By Madeline Klein on December 16, 2016.
If you're one of the millions hitting the road for December holiday celebrations, we've got some winter essentials to consider for the ride. But before we get to the goods, if you have yet to start planning and the back of your mind keeps nagging you to get the details together, we wrote some general road trip planning tips that might help. Now to the holly, jolly suggestions.
Unless you're road tripping to the tip of Texas or hitting up Florida, chances are you'll encounter some pretty cold temps and maybe even some snow and ice. So far, Weather.com's White Christmas Forecast shows about half of the nation with a likely or possible chance of snowfall. Be prepared and have the following in your vehicle:
For the cold:
- Warm clothing like gloves, scarves, heavy jackets and boots
For snow and ice:
- Kitty litter (for traction)
- Rock salt (for melting ice)
- Ice scraper
- Snow shovel
For general emergencies or mishaps:
- Flashlight and batteries
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Extra cash (looking at you, unexpected tolls)
A thermos full of cocoa or cider is a given, but what about snacks? We wrote an entire post on road trip snacks to keep any hangriness at bay, but since it's the holidays, we figured the food could use a little festivity.
- For the salty and sweet combo: PrincessPinkyGirl's Chex Mix Christmas Crack
- For a festive take on fruit: Grinch Kabobs
- For a sweet on a stick: Reindeer Rice Krispies
- For a savory homage to snow: Egg Snowman
Games: We gave you a few suggestions in our road trip games post, but how about one with a holiday twist?
- Holiday Decoration Bingo: Everyone in the car gets a different bingo card and tries to cross off as many holiday decorations your crew finds during the drive. You can download and adapt some premade Christmas Bingo cards on sites like CrazyLittleProjects or you can make your own. With Hanukkah starting December 24, Christmas on the 25th, and Kwanzaa starting December 26, it's an instant win for whoever finds a Christmakwanzukkah trio.
Tunes: While the radio may have some holiday songs for the road, you run the risk of them cutting out in the middle of nowhere or hearing Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas" thirty times before you ever get a little Bing Crosby. That's not necessarily a bad thing if you really like Mariah, but we suggest tapping into Spotify or Pandora's premade holiday playlists. They've got anything from Classic Christmas to Hanukkah Kids. Download their apps, plug in your phone and choose one that suits your style.
Audiobooks: Taking a winter road trip means you may have to sacrifice watching the holiday specials on TV. But thanks to technology and the folks at Audible.com, you can use audiobooks to pass the time AND get your Grinch fix. Audible has quite a few choices, but here are some classics worth mentioning:
Have your own holiday road trip essentials? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!