Traveling in the cold weather can be uncomfortable and annoying. On the one hand, it’s cold, but then you must put up with all the layers and the thick coats. And most places are hot inside, so you end up having to work around layers without freezing the next time you go outside.
With the right products, you can certainly make the most of your winter travels and keep yourself comfortable. The right items will keep you warm without feeling like you’re the Michelin Man. Make sure you stock up on the right options. Traveling for your European winter vacation is even harder, as you need to stock up on heavy clothing when you’re on a tight luggage allowance.
They don’t have to cost a fortune either. Here are seven that you need to have and can easily stock up on each year. In fact, many of them will last a few years, so you get your money’s worth.
Always Opt for Thermal Leggings and a Top
If you’re not going to buy anything else for your winter travels, make sure you stock up on the leggings and top. You don’t want any material. Make sure they’re thermal options. Not only do they take up very little space in your luggage, but you will also keep yourself warm from the deepest layer of your clothes.
The thermal items are breathable but insulated. You can remain fresh and comfortable, without shivering away or feel like you’re sweating buckets on the flight! They can be worn under almost anything. The only outfits you’ll likely avoid them with are skirts and dresses, but there are low chances of wearing them on your winter trip except if you’re going to be inside all the time! Although the right material will work as normal leggings for your skirts.
You can get thermal leggings and tops from most of outdoors stores. They’re worn a lot by hikers and campers, even those that go in the summer. You can also get them in a range of colors.
If you plan on doing sports while you’re traveling, make sure you stock up on some thermal leggings made of a flexible material to wear under your shorts!
The great thing about the thermals is they work at PJs too. That’s one less thing to take since you’ll likely have multiple pairs of thermals to wear where you’re away. The thermals can also help to minimize the number of layers you wear, so you can reduce the number of other items of clothing you take.
Don’t look for fashionable options. You want thermals that are comfortable and durable, suitable for the temperatures you’re likely to reach on your travels. This is where the outdoors shops are extremely useful.
Have a Dark Pair of Trousers
This should be a rule whenever you’re traveling, but something to do when you’re traveling in the winter. Since you need to make room for as much winter gear as possible, you want to minimize the items of clothing that can double up for fashion choices.
A dark pair of trousers will be your best friend. A dark skirt can also be beneficial, but dark trousers are the way to go. During the day, they look good with a t-shirt, but on an evening, they look perfect with silk tops and camis. The great thing is black pants work for both men and women, so your significant other can take a pair and cut down on items to take on the plane.
Black skinny jeans can work a lot of the time, but they can be awkward to travel in. You may want to opt for black jeggings instead. They will still look good and like a pair of jeans, but you’ll get the stretch you need for the traveling. Plus, they work with absolutely everything.
Boots are a must when you’re traveling in winter, just like flip flops are perfect for traveling in the summer. When you opt for boots, you have the whole foot covered, so the cold weather outside is less likely to affect your toes. Of course, it’s not a guarantee to avoid everything, but it’s a step closer than your plimsolls or running shoes.
Make sure your boots slip on. The last thing you want to deal with at the airport is laces. You want to be able to pull your boots off to get through security and then put them straight back on when you get through to the other side.
Slip on boots can be zipped. They make things easy and can make you feel like you have a little more security. However, avoid buckles for your boots. They look stylish, but they’re not practical when you’re traveling around.
You can take another couple of pairs of shoes. Sneakers can be good for walking around. However, with the right boots, you won’t need anything for dinner. A smart pair of boots look good with your black pants or jeggings and a smart top, so you have something perfect for dinner. If you’re going to have another pair of shoes, make sure you wear your boots. They take up more space and weigh more. You want the smaller, lighter options in your bag!
Dark boots are good options. They don’t show up the mud as much, which helps you get away with using them for everything when you’re traveling. Also look for those that are made with Gor-tex material, as it’s waterproof.
Have Lightweight and Warm Socks
The socks are going to be extremely important when you’re traveling in winter weather. You never know what is going to happen and you want to make sure your feet remain warm. But of course, you don’t want thick socks taking up all the space.
It’s time to stock up on some warm but lightweight socks. There are a variety of brands that you’ll find in an outdoor store with your thermals. If you take 3-4 pairs, you can always wash them in the sink when you stay somewhere. This will help to cut down on the amount you take without sacrificing your comfort, hygiene, or temperature control.
