Home #WHERETONEXT An Essential Guide for Cold Weather Travel

An Essential Guide for Cold Weather Travel

You have planned your next winter holiday, and you already feel overwhelmed by the thought of packing. You won’t be alone if you share this sentiment. But the truth is, packing for a winter vacation can be as easy as packing for a summer break. 

The bulkier clothes and desire for options might seem impossible for your luggage allowance, but sticking to a few crucial steps will leave space for your favorite Superga sneakers and your most oversized winter jacket, to name a few. 

Focus on Essentials

We have all been there before. We pack 13 outfit choices for a five-day holiday and wonder why we have no space left for anything else. This issue is only exacerbated when it comes to heavier and bulkier winter clothing pieces. 

To avoid this issue, only pack clothing and fashion items you are going to wear, especially things that can be worn multiple times with other versatile pieces. This is the first way to ensure you won’t overpack. You must be strict with yourself and leave anything at home that won’t get more than two uses.

Layering is Key

Any winter travel wardrobe should be built like a capsule wardrobe. And layering plays a significant role in what you might choose to wear. By buying quality clothing items that fit well and layer nicely together, you will keep warm and toasty your entire trip while avoiding the big, bulking space fillers or, at the very minimum, significantly reducing the amount you need. 

Another important component of layering is making sure you can add and remove any layer as needed. You can only partially predict how your body will react to the weather. So this flexibility is essential to your overall comfort. 

Streamline Toiletries

A great way to save on space and weight is to limit, or streamline, the toiletries you are going to bring. Of course, you may have to abide by airline regulations when it comes to the quantities you choose to take, but this largely depends if you are traveling with checked luggage or just a carry-on bag. 

Finding products that serve more than one purpose will be your best bet. Oils that can be used on your face, body, and hair, or bars that double as a body bar and shampoo, are just two examples of this. It might be tempting to pack make-up alongside this but think realistically about the likelihood of needing these products. 

Plan & Pack

More important than the items you choose to take along is how you structure your thought process around the packing. When attempting to pack light for any trip, you will have to make some tough decisions to stick to your restrictions. 

Don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of underpacking, however. It is likely that what you choose to wear while on vacation, particularly in winter, closely resembles your choices at home. If anything unexpected arises while on holiday, you can always make a last-minute plan to get what you need. 


A sturdy and good-quality jacket is your first layer of defense against bitter elements. If possible, it should be waterproof and windproof, with an insulated lining. It might be tempting to bring along one massively puffy jacket, but this is entirely unnecessary unless you are going somewhere very cold with no rain on the forecast, as down puffers become obsolete when wet. 

Opting for a jacket or two that can be layered nicely, mixed with other clothing items, and stand up to the various forms of precipitation will make the best value for money. 


Dark-colored pants will be the best choice for cold weather. They look dressy enough for casual, everyday wear, and the color will hide dirt and other stains far better than khakis and lighter colors. 

Stretch jeans are ideal for hiking, walking, or in a casual setting around the town or city where you find yourself. For colder weather, you want layered or insulated pants that can protect you from the cold, wind, and rain that will likely accompany it. 

If the location is cold but not overly freezing, thick leggings are the ideal choice. They can be worn alone or under a pair of pants for a layered effect. 


When packing shoes, your goal should be two or three pairs max. With this limited wiggle room, versatility will be the most significant deciding factor on what to choose. You must pack rain boots if you plan to visit somewhere rainy and wet. They will keep your feet dry, and while they may not be what keeps them warm, they will accommodate thick socks. 

Waterproof hiking boots are another essential pick. They will be used for exploring, hiking, and everyday wear. Before embarking on your trip, wear these boots a little bit to avoid blisters or other foot-related issues. 

Athletic footwear should be the go-to pick if you have space for one more additional pair. Of course, if you can find a waterproof pair, it will be a bonus, but having a lightweight footwear option can come in handy for travel days or time spent indoors.