Winter 2018 Is Going to Be Naughty. Here Are a Few Quick Tips for a Smooth Travel Experience

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If you live anywhere between Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi, the Farmer’s Almanac says your winter is going to be the stuff of nightmares.

It predicts “above-normal snowfall predicted for Great Lakes, Midwest, New England, Pacific Northwest.”  And it also expects a stormy winter all the way through the official start of spring, particularly on the East Coast.

Here are some quick tips to prepare you for this upcoming winter!

Do You Like Snow, Ice, and Freezing Rain? You’re Going to LOVE Winter 2018

1.   Book Your Travel With a Credit Card That Offers Trip Delay Insurance

Several top travel credit cards have built-in protection.  So just paying for your trip with a particular card can save you from purchasing a separate travel insurance policy for items like:

  • Trip delay or cancellation
  • Delayed or lost luggage
  • Travel accidents

These benefits can help if a natural disaster occurs and mucks up your travel plans.  Some of the best cards to use are:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve – Trip delay insurance kicks in after 6 hours
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card – Trip delay insurance kicks in after 12 hours
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – Trip delay insurance kicks in after 12 hours

Also, cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve will give you primary rental car insurance when you pay for your rental car with your card and decline the car rental agency’s collision damage waiver.  So when you slide your rental car along a patch of black ice into a street lamp, your card will cover you for the damage.  You don’t have to report a thing to your personal insurance provider!

These cards can even reimburse you for an unplanned hotel stay due to a canceled flight.  Bookmark this post for tips on how to find last-minute hotel reservations!

2.   Keep an Eye on Your Flight With Handy Mobile Apps

Before you head to the airport, enter your flight information into an app like FlightAware.  If there are delays at the airport, you’ll see when your flight is expected to take off.  You can also use FlightRadar24 to see where your plane is in real-time!

These apps show you the status of the plane you intend to board.  If you’re 15 minutes away from your boarding time, and you see your plane parked at an airport 1,000 miles away, that’s not a good sign.

3.   Request Alternate Routes When Your Flight Is Delayed or Canceled

If you have a mental list of alternate routes to your destination, you could really save yourself from big delays.  And if you’re willing to fly to a different airport near your destination, you could arrive at your destination literally a day earlier than other folks on your canceled flight.

A handful of times my flight has been delayed or canceled because of inclement weather at my connecting airport.  For example, my flight to Dayton was once canceled because there was a blizzard in my connecting city, Chicago.

However, I was able to change my flight to arrive in Cincinnati (~1 hour from Dayton) for absolutely free.  And I arrived at my destination on time!  Because that route connected in sunny Atlanta instead of snowy Chicago.

You can read more about this strategy here.

Bottom Line

Winter is headed our way.  And it’s pissed.

There are plenty of things you can do as a traveler to prepare for all the extra white stuff we’re expecting this year:

  • Sign-up for credit cards with travel insurance
  • Use mobile apps to monitor your itinerary for delays and cancellations
  • Know alternate routes to reach your destination in case winter weather is adulterating an airport along your journey

Read this list for 7 smart tips for handling canceled flights.  And let me know your plans for preventing travel interruptions this winter!

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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