Winters don’t have to be dull. Snuggling indoors by the fireplace does have its charm, but a break from the monotony is sometimes necessary. Even if you’re not into winter sports, you can visit a ski resort just for the breathtaking views. And there are plenty of wintery destinations with fun-filled activities. You can appreciate the beauty of winter as nature tucks itself under a blanket of white snow.
No matter what your itinerary is, packing for a winter vacation can seem like an uphill task. Sweaters, boots, and other winter gear are bulky but necessary, so you have to use luggage space wisely. Packing for a winter trip is more than just squeezing in jackets and hoodies though. Sort your packing checklist into these five categories, so you don’t need to shop during your vacation.
1. Travel Essentials
Vacations are all about taking photographs and making memories, so make sure your skin and hair are on point. Stick to the brands of shampoo and skin care you trust. If space is an issue, consider transferring your favorite brands into smaller travel-sized bottles. Remember that the sun reflected on the snow may cause sunburn, so don’t forget the sunscreen!
Whether it’s a vacation or a work trip, there are always some items you can’t leave home without. This includes prescriptions. Double-check to ensure you have enough of the meds you need. Don’t mess with the dosage or routine of daily medications like minoxidil or birth control. Refill any other prescriptions and keep extra painkillers or anti-allergy pills with you just in case.
2. Layers and Layers
To be cozy and comfortable in winter, master the art of layering. Pack enough for a base layer, mid layer, and outer layer. Your base layer should consist of thermal underwear, which wicks away sweat and keeps warmth close to your body. The mid layer can be made of fleece or down and is meant to insulate and trap the heat. Finally, you have the water-resistant outer layer that protects you from getting wet.
Some people make the mistake of layering up their chests and forgetting their arms and legs. Make sure your pants are also waterproof and fit just right to allow comfortable movement. Your hands and feet need their own set of layers so pack some good-quality gloves, socks, and boots for your trip. Make sure your clothes have secure pockets so you can store your phone or wallet without getting them wet.
3. Gadgets and Gizmos
In today’s digital world, no one gets too far without their gadgets. Cold temperatures can zap the life out of your devices, so be sure to pack them in insulated cases. Also, keep a portable charger with you, especially if you’re depending on your phone for photographs and navigation. Keep in mind that using the devices may be impossible with traditional gloves so consider getting touchscreen-compatible gloves for the trip.
Technology has the power to provide heat anywhere and everywhere. Hand warmers are helpful devices that are small enough to fit in your pocket and can last for hours once recharged. If you’re going out of the country, don’t forget to pack a universal travel adapter so you can charge your devices safely. New wintery areas can be fun to explore, but be sure to use snowshoeing navigational apps so you don’t end up getting lost.
4. Hydration and Nutrition
Even if you don’t get lost, outdoor trips can take longer than you expected. Pack extra snacks and water, so you aren’t hungry or dehydrated. Reusable water bottles can be a lifesaver, as you can keep refilling them on the go. Carry as many high-energy snacks like nuts, trail mix, and granola bars as you can, for that extra boost.
If your winter adventure involves a small ski lodge, you probably won’t get a lot of variety in meals. Pack your snacks so you can enjoy something familiar after a tiring day outdoors. Travel-size packs of oatmeal and peanut butter are easily available. Or try freeze-dried pouches of soup. Just add hot water and a delicious, warming soup is ready.
5. Indoor Fun
After a long day and a hot dinner, your body will demand some rest. The nights are longer than you think and after some time you may be yearning for some indoor fun too. Pack a good book or a card game to keep busy indoors. A fully charged e-reader can be a space-efficient way to bring