Gts / ShutterstockTraveling Through Winter Storm Mars? Essential Tips to Stay Ahead of the Storm Suzy Guese February 8, 2016 Air Travel, Travel Tips These winter storms just keep coming, and this time we’re seeing New England taking the biggest hit! According to the National Weather Service, a potentially paralyzing snowstorm is currently clogging things up in New England, with snowfall extending as far south as New York City. Blizzard conditions could drop about a foot of snow in the Northeastern states—which doesn’t sound that extreme, until you factor in the 65 mile per hour wind gusts that are simultaneously blowing. Blizzard conditions should last through Monday night and potentially into Tuesday morning, and understandably, those with travel plans are scrambling to stay ahead of the storm. Here are a few essential tips to help you trudge through Winter Storm Mars if you are flying or driving this weekend. If you’re still at home—stay ahead of delays. Ollyy / Shutterstock Your flight could be delayed or cancelled! To stay ahead, check your flight details before you leave for the airport. It also pays to check with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Flight Delay Map to find out the average delay times at your affected airports. You may even be able to re-book or make other plans before everyone on your flight realizes it’s too late. Travelers on the West Coast should keep checking their flights too, as your plane for that Denver to Los Angeles flight, might be delayed coming from the East Coast! If your travel plans are flexible—utilize airline weather waivers. areporter / Shutterstock In anticipation of Winter Storm Mars, some airlines have already begun issuing weather waivers. Airline travel waivers generally allow you to change your flight without having to fork over a change fee, or the difference in airfare with a new flight. Utilizing an airline travel waiver is relatively easy. You should head to the airline’s website first to see if your airport is affected. Next, check to see if your travel dates are included in the waiver. If you meet the qualifications, you can generally change your flight online or call your airline directly. If you don’t absolutely need to travel this weekend, airline travel waivers can be your best option for beating the storm. If you have to drive—prepare, go slow, and take main roads. Olaf Naami / Shutterstock If you have to drive in wintry conditions this weekend—be prepared! AAA MidAtlantic recommends that you load up your vehicle with a survival kit composed of items like a shovel, blankets and flashlights. Also, make sure your vehicle is good to go mechanically before hitting the road. As you drive through wintry conditions, slow and steady always wins the race. Icy conditions make even the toughest of SUVs weep. If you have to drive, take main roads as they will most likely be treated and plowed. If your flight is canceled or delayed at the airport—act fast! Creativa Images / Shutterstock Everyone and their mother will be trying to get on another flight when the gate agent announces your flight is canceled or delayed. While you can join the masses at the customer service line, it doesn’t hurt to get on the phone with your airline’s reservation number. They can sometimes switch your flight long before you get to the front of the line at the airport. If it looks like you will be at the airport for several hours, you might as well treat yourself by purchasing lounge access for the day. Has Winter Storm Mars affected your travel plans? Have you ever traveled during a winter storm? Let us know how the weather has affected your travel plans in the comments below.