According to travel advisors, cold weather getaways are more popular than ever. Travellers are skipping the sun-soaked tropical trips to explore ice caves, winter sports, do yoga in the cold, and enjoy the northern lights. They can also take advantage of cheaper prices for off-season destinations.
Cold-weather travel means bulkier packing. If you use the following guide to prepare for travelling to a colder country, you’ll definitely enjoy your trip.
Wear your bulkiest items
Save precious space in your luggage by wearing the bulkiest items while travelling to your destination. Your heavy coat or jacket can be taken off for the ride and stuffed under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin. Even a compact pair of boots can take up to one-third of your packing space. As a tip, wear your boots and pack everyday footwear.
You may get slightly uncomfortable for a short time, but lower check-on fees will make you feel better.
Choosing coats for winter travel
People who live in temperate climates tend to own lighter coats and jackets. Chances are, you’ll need to purchase a heavier one.
That Navy peacoat is warm and tough, but incredibly heavy. Instead, look for companies that sell outdoor wear, such as a warm ski jacket, with a lower weight to warmth ratio. Thus, while shopping, ask for something as warm and light as possible.
Pack for dressing in layers
Save packing space and increase your comfort by choosing fabrics wisely and dressing in layers. Begin with the base layer, which is worn closest to the skin. A good base layer is thin but as warm as a bulky sweater. The base layer will keep you warm when it’s cold, but you won’t feel overheated when walking into a 70-degree building.
Merino wool is a great fabric for base layer shirts and leggings. It’s light and thin, yet very warm and doesn’t look like thermal underwear. It’s also antibacterial and can help cut down on laundry.
The only drawback is that Merino garments are expensive. Save money by purchasing one Merino wool layer and supplementing with cheaper synthetics, like polyester. Stay away from cotton as it tends to make you sweat and dries slowly, leaving you to feel damp.
When it comes to footwear, hiking boots are best for cold weather climates. Look for insulated boots for maximum warmth. Since your cold-weather trip is likely to involve ice and snow, choose walking shoes with the maximum tread for minimal slipping. In addition to boots, which you’ll wear en route, pack no more than two pairs of shoes. Instead, focus on comfort and the activities you’ll be enjoying.
When choosing socks, you’ll be inclined to pack extra-thick ones. Save packing space by taking thinner ones that are still thick enough to add warmth. They’ll also be easier to hand wash and quick to dry. Merino wool hiking socks are a good choice as they’re reinforced to fit snuggly. Pack no more than three pairs of socks.
Accessories for cold weather
When shopping for cold weather accessories, go for high-quality wool. Ragg wool hats, scarves, and gloves can be found for under $30 each. Save packing space by stuffing them in your jacket pockets for the trip.
The sun is strong in higher altitudes and reflects off the snow. Both the cold air and wind tend to dry out your skin. Solve two problems at once (and save space) by choosing a moisturising sunblock and lip balm.
If you’ll be skiing or snowboarding, equipment, except for perhaps goggles, can be rented.
Learn to pack lighter
If you’ve followed the above tips, you’re well on your way to packing lighter. But there are even more ways to save luggage space for your cold-weather getaway. Only pack the “must-haves” and leave the “just-in-case” items behind. No matter how long your trip will be, only pack for one week and do laundry or wear clothing more than once, remember that merino wool is antibacterial, so you’re assured that you’ll stay clean if you wear it repeatedly.
Since travellers tend to pack their bags to the brim, choose a suitcase or backpack that holds no more than 45 litres. Learn to pack carry-on sized luggage for one week. Even if you check it, you’ll be less likely to overpack. Include a day pack for short side trips. This will give you more capacity. Packing cubes, compression sacks, and other organisers will make packing and unpacking easier.
Instead of packing shirts, pants, and underwear flat, roll them up instead. This trick saves a surprising amount of space. Instead of giant bottles of toiletries, opt for the travel-sized ones.
Featured image: Jeremy Goldberg/Unsplash