Lifestyle West Blog

Winter Travel? Be Prepared

November 13, 2012

Have you ever had a tire go flat or find your car battery dead and think to yourself, “What rotten luck?”

Athlete Jack Youngblood once said, “Good luck is the residue of preparation.”

This holds true when it comes to preparing your car for winter travel. A bit of preparation now will help make sure you don’t find yourself stranded while on your way to Grandma’s house for Christmas dinner or on that winter weekend getaway to beautiful Kelowna! :)

Marc Brazeau, President of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada, said, “As Canadians, it’s essential that we take the necessary precautions to ensure that we and our vehicles are ready for the winter driving season. Thinking and planning ahead can be the key to avoiding a roadside breakdown.”

The Canadian Automobile Association and other automotive experts suggest the following to prepare your car for hitting the wet Canadian roads this winter.

Snow Tires - You don’t have to live in an area that gets a lot of snow accumulation in order to need snow tires. The rubber found in all-season tires will harden at a much warmer temperature than winter tires do. Winter tires help you maintain a grip on the road—critical for wet or icy driving conditions.

Mechanic Check-Up - A local mechanic can check over the critical fluid levels and working condition of the “under the hood” stuff including:  battery inspection for wear and tear on the terminals and cables, the exhaust system, heater and defroster functionality, oil change for winter grade oil.

Winter Wiper Blades - Install winter wiper blades to ensure you can sweep off the snow and loose ice as it comes.

Headlight Check - Now is the time to make sure your headlights, high beams, brake lights, fog lights, and turn signals are all functional.

Brake Check - Make sure your brakes are working well and not pulling to one side or the other.

In addition, you should prepare the inside of your car with some extra supplies in case you do get stranded. This can include:

  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Snow chains
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Warm blanket
  • Energy bars and bottles of water
  • Jumper cables
  • Extra pair of gloves and toque
  • First aid kit that includes a thermal blanket
  • Pocket hand warmers
  • Small bag of sand or kitty litter

When traveling in the winter, be sure a relative or friend knows where you are going and your expected time of arrival. Let them know the route you plan to take and if anything happens, advise them of your updated travel plans. Keep your house safe by asking your family or friends to watch over it while you're gone too.

Preparation will go a long way to ensure your travel will be enjoyable this winter. There are a lot of fun things to do, especially with your kids! If your winter trip brings you our way, we hope to see you at the Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel and Suites!

The award-winning BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelowna Hotel & Suites is known as a launch pad to the surrounding area’s 4 season outdoor playground in British Columbia, Canada. Winter sees world class skiing, and skating, while summer sun brings epic wine tours, golf, biking, and water sports. The Best Western is in the heart of beautiful Kelowna, BC and has 176 rooms and suites; plus conference center, mineral pool, spa and much more.



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