Knowing how to choose winter travel outfits and what to pack for a winter trip makes winter travel much easier. Following these simple tips, you can still pack light and stay warm.
How to Pack for a Winter Trip: Tips and Tricks to Fit More In Less
- Check the weather. Not all winter climates are the same. Some are bitterly cold but dry, while others are windy and wet. Plan your winter travel outfits based on the weather you will likely encounter.
- Consider Your Activities. The activities you plan to participate in determine what you should wear. If you dream of indoor shopping, eating out at fine restaurants, and soaking in the hotel hot tub, you won't need winter outfits suited for skating, snowshoeing, or ice fishing.
- Check TSA regulations for winter travel essentials. If you're traveling with air-activated or battery-powered hand warmers, you can pack them in carry-on or checked luggage. Firestarters and similar camping accessories are prohibited. Check with the TSA before packing such items.
- The best winter travel outfits are layered. Avoid bulky sweaters and parkas in favor of thin base layers, long-sleeved shirts, thin sweaters, and light jackets that take up less space, dry quickly, and keep you warm.
- Wear your bulkiest clothesif you need a heavy sweater or coat; wear them while you travel instead of packing them.
- Vacuum seal-packed clothing. Using vacuum-sealed bags allows you to pack heavier clothing without sacrificing packing space.
- Take advantage of expanding luggage. Many check-in and carry-on luggage styles have zippered expansion pockets that give you extra space for bulkier clothing and other winter travel essentials.
- Pack extra clothes. Winter weather can leave your clothing damp and uncomfortable, if not outright wet. Pack some extra clothes for use while your wet items dry out. A warm sweatshirt and pants are ideal for relaxing in your hotel room after a day playing in the snow and wind.
- Bring extra socks. Cold feet are never pleasant, especially when you’re traveling. Bring extra moisture-wicking, insulated soaks so your feet stay warm and dry.
What to Pack for a Winter Trip: Must-Have Items for Cold Weather Travel
Winter travel essentials help keep you comfortable, especially if you’re planning a road trip. Be sure to pack the following items:
- Hand and foot warmers: Small air-activated heat packers provide instant warmth and are great for fending off the cold on a winter hike or long car ride.
- Lip balm with an SPF rating: Cold weather can result in uncomfortable chapped lips and, yes, sunburn on clear days. Protect your lips with an SPF-rated lip balm.
- Portable phone charger: Phone batteries drain faster in cold weather. Pack a portable phone charger in your carry-on or under-seat bag for easy access.
- Moisturizing lotion: Add some moisturizer to your toiletry bag to keep the cold from drying out your skin.
- Travel-sized hand sanitizer. Winter is the flu and cold season. Pack some hand sanitizer to help keep those germs at bay.
- Portable umbrella: Cold, wet snow and freezing rain can soak you to the bone, so bring along a portable umbrella to help you stay dry.
- Microfiber towel: Lightweight and quick-drying, a microfiber towel takes up minimal space in your luggage and is great for drying off eyewear and damp electronics.
Winter Travel Outfits: Stylish and Functional Clothing Ideas
The packing list for cold weather blends form and function so you can stay warm while looking good. Here are a few ideas for your next winter travel wardrobe:
- Layers, layers, layers: We mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: pack with layering in mind. Layered clothing allows you to easily adjust to changing temperatures by adding or removing clothing. Multiple layers also provide better insulation than one or two layers.
- Thermal underwear: Stylish? Probably not, but thermal undies provide a warm base layer without adding bulk to your winter travel outfits.
- Mix and match: Choose complementary clothing you can mix to create multiple outfits. You’ll save space in your luggage while packing plenty of clothing options.
- Choose moisture-wicking fabrics: Winter weather can be wet, and too many layers can make you sweat. Opt for clothing made from merino wool or synthetic fabrics to keep your inner layers dry and warm.
- Pack fashion accessories: Scarves, gloves, beanies, and winter hats help you stay warm. Pack enough winter accessories to add variety to your outfits.
- The right footwear: The best winter footwear is waterproof and insulated.
- A lightweight down jacket: Instead of a bulky parka, pack a lightweight down jacket that’s wind- and rain-resistant. Light down jackets make excellent outer layers and can be packed without taking up much room.
- Pack extra mittens, hats, and scarves for the kids: Children often lose such items, so having some backups is helpful.
With some preparation, you’ll find it easy to pack for a winter trip, especially if you start with the right luggage. Travelpro offers the check-in suitcases, carry-on luggage, and under-seat bags you need to travel with everything on your winter trip packing list!