The winter season is one of the best times to plan an adventure-filled holiday to a snow-capped mountain peak or a laidback European town. However, packing for cold getaways is quite different from packing for summer vacations, especially if you want to travel light. You’ll need to carry bulkier clothes, more layers, and accessories which can be difficult to fit in one bag. Here are some tips on how to pack for your next winter vacation so you can stay warm and stylish throughout.
Choose the Right Fabrics
A good winter wardrobe begins with choosing the right fabrics. You need something that can keep you insulated from the cold without being heavy or bulky. Although expensive, merino wool is an excellent choice that’s worth the investment. It’s an exceptionally warm, moisture-wicking, and naturally odor-resistant fabric that you can even wear in the summer thanks to its temperature-regulating properties. You can also opt for other insulating natural and synthetic fabrics such as heavyweight cotton and polyester, but for extreme temperatures, merino wool offers the best warmth-to-weight ratio.
Pack Thin Base Layers
If you want to stay warm, look stylish, and pack light, you’ll want to ditch heavy sweaters and sweatshirts in favor of thinner layers. This way you’ll have the flexibility to adjust your outfits according to the temperature and activity. Plus, thinner layers also take up less space in your luggage. Pack a couple of high-quality long-sleeve thermal shirts and leggings as your base layers along with some thin sweaters that can trap heat and you’ll not only fit more in your bag but also have more clothing options that you can mix and match to create different looks.
Carry a Down Jacket
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When going on cold getaways, a warm jacket is a must and there’s nothing better than a lightweight down jacket. They seem big and bulky but you can easily compress them using compression bags and save a lot of space in your bag. Choose one in a neutral color so you can combine it with almost all of your outfits. You can never go wrong with a black or off-white down jacket as they pair well with most other colors while also looking fashionable.
Don’t Forget the Accessories
A lack of proper cold-weather accessories can make your winter vacation more difficult than it has to be. To protect yourself from the cold and spice up your outfits, you’ll need to carry a few accessories such as a wool felt hat, a cashmere or merino wool scarf, a few pairs of insulating socks, and a pair of wool gloves. One tip is to look for gloves that work with touchscreens so you can use your phone without having to expose your hands to the biting cold.
If you’ll be around a lot of snow, carry sunglasses and sunscreen as well to protect yourself from the glare and the harmful UV lights. Another essential item you’ll need is a pair of sturdy snow boots that are waterproof and lined with fleece to keep your feet snug and toasty.
Wear Your Bulkiest Items
One golden rule to follow while packing for a winter vacation is to always wear your heaviest, bulkiest items during your flight. Have a cute sweater you really want to wear? A warm but bulky jacket you wish you could take with you? Just wear it on you and save your luggage space for lighter items. You could also layer up underneath the sweater and jacket. If it gets too hot, you can always take off the jacket and stash it in the overhead bin. This applies to shoes as well. You’ll likely want to carry another pair of shoes like some sneakers in addition to the boots. Wear your boots on the plane and pack the lighter ones in your bag.
Use Compression Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are pretty handy for organizing your clothes while traveling. They allow you to sort your clothes with ease and take out items without creating a mess. But when packing for a winter getaway, you’ll want to use compression cubes instead of the usual packing cubes. Compression packing cubes and bags are excellent for squeezing out excessive air from bigger items such as sweaters and jackets. This brings down the volume and size taken up by these items, freeing up more space in your bag.
Basic Winter Vacation Packing List
Now that you have an idea of how to pack for cold getaways to maximize your luggage space, here’s a basic checklist that you can customize to your needs:
- Two merino wool thermal t-shirts and leggings
- Two fitted cotton, wool, or cashmere sweaters
- Two long-sleeved and short-sleeved t-shirts
- A couple of wool or cashmere scarfs
- Several pairs of warm socks
- A pair of wool gloves
- A felt hat or wool beanie
- A fluffy down jacket
- Two trousers
- A pair of weather-resistant boots
- A pair of sneakers
Pack Smart for Your Winter Getaway
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Just because you’re heading to a colder destination for your vacation doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fashion due to the limited baggage space. Using the packing tips shared above, you can maximize your luggage space and fit more items. Make sure to take advantage of the accessories to make your outfits more interesting. Opt for versatile pieces of clothing that you can layer with ease and you’ll have a new look every day to make your getaway even more memorable!