Winter car care tips when traveling as a family

Its getting darker at night and the days will soon be getting colder. It is a time of year when there are more hazards that you face as a family and being prepared is the key to success.

I absolutely hate driving in the winter and I am one of these people who is always over prepared when it comes to going anywhere. I am not talking about the obvious of checking your tyres, windscreen and fluid levels I am thinking things you need in your car for the family during the winter. Obviously having breakdown cover will really help you in an emergency – I always recommend the AA – but on a busy snowy day you may wish for other things too. Sometimes the breakdown agencies can be very busy and it is always best to be prepared.

Firstly wellies or snow boots, you should never go anywhere from 1st October onwards without your wellies being in the car. The one time you don’t have them I bet you need them. Also don’t forget the thick socks. A pair of heat holders would do wonders for cold toes and I recommend getting a pair for each member of the family.

You will also need lots of spare blankets so you can wrap up warm if you need to leave the car when it is cold outside. One each at least.

Invest in a decent ice scraper and a can of deicer wouldn’t be a bad idea too. Even a quick trip to the supermarket can ice up the windows on the car making them difficult to see.

Ensure everyone has a pair of gloves and a hat with them, you will feel the cold more if your head or hands are exposed. Obviously a coat would help too.

A Picnic blanket with a waterproof backing can be a great thing to sit on and prevent wet bottoms when everyone becomes too tired to stand up.

Have non perishable some snacks and drinks in the boot of the car for such occasions as these, sometimes it is enough to keep the kids happy.

Portable mobile phone charger or full charged replacement battery. I am quite lucky as I plug my phone straight into the car when I do long journeys so it is usually fully charged when I need it.

To prevent a breakdown it is always a good idea to give your car a winter health check, most garages will do this for you or you can have a look yourself if you feel competent enough to do so. I found this great article on Fox news with a few brilliant preparation tips to remember but loads of other sites have great information too.

As well as a standard car emergency kit containing a warning triangle, tow rope and other essentials it is worth buying a winter car kit too. These usually contain a snow shovel, torch, foil blanket and high visibility vest. If you can try to get a high visibility vest for all of the family, Ikea do great ones for kids which is wear I got mine.

Is there anything I have forgotten? What do you put in the car to prepare yourself for those long winter journeys?