Whether you crave a getaway in a secluded, snow-covered cabin in the woods, love to ski, or just want to save a little money on your family vacation, winter can be the ideal time to travel. If a winter vacation takes you to a location with a much colder climate than your own, however, it’s important to remember a few winter travel essentials before you head on that airplane.
What to Pack: Winter Travel Essentials
Ready to hop on a plane and enjoy the winter snow away from home? Here are a few things to remember when you’re packing for your next winter trip.
I always pack my carry-on so that I could survive for a few days in case of lost luggage (heaven forbid!). Remember to dress appropriately for your destination; be sure to layer your travel outfit with a jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
- A fully-stocked wallet (be sure to pack extra cash, photo ID, passport if necessary, and any contact information you’ll need while you’re away)
- Layered clothing (not only will it probably be cold when you land, but airports and planes tend to be chilly, so it’s a good idea to keep a scarf, sweater, etc in your carry-on)
- Comfortable shoes (hopefully you won’t need them to dash to your gate, but it never hurts to wear comfortable shoes on travel day)
- Fully-charged electronics (plus chargers)
- Snacks and an empty water bottle (or grab a full water bottle once you’ve passed security)
- Books, magazines, etc (although planes are being more lenient with passengers’ use of electronic devices on board, it’s still a good idea to have something that doesn’t need to be powered down)
Remember the importance of dressing in layers when you’re going to be out in the cold (even if you’re hitting the shops in town instead of the ski slopes). It’s always better to be over-dressed than freezing cold (which is a recipe for a travel day cut short!). It never hurts to bring a few extras – gloves and hats have a tendency to get lost along the road sometimes.
- Heavy winter coat
- Insulated gloves
- Winter hat (make sure you’ve got one that covered the ears)
- Scarves (not only are scarves fashionable, but a warm neck makes a huge difference in your comfort level….I promise!)
- Thick socks (I recommend buying some good wool socks)
- Comfortable snow-friendly boots
- Thermal underwear (tops and bottoms)
- Normal clothes that you can layer
When you’re packing for a trip to a cold location, a few items that you might take for granted at home could be life-savers when you’re not accustomed to being out in the frigid air.
- Camera plus batteries and memory cards
- Quality hand lotion (even if you don’t always use lotion at home)
- Lip balm (a MUST in cold weather!)
- Sunscreen (although sunscreen is normally associated with sunny beaches, the bright snow reflects the sun right back onto exposed skin and can lead to some pretty nasty winter sunburns. Ouch!)
- A small umbrella
- Waterproofing bags (throw a few ziploc bags of various sizes in your luggage – they could come in very handy when you are out and about and might risk getting your personal belongings wet)
Have I left any of your winter weather travel favorites out? Let me know what your must-have winter travel essentials are in the comments below!