You may still want some thinner socks, depending on all the shoes you plan on taking. However, if you have a pair of good slip-on boots, you’ll only need the lightweight, comfortable socks. They’re even good for hiking and running!
This is another item that you want to get if you’re only going to get two or three from the list. Socks are essential for comfort and safety.
Don’t Forget Your Hat, Gloves, and Scarf
I could put these as three separate items, but they’re technically one: warm accessories. Having a good set of hat, gloves, and scarf will help you feel comfortable on your journey. You can put them in pockets and take them easily in your carry-on. Your scarf can constantly be worn if you have the right type.
Look out for thinner scarves. Because of the material bunches up, you’ll find it traps the heat inside, so you feel warm. There’s no need for those big wool scarves if you don’t want them.
As for hats, you want breathable but thermal material. Even if you have thick hair, make sure you pack a good hat. You’ll lose most of your body heat from your head, so a hat is something that will help you feel comfortable during your travels. The right type of hat will even look fashionable when you’re on a night out.
You want a hat that covers your ears. But avoid those that have the flappy parts, unless you’re like five years old. The extra material does nothing for your head and takes up extra space when you’re traveling!
Gloves are also essential. Sure, you can put your hands in your pocket, but what are you going to do when you’re holding shopping bags, or you need to hold hands with a little one? You’ll need a pair of good gloves or mittens. At least consider those that have the mitten section that you can pull back and fasten out of the way, so they transform into fingerless gloves. They’re better than nothing!
Look out for hats and gloves that are made with the quick dry material. These are your two items that will end up wetter than most others!
Finally, remember a jacket. You want a warm coat, but it also needs to be waterproof. Get rid of the furry hoods and opt for a good fleece-lined coat with a Gor-tex layer. You’ll find yourself dry, which also helps to keep you warm.
Get the Polarized Sunglasses
One thing many people don’t even consider in winter is the sun. While the sun may not come out, there is still some out there. In fact, it can be awful in the winter because of the glare that comes from the wet and snowy roads and sidewalks. You’ll want a good pair of sunglasses.
Polarized sunglasses are your best options. They are made with a technology that prevents the glare from coming through, without taking out all the light. Most other sunglasses will block the light, and that can cause problems with your vision!
You’ll even be able to wear the polarized sunglasses as the sun is setting. This is often the point that the glare is the worst, especially when you’re driving. But the light is also too low for most other sunglasses. When you’re reducing just the glare, you’re in a win-win situation.
The only downside of polarized sunglasses sees your phone screen. The technology in the glasses will block some of the glare coming from your phone or tablet, so you must take your glasses off or twist your phone on its side. It’s always fun!
Pack the Sunscreen Always!
Whether you’re going skiing or just walking around the local park, you’ll need to stock up on the sunscreen. It’s another item that’s often forgotten about in the winter, but essential for safe and healthy skin.
That sun that shines will still have some UV rays. Sure, the rays may not be as strong as normal, but they are still strong enough to do damage. You can end up burned or suffering another type of sun damage, so you need to get the sunscreen.
Use the same sunscreen you would during the summer. Make sure it’s at least SPF 30, and you reapply it every few hours. The sun’s potential damage doesn’t reduce just because you’re in the middle of winter!
You’ll still want to apply it to your arms, legs, face, and neck. While these areas may be covered, for the most part, you don’t know when you’ll take your jacket off or if the temperatures change. It’s easier to be covered and ready! The face is the most problematic as there are always sections of your face that remain uncovered from clothing.
The sunscreen can also help to minimize windburn. It can help to keep your skin smooth and moisturized throughout the day. You can also top your sunscreen up with a moisturizing cream to help further the protection.
And don’t forget about your lips! Get a lip balm that has sun protection in it. Your lips will get dry and cracked, and they can suffer the most damage.
Better to Be Safe Than Sorry
Traveling in the winter can be annoying. You have full suitcases full of clothing that is needed to keep you warm and protected from the harsh weather. However, you want to make sure you have some of the best clothing and equipment for the job.
With the right packing and utilizing the right items, you can make sure you have a light bag. You can also minimize the time it takes to get through airport security. Enjoy your vacation without the hassle of sunburn, windburn, discomfort and more.