How to Pack for a Winter Destination

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Winter Packing

When you pack for a winter destination, you want to pack light, stay warm, and look good. Anyone who has traveled during the winter would know that packing for a winter destination is tricky. The items you pack will depend on the kind of winter you’re going to face. Even in generally sunny places like San Francisco, it gets very cold during the winter. After all, you can’t properly tour Alcatraz when it feels like you’re freezing to death!

Traveling with multiple suitcases will leave you feeling too burdened and result in shocking baggage fees. However, you can’t leave those bulky sweaters behind. The secret is to balance between compact items and the stuff that takes too much space. In this article, we explain the art of packing for a winter destination and offer useful tips to make your packing simple, smooth, and straight-forward.

Start your packing by beginning with the the basics

Before you begin packing, get a sleek backpack or suitcase that is compliant with your airline’s requirements but comes with multiple compartments. Packing cubes are also essential to stay organized and minimize the space each item takes in your backpack. In comparison to compression bags, packing cubes are better as they’re versatile, it’s easy to use, the cubes neatly stack up, and your items are easily accessible.

Layer your clothes properly

When you want to travel light, you can’t carry bulky sweaters as it would weigh you down. So, instead of packing 4 heavy sweaters, carry ten different types of full-sleeved tops in your suitcase. Replace bulky sweaters with lighter fleece jackets whenever possible. If the weather requires it, you can smartly carry two sweaters by packing one into your carry-on and wearing the other.

When it comes to your clothes, the key is to carry a few pieces and layer them right. Wear a light long-sleeved top indoors where it would be warm. As it becomes mildly chilly, put on a fleece jacket. When you feel the icy frigidity, wear your sweater to stay warm. You can always wear more shirts under your sweater if you still feel cold.

As for your choice of pants, jeans and corduroys work well for both women and men. Don’t forget to pack a full set of thermal wear including underwear, pants, undershirts, tights, leggings, and socks.

Pack the right footwear

Your footwear protects your feet from the cold. So, skip the shoes and go straight for the boots. Since there are many styles of boots available, pick one that would be perfect for both casual and semi-formal outfits. So, you only need to carry one pair of boots with you. Do your feet a favor and choose low-heeled boots as you’ll be frequently walking on foot. The right kind of boots will be durable, waterproof, and easy to remove.

Protect your feet and fingertips with the perfect items

The days of lugging around heavy woolen mittens are long over. These days, thermal gloves are in trend with very good reason. Thermal gloves are thin, waterproof, and offer a good grip. They’re also breathable, wearable, and don’t take up much space in your suitcase or backpack. You can wash and dry them quickly and easily. The best part is that you can reuse your thermal gloves across a wide weather range.

The same goes for long thermal socks. Don’t pack your woolen socks for your travel as they occupy too much space and don’t dry quickly. Like thermal gloves, thermal socks are light, waterproof, breathable, and durable. During your winter trip, carry 4 – 5 thermal socks and use them in a rotation. So, you can frequently wash your used socks and reuse them throughout your travel.

Some accessories you need to protect yourself from the cold

When you pack for a trip during the winter season, you need to pack more than you would for a trip during summer. It’s simply not enough to just carry clothes, boots, gloves, and socks. Other essential accessories you’ll need to carry are scarves, coats, and beanies.

A good-quality scarf acts as a stylish accessory and serves to protect you from the cold. While they may be more expensive, choose scarves that are made with high-quality materials like cashmere or merino wool. Such scarves are better for travel because they offer more warmth, are lighter, and feel softer than their polyester or acrylic counterparts.

You need a long coat to keep you warm and help you look sleek. If you’re traveling through many places with varying temperatures, pick your coat based on the weather of your coldest destination. Choose a coat that is a bit longer and bigger than your actual size to allow for the proper fit of all those extra layers. Ensure that your coat is waterproof and windproof. Good choices are heavy coats, down jackets, parkas, and vests.

Beanies are amazing pieces of headgear that offer style, warmth, and comfort. Depending on the climate of your winter destination, you can wear anything from fluffy beanies to sleeker ones. Ensure the versatility and compatibility of your beanies by opting for neutral colors.

Other important must-haves to carry for your winter trip

Since winter air is very dry, it’ll dehydrate your lips and skin. So, apart from the above items, you also need to carry a good chapstick and a heavy moisturizer with you.

In addition to your backpack or suitcase, you need to carry an extra day bag. That’s because you can’t carry your suitcase with you at all times. Your day bag will be useful to carry your camera, jacket, gloves, phone charger, snacks, and other essentials.

Also, don’t forget to take travel insurance. Since there are many companies to choose from, compare and pick a policy that offers maximum coverage. Always read the fine print to understand the kind of coverage you’re about to get. Many policies become invalid if you take them after reach your destination. So, insure yourself and your belongings with suitable travel insurance before you travel.

Marc Andre is the founder and editor of TravelersPress. He loves to travel throughout the U.S., as well as internationally. Marc's favorite activity when traveling is photography.

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