Prepare for Road Trips in Winter Weather

November 16, 2012 · 0 comments

in Road Trip Tips and Planning

Crank the car for a winter road trip.

Any time is a good time to take a road trip across America. We live in the greatest, most beautiful, most prosperous and exciting place on our planet … from sea to shining sea. I love road trips … that’s how I came to be called The King of the Road Trip.

That said … each season brings new opportunities and challenges for folks who want to get in their car and take a road trip. There are places you cannot safely go. For example, I understand some of the roads in Alaska are iced over for months during winter. Alaska might not be your first choice for a winter road trip. However, many hearty hunters head for the Great White North for the hunting season there.

There are other places where this is the ideal time to plan your trip. This is the time when folks who have nothing better to do (Who does have a better thing to do?) head for places like Florida’s Southern Atlantic seaboard. The Gulf Coast is beautiful and inviting from Naples, FL to Brownsville, TX. All across the coastal plains from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

If it ain’t broke … don’t fix it.

We all have favorite places that we could visit every year and  I have friends who go to the Smokey Mountains National Park six or seven times a year, they never tire of it. I know others who go to the Big Bend National Park in Texas for several months every year.

People have met new friends who make the same trip annually to RV parks or campgrounds. Some go so far as to buy a house or timeshare in their “ideal” location.

I could personally go the the Florida panhandle region every year.

It is a matter of going to a place you like and never get tired of visiting… if you find a place like, that then go to it!

Make a new trip out of your favorite winter retreat.

Lots of retirees pick favorite spots and they make the same trek year after year. We haven’t settled into that kind of routine with winter road trips. I can appreciate the fact that there are advantages of returning to the same location year after year, but that is not how the road sinks its lure into my mindset.

We do make trips to some destinations repeatedly, but it is because we have children and grandchildren who live in those locations. Even on those trips we vary our routes to add something new.

Consider this idea. If you make a routine trip to  a place that is 1,000 miles away; how many varied routes can you take to get there? You can take that simple idea a step further. From any point on that trip you can make a 90 degree turn in any direction, and by only adding a few hundred miles, you can see hundreds of places you’ve never seen. Get out a US map and look at the possibilities.

We go to Pennsylvania with little regard to the weather. We are as careful as we can be to avoid winter blizzards, but we have family there and we don’t want to miss a year between visits.

On our return visit, we pick a spot somewhere south of the Mason Dixon line and make as many detours as we have time and money to enjoy. These ‘side–trips’ usually only involve three or four hundred extra miles of driving. If we had taken the trip by a direct route we would have to drive 2,000 miles to accomplish the same goal.

Try using the technique above, you can visit places that would otherwise require many more miles driving and several more days on the road.

Here’s how we did this several years ago. We made a trip to Indianapolis, IN for the Southern Baptist Convention. Instead of taking a direct route home, we turned west and drove to St Louis, MO.

After a couple of days in St Louis, we continued west across Missouri then turned south into the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

These may not sound like exciting choices to you, but if you look at the towns along the way, you will find that every 100 miles or so, there is some interesting feature to experience. It may be a zoo, a museum, a memorial to a famous figure or it may be Mountain Home, Arkansas’ town square, where bluegrass musicians magically appear and put on free concerts almost every day during agreeable weather.

 The desert southwest has lots to offer.

Several years ago we drove the southern route of Interstate 10 from Mississippi to California. This route carries you through El Paso, TX into New Mexico and Arizona. West of Tucson, I-10 splits into I-8 which carries you to San Diego, CA.

As we went across extreme southwest AZ, I was amazed to see thousands of RVs parked in storage yards. In addition to the parked Rvs, there were more RV sales places than I had seen before.

Southern Arizona has become a favorite destination for winter travel. People who prefer the north during summer, park their RV in storage during hot months and come take them out of “mothballs” and resume their pleasure in this extremely dry, wonderfully warm climate.

Your plans may not be extreme enough to purchase a Motor Home, but whatever you plan you will be able to find plenty of great choices for taking winter road trips.

Hope these tips inspire you to get out of your cave this winter. Winter is a great time to be rolling up miles and dialing up smiles. Around here, “We don’t count the miles, we count the smiles.

Keep it between the ditches.

Bill Taylor

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