Winter is a wonderful time to travel and explore somewhere different. A place can completely change once the cold drifts upon it and the Christmas decorations begin to make an appearance. It is one of my favourite times of the year to travel but it is also the most difficult to pack for. Bulky coats and lots of jeans can fill a suitcase for too easily and sometimes, I just downright forget the essential items I will need.
So to help you (and help me remember!) I have made this Winter Survival Kit: a list of Winter travel essentials.
Cold weather survival kit
Everyone knows that wearing layers is essential, but wearing the right layers is just as important! Thermals and thin layers are great if you plan on going in and out of museums, restaurants or bars whilst those thick, bulky layers are needed if you are visiting Christmas Markets or parks and plan to be outside for some time. Think cardigans, think thermal leggings, think thick socks, think practical and warm coats over short jackets.
I have always loved those cute, fluffy clothes with the little holes by the fingers…then I moved to Tianjin, China. Where the weather gets so cold that the lake freezes over…Yep, I learnt the hard way that you must, MUST, wear thermal gloves when you are planning on spending some time outdoors.
Sweaters are a bit of a weird one. I love a good, cosy sweater but they take up so much room in my suitcase! So now I have a rule of no more than 3 (and perhaps an extra Christmassy one). Personally, I go for darker colours because they are slimming and go with everything, plus, when I inevitably spill an assortment of hot chocolate…soup…flakes of mince pie (all those winter food essentials), it doesn’t stain! WIN WIN!
I also loved the oversize sweaters and aim for cashmere because it is so warm but not a bulky material.
The dancer in me LOVES writing this on this post but yes you heard it hear first. Leg warmers are cool! Especially when it is freezing outside! wear them under your jeans or with a pair of leggings and boots and keep those legs warm. These are especially great if you are visiting somewhere in the snow!
Breaking out into the FAME song is also a must!
I LOVE scarf season! There is nothing better than wrapping up in a nice silk scarf or thick woolly scarf and snuggling in. I even love that it is acceptable to keep the scarf on in school – pro to teaching life!
Anyway, I personally like a mixture of scarves and have a never-ending of excuses to take at least 3 different types on my travels! I tend to wear silk, softer materials in the evenings and thicker materials when I plan to be outside for longer.
Does anyone else find that Winter shoes are the hardest things to make a decision on? I can never decide if I want trainers or boots so to be honest… I go with both!
Rules for winter shoes: Waterproof to fight wet and snowy weather, dark shades (avoid mud and dirt stains) and easy to get on and off.
A warm woolly hat is a dream for most. Personally, they can seriously annoy the heck outta me! I have gone through my fair share of woolly hats because I find it so hard to get a hat that looks good on my enormous head whilst looking good and not overheating my head too! So just a few faves below!
When it gets cold outside, it can be really hard to motivate yourself to go out and explore. I pack a few extra items that make up this Winter Survival Kit:
- Hand warmers – when you get extra cold, these warm you up quickly!
- Moisturiser – cold weather is going to make your skin extra dry. I bring extra moisturiser and make sure I apply some every morning and night. Opt for moisturiser cream over lotion – it lasts longer and works better in cold weather.
- Power Bank – cold weather can also affect your phone battery, so a battery pack can be really helpful if you plan on being out all day.
- Face mask – Nothing beats getting back to your hotel from a busy day exploring, jumping into a hot bath and relaxing with a face mask. Plus, your skin has faced the harsh weather all day, so an extra TLC will always help!
- Lip balm – Avoid chapped lips with some lip balm in dry weather.
- Extra vitamins – Vitamin tablets are a must throughout the winter – the teacher in me is screaming “and every day you are with children!” I bring vitamins with me for travels and make sure to have one every morning, just to avoid any
- Packable jacket – I love a packable jacket that can be packed up small or worn as an extra layer/raincoat in the cold weather.
- Umbrella – With the cold weather comes the rain and snow. An umbrella is an essential winter travel item – aim for one that packs up small.
- Travel slippers – OK so this isn’t exactly an essential but I love wearing slippers, especially after exploring all day and coming back to the hotel with my chilly feet.
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favourite travel insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offer year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel to, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.