

Assigning roles is a smart move and a great tip for winter travel. Unpredictable weather could throw you a curveball, so having a plan is essential. 

Designate a navigator to keep you on the right track, a weather updater to monitor sudden changes in conditions, and, for a bit of fun, appoint a DJ to keep the mood upbeat. This way, if you encounter a sudden snowstorm, everyone knows their role and can act swiftly. Following this tip helps to make your winter travel experience smooth and enjoyable for everyone on board.

4. Keep the Glare Away

Sunglasses aren’t just a summer accessory but a winter road trip necessity. Don’t underestimate the power of the winter sun, especially when it reflects off a blanket of snow. That glare can be more than just a nuisance; it can be a real distraction while driving. So, make sure your sunglasses are part of your packing list. They’ll protect your eyes from UV rays and improve visibility, keeping you safe and focused on the road. 

5. Drive Accordingly

When you’re out on a winter road trip, remember this handy tip: give the car in front of you a bit more breathing room than you usually would. 

Snow and ice could cause your vehicle to skid more easily after an abrupt stop or upon a quick acceleration. The extra space gives you crucial extra time to react if things suddenly go south, which could prevent a collision. 

6. Stay Connected

Before you hit the road this winter, stay connected! Make sure your phones are all charged before you head out. And do yourself a favor—let someone, maybe a family member or a friend, know where you’re going and when you expect to get there. This way, someone’s always in the loop about where you are, just in case you need a hand. It’s a smart move for any travel plan.

7. Avoid Cruise Control

A vital tip for winter travel is to avoid using cruise control. If your car hydroplanes or encounters ice, cruise control can cause unexpected acceleration, reducing your control over the vehicle. Manually controlling your speed is safer, as it allows for immediate adjustments to changing road conditions, which is essential for a safe winter road trip.

8. Pay Attention

Paying extra attention is crucial on a winter road trip. Be especially vigilant when changing lanes and navigating through mountainous twists and turns. It’s important to give yourself additional time for upcoming exits or merges. This winter road trip tip ensures you’re prepared for sudden changes and can make safe maneuvers, keeping you and others on the road secure.


CARSTAR Can Help You Prepare for Your Road Trip

Ready for your winter road trip? Let CARSTAR take the worry out of your journey. With high-quality, reliable repair services across ten provinces and 35 states, we ensure your vehicle is in top shape for the road ahead. Visit CARSTAR for your pre-trip check-up and travel with confidence!


Trust the CARSTAR experts for auto collision repair at a body shop near you.