You step outside the terminal, breathe in a lung-full of diesel fuel exhaust, and think: Wow, it’s cold, and I didn’t pack gloves. Don’t despair—just because the moisture in your hands seems to be freezing before you can grab your Lyft, you can prepare for the worst and keep all digits intact. Here are our best winter travel reminders from our seasoned experts at Group Delphi.
Accessible gloves do not jump to the forefront when you’re leaving a city that’s 70 degrees and sunny, but make sure to have them at the ready. “Northeast city temperatures fluctuate a lot. On a recent Sunday, we went from 50 degrees down to 7 degrees in 24 hours,” says Herve Durrechou, a Business Development Director with Group Delphi. “So, get ready for extra layers no matter what.”
“I pack my cycling base layers and buff,” says Rose Faler, another Group Delphi Business Development Director. “Athletic base layers and buffs are thermal and wicking, the technical fabric is amazing. They can be rolled up and not take much room in a suitcase.”
Foremost, Follow the Weather and Airline Apps
“Download apps to stay ahead of chaos,” says Denise Lindroth, Group Delphi Account Executive. “Most folks will check the TV weather forecast when packing for their trip; however, that can be over dramatized. I rely on the radar [available on the] Weather Channel app for real-time weather activity and forecasting. The app will alert you to extreme weather anywhere you are and will help improve what you pack.”
And don’t forget your airline app. “If you don’t have your airline app on your mobile device, download it and sign up for text alerts,” says Lindroth. “The alerts will give you advance notice of weather-related travel issues affecting your flight(s), giving you the opportunity to adjust your travel plans as needed.”
Charge! As in, portably
Of course, apps are useless without a working device. “I always carry my portable battery charger,” says Faler. “My charger will fully recharge my iPhone seven times because it runs out of juice.
Lindroth echoes the importance of a charger. “I travel with the HaloBolt,” she says. “It not only has USB, it also has an AC/DC outlet to plug in, which is great for international travel. It can even jump start a car.”
Check Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Be prepared for when the weather decides to throw a winter tantrum. “Book direct flights whenever possible, and you’ll spend a lot less time lost de-icing. You also be less likely to get cancelled and stuck in a layover city,” says Julie Gustafson, Group Delphi’s Vice President of Customer Experience. “If you have to make one, book through a southern-most connection. I often chose between Atlanta and Detroit, and I always pick Atlanta in the winter. More connections, less likely to have a snow event.”
And if the planes get grounded? Train it. “Always know train schedules as a backup if available,” says Gustafson. “They are often available in the East, between New York and Boston for example. If your flight gets redirected, you have options.”
And don’t forget the car. “Be ready to rent and go,” says Gustafson. “Once, I had to drive to Arkansas for an install when the flight was canceled. I recruited someone to come along, and we drove straight through and made it on time. The show won’t wait for you.”
Hot Hands to the Rescue
It’s not just the outside temperatures that can send you desperately clutching a paper cup of coffee like it’s a life raft in the middle of the Arctic ocean. Faler offers up this useful advice: pack portable packets of instant heat. “For me, I first discovered these packets when we were installing for Semicon Japan, which occurs in early December. Then again for Semicon Korea, which occurs in January. Neither venues were heated during installation. I think it was below freezing in Korea, the coldest install and pre-show ever!”
Faler shares that Hot Hands is her preferred brand. “I throw these into my backpack so I have them when needed. Your crew and client will thank you!”