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Hiring a Vehicle on Winter Holidays: 7 Tips for Skiers and Travelers

American winters have a lot to offer, from snow-covered national parks with magnificent peaks to great forests and Christmas-time cities that render the Home-Alone atmosphere. For a keen traveler, that’s plenty of fun and new things to see.

Trips at this time of the year differ from summer getaways. Most people explore the states by car. Services such as can help you instantly determine how expensive the ride would be, what models are available in the target price range, and what parameters cars have.

Renting a car is generally more budget-friendly and flexible than taking flights. Still, whether you’re planning one outing this winter or many, you must know the nuances of hiring and exploiting a car. Let’s go.

1. Pick the right vehicle.

On your expedition, safety is the primary concern. So, dig deeper into what car models and behaviors are fit for winter driving.

If you’re a fan of an automatic transmission, this season might be a reason to rent a car with manual transmission. It’ll let you slow down more safely without using brakes. This matters a lot on slippery slopes.

Surely, it’ll also depend on the destination – if it’s a far-fetched area, an SUV or 4×4 is great, but it can be redundant for city rides, such as visiting Christmas attractions.

2. Learn the road safety rules of the state you visit.

Sounds boring? You won’t think so if an unforeseen situation takes place. In the US, states can have different laws, including those for driving. So, do your homework and know what’s allowed and required.

3. Be at least 20 km slower than driving your own car.

Do we need to explain that a rented car is a completely different vehicle than the one you’re used to? It can have nuances you don’t know about, so being slower can save you from stress.

Overall, try to be as smooth as possible with your car movements. Oh, and keep to the 6-second gap rule.

4. Always check the windscreen.

Ensure that the windscreen is clean and the wipers aren’t damaged. Check if anti-freeze liquid is there before heading over to your dream destination.

In case dire straits happen and the windscreen gets frozen, using inside-car heating can solve the issue (but never use hot water!). However, repair bills for the cracked glass, in that case, can be hard to put up with.

5. Bring a shovel around.

Winter vacations sometimes lure us to unpopulated places just to feel the vibes of chilling and avoid crowds. If you’re tempted to go to such places, a shovel will help you to dig yourself out.

6. Make sure your insurance gets you covered.

Some people rely on their luck, but it’s much better to rely on active insurance that covers all sorts of damage, from slight collisions to serious car accidents. While many services offer a range of insurance for hired cars, you won’t be too cautious if you extend insurance to the vehicle you rent for some time.

This is an option in many rental services, so why not use its benefits if you own a great one? Then, check out services such as Carngo to pick the best protection.

7. Look for anti-locking braking systems.

Everybody has got their own style of driving, and this includes braking. No matter what type of car you rent, the anti-lock braking systems (ABS) will let you get back traction to your tires. It simply prevents wheels from being locked up and makes winter maneuvers safer.

Use these tips well and be safe this year when driving to fairy-tale winter places.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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