Winter Trip Packing List: Must-Have Cold-Weather Essentials

If you’re considering a winter trip this 2023, you’re not alone; almost 60% of Americans plan to do the same. Some U.S. travelers even said they want to do more during their cold-weather travel!

If this is your first-ever winter vacation (or at least, after a long time), you want to prepare the right stuff. The last thing you want is to get the flu, which, during the winter 2022 to 2023 season, caused 27 to 54 million illnesses.

This guide will help you with your winter packing list, so read on.

Insulating Layers

A savvy way to pack for cold weather is to focus on layers, not bulky clothes. Insulating undergarments, like thermal tops and bottoms, are your best bet. They’re thin and lightweight but can keep you warm with their heat retention features.

An added perk to insulating undergarments is that they’re easy to wash and dry. Plus, you can wear them as-is indoors or outdoors without extra layers on top. You can click here for more thermals and ideas on how to mix and match them.

If you’re going somewhere forecasted to get snow, you’d still need your bulky winter jacket. Don’t pack it, though; wear it on your travel day.

A Down Jacket

Also known as a puffer jacket, a down jacket is a quilted, insulated coat. While the term “puffer” makes it seem bulky, it packs down compactly in a compression bag. Bring one of these as an extra coat if you expect a lot of snow at your destination.

Warm But Travel-Friendly Sweaters

Travel-friendly fabrics can resist wrinkles, so they’re perfect for packing. However, they must also help you stay warm during your winter getaway.

Merino wool, a natural fabric, is ideal as it helps regulate your body temperature. It can keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Merino wool sweaters are wrinkle-resistant, lightweight, easy to wash, and quick to dry.

If your winter vacation includes a fancy dinner, pack at least one Cashmere sweater. It’s warm, comfy, luxurious, soft, and wrinkle-resistant.

A Merino or Cashmere Scarf

A Merino or cashmere scarf can help keep your head, neck, and shoulders warm. This is especially crucial if you’re heading somewhere windy or snowy. Plus, Merino and Cashmere offer some sun and UV protection.

Winter Hats and Gloves

Always remember that your body expels heat through any exposed area. So if you don’t wear a hat and gloves, you can lose heat through your head and hands. You can get a headache or frost-bitten fingers if temperatures dip below zero.

So, pack one or two wool hats and wool or fleece gloves or mittens.

Wool Socks

Don’t forget to bring several pairs of wool socks to ensure your feet stay warm. Wool is your best bet since they’re soft and helps regulate heat. You may also have to wear at least two pairs on super cold days.

Winter Medicine Kit

Pack a kit with medicines that can help relieve cold and cough symptoms. These include nasal decongestants, cough suppressants, antihistamines, and pain relievers.

If you’re traveling abroad, check your destination’s permitted medicines. Some countries may require a valid prescription for over-the-counter medications in your country.

Pack Right for Your Winter Trip

You want your much-deserved winter trip to be as fun as possible, so you must pack the right stuff. Otherwise, you’d likely feel miserable and horrible in the cold. 

So, keep our tip list handy to ensure you pack the most crucial things you need for your getaway.

For more vacation tips, check out our guide on how to plan one as a first-time traveler!

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