Everyone needs a break – a time to reconnect with family, unplug from technology, and make lasting memories. This sounds fantastic, but how can we take that break without breaking the bank and sacrificing our sanity, let alone deal with all that Mother Nature throws at us in the winter months? We asked around the Warm 106.9 studios for everyone’s favorite winter travel tips and tricks and discovered some pretty incredible nuggets of genius we’re happy to share.

PS. We accept thank you’s in post-card form! 😉

5 Simple Tips and Tricks for Making Your Winter Travel Easy

1. Check your vehicle
Winter weather brings its own unique challenges to travel, so before you go, make sure you have proper tires and chains and you aren’t in need of an oil change. Many local auto centers will do a free inspection for you to make sure your car is in tip top shape before you go, and don’t forget the emergency kit (and a map for when/if you lose cell signal).

2. Entertainment Entertainment Entertainment
Hell hath no fury than a bored child. While parents everywhere have their own tricks for keeping their kids entertained, make sure you have a variety of options that do not require a screen. Coloring and activity books, cards, travel games, stories, and a few favorite toys can make long drives pleasant for everyone involved. (Pro tip: we have a free activity book – you can find it here!)

3. Healthy Snacks
Yes, we know, vacation is for having a little fun. That said, we also know from experience that blowing your healthy eating habits on the car ride down can set-up a long weekend (or week) of… well… unpleasant bathroom trips. Keep everything flowing smoothly for the whole family by packing healthy snacks like fruit slices with nut butter, trail-mix, jerky, apple sauce squeezes, string cheese, or energy bars (Lara Bars are a favorite). Don’t forget to pack plenty of water!

4. Assign Everyone a Job
Make your kids feel like they are a part of the experience from start to finish by assigning each of them a task. For older kids, it could be taking photos of interesting landmarks to commemorate the family trip, while the little ones could be assigned to watch for deer or other animals on the side of the road. Whatever the task, getting your kids involved is always a great distraction from bickering.

5. We Know You “Went” – But Try Again
There’s nothing worse than getting 10 miles down the road and hearing a chorus of “I have to go potty” coming from the back seat. Planning a few strategic 15-20 minute stops along your route is a great way to get out, stretch, burn off a little energy, and use the restroom – not once, but twice. Once after getting out of the car, and once before getting back into the car. Your future self will thank your current self for adopting the 2x rule.

Looking for the perfect winter destination to try out these tricks? Look no further than Bend, OR. From winter sports to outdoor adventures, Bend has everything you could possibly want from a winter getaway, all within a day’s drive of Seattle.