Safest route for cross-country trip in winter?


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Hi there! I will be relocating for work from Seattle to Richmond, VA in mid- late December. I don’t have much experience driving in the snow and I’ve read conflicting information on travel forums.

Some say that the northern route is safer because those states are accustomed to the weather and take care of the roads, but also that snow tires are required. I don’t have room in my car for my regular tires, or the budget to buy snow tires. So I looked into the southern route, which would take me to southern California and then I-40 the rest of the way. But then I run the risk of those states experiencing bad weather and not having the infrastructure to deal with it.

My primary concern is that I will be bringing my hedgehog with me, and he needs to be kept at a minimum of 70°. I have a bunch of stuff to warm and insulate his carrier, but if we get stranded and I can’t keep his temperature up, he’ll die pretty quickly (they’re extremely sensitive to cooler temps).

Does anyone have experience driving in the south in the winter? Is it mostly safe as long as I have chains? Are there certain sections I should avoid? Any advice would be much appreciated!! Thank you!

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