There are a lot of great packing tips out there to help you pack light while remembering to take everything that you need. However, when you're heading to a cold weather destination, it's a little bit of a different ballgame. Especially if that cold weather place is sometimes very cold, windy and snowy but sometimes that very same place is sunny, calm and almost warm. How on earth do you pack everything that you need but stay under the 50 pound luggage weight limit so you're not stuck paying an extra fee at the airport?
They have a saying in Iceland - "There is no such thing as bad weather. There is only bad clothing and bad attitudes!" While I can't help with your attitude, I hope I can help with your clothing! Read on for five of my favorite tips to help you pack for your next cold weather vacation.
1. Wear your heaviest, bulkiest clothing on the plane.
When you're going somewhere cold, it only makes sense that you will have a heavy jacket, sweaters, hoodies, thick wool socks and snow boots. I choose to wear the biggest and heaviest things on the plane. Most of the time I'm cold on the plane, regardless of the destination. However, if the plane happens to be warm, it's easy enough to take the jacket and sweater off. I also always take a pair of slipper socks with me on the plane so I can slip out of my shoes and be more comfortable, without grossing out my seatmates. Of course, with all of the new technologies in cold weather clothing, ideally you'll have a great jacket and cold weather gear that keeps you warm without looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!
2. Think layers.
There are some things that are going to be big and bulky, and there is no getting around it. I'm talking about you, snow boots. However, if you think about layering your clothes, this will help you stay warm and take up less room than a lot of thick sweaters. This is especially good advice when you are going someplace where the weather can be changeable. If it's very cold, you can layer up with a base layer, t-shirt and, hoodie underneath your jacket. If the day is more mild, maybe you skip the hoodie that day. Not only do t-shirts take up less room in your suitcase, if you are wearing other clothes underneath your hoodies and sweaters, you can wear these items more often and pack less of these bulky pieces.
3. Two words: Moisture-Wicking
I love my moisture-wicking clothes. Whether it's dri-fit or merino wool, moisture-wicking clothes are thinner and keep you warmer than their regular counterparts. Also, I find that when I'm on a cold-weather vacation, I'm usually doing some kind of physical activity (not skiing - I'm way too klutzy for that!) and moisture-wicking clothing helps keep me dry, which is especially important in cold weather.
4. The 80/20 rule.
This rule really applies to almost anything in life, doesn't it? It definitely applies to packing. What it means is that 20% of what you pack is what you'll end up wearing 80% of the time. Even as good as I think that I've gotten with packing light, I still find that there are things in my suitcase that I don't end up wearing. If you're in doubt, leave it. Worst case scenario, if you leave behind something that you end up really needing, you can purchase it at your destination. Bonus - it will double as a great souvenir for you to bring home!
Leave the heels at home.
As much as I hate to write those words, because I LOVE my high heels, there really is no point in packing them when you are heading to a cold weather destination. Not only will your feet freeze but the chances of you slipping on ice greatly increases. Especially if you are klutzy like me and trip over nothing. Yes, I have literally tripped over nothing and I wish I could say that it was just once! Save your heels and any other very stylish but impractical-for-the-cold clothing for that Paris vacation instead!
So there you have it - my five best tips for packing for a cold weather vacation. It's not too soon to think about planning your vacations for this coming winter and I'd love to help. You can contact me here to get started. Or if the mentions of Iceland have you eager to visit there, consider joining me on my exclusive group tour next March. You can see all of the details here!