Winter Road Trip Guide

Planning a winter road trip? A lot of preparation happens before you hit the road. Read on to find must-pack items and important travel tips so you can hit the road safely this winter season.

Winter is coming. And with it, come the holidays.

That special time of year that holds Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's Eve and everything in-between.

For most of us, it's time for that annual road trip to see family and friends. But before you head out on the long road home, make sure you, your family and your car are ready for your winter road trip. With this winter road trip guide from Enterprise, you'll be prepared to face any hazard that comes your way this winter (except avoiding your Aunt Totsie at Thanksgiving - we can't help with that.)

Topics covered:
Travel During COVID-19
Best Cars for Winter Road Trips
Prepping Your Car for Winter
Planning Your Route
Reducing the Spread of COVID-19

Travel During COVID-19


While some states are still under certain levels of quarantine, many are loosening social distancing restrictions to stimulate state economies while protecting residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before you hit the road, find out the latest on where states stand in their plans to reopen so you can plan accordingly for your road trip home.


Best Cars for Winter Road Trips


Winter means hot chocolate, snowmen and sleigh rides. It can also mean snow, ice, sleet and freezing rain. Naturally, there are some cars that are better suited to handle tricky winter conditions – like SUVs. With higher ground clearance (the distance between the vehicle’s lowest point and the ground), all-wheel drive capability and standardly larger tires, SUVs are usually the first choice for winter travel.

But there’s more than just weather to consider when you’re traveling for the holidays. Enterprise has a wide array of vehicles that can suit your winter road trip needs. Whether you need more cargo space to pack presents or you simply don’t want to add any extra mileage to your vehicle, renting a car could be the best option for your winter road trip. We also have rental equipment available, such as car seats or ski racks. Explore our selection of vehicles to find the perfect car for your holiday travel.


Prepping Your Car for Winter


Emergencies can happen to anyone, especially in the wintertime. Whether you run out of gas, blow a tire or hit a patch of black ice, an emergency car kit can help get you back on the road safely. Include items that will help keep you safe, warm and comfortable, such as:

  • Blankets, mittens, socks and hats – great to help keep everyone warm if you end up stranded for a few hours
  • Ice scraper and snow brush – helpful when you need to clear your window from snow and/or ice
  • Flashlight – so you can maneuver with ease at nighttime (don’t forget extra batteries!)
  • Jumper cables – lest you be stuck with a dead battery and no cables to jumpstart it
  • First-aid kit – keeping a stash of items band-aids, gauze pads and antibiotic cream can help treat on-the-road injuries
  • Bottled water and non-perishable snacks – it’s important to have water and snacks for emergency situations
  • Cell phone charger – so you always have a full battery to call for a tow (or mom and dad)

Find more helpful ways to prepare for winter situations on the road with this Winter Car Care Checklist from AAA


Planning Your Route


Need a break? Plan your route ahead of time so you can take advantage of any rest stops, restaurants or must-see attractions along your way. (You’ll be glad you scheduled in time for breaks when you hit the 3-hour mark and your family gets restless.)

And don’t forget to check the roads and weather for your winter road trip. Weather can change from one location to the next. That’s why it’s important to check road conditions for your starting point, ending destination and every stop in-between. Safe TravelUSA has a map that shows road, traffic and weather conditions across the country


Reducing the Spread of COVID-19

We’re taking steps to protect you and your family this holiday season. We’re following guidance from leading health authorities and have expanded our already rigorous cleaning protocols. On top of vacuuming and general wipe-down cleaning of each vehicle, we’re sanitizing 20-plus key areas with disinfectant between every rental.

In addition, we’ve implemented processes to help promote social distancing by getting you quickly on your way while avoiding foot traffic in our locations. From vehicle delivery and curbside pickup to advance check in, ensuring your safety and the safety of others in your group is our top priority. Learn more about how we’re protecting customers and employees from COVID-19 and how to reserve a rental car for your road trip home.

There are also steps you can take in your rental car to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces in cars, including frequently touched electronic surfaces, such as shared tablets or touch screens.


Hit the Road

Don’t forget to have fun this holiday season. And remember, from finding the best car for your road trip and rental car considerations, to making sure you grab the road trip essentials, Enterprise can help you with these decisions and more. Reach out to your local rental branch or call 1-855-266-9565 to make a reservation today.