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Road T(r)ips: Winter Holiday Road Trip Essentials

2016 12 09 Lifehacks Roadtrip Holidaymusthaves

By Erin Thompson on December 16, 2016 in Travel

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,'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:

  • Blankets
  • 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
  • Water
  • 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.


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, 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!

Erin Thompson is the Marketing Manager for Say Insurance. She's responsible for guiding the strategic direction of all Say marketing campaigns. Prior to joining Say, Erin worked for a media agency based in Columbia, MO. She spent several years developing successful advertising campaigns for a diverse set of clients across the United States. Erin began her career in television advertising after earning her Master’s from the University of Missouri Journalism School with an emphasis in Strategic Communication. Her love of communication and helping people directed her to the insurance world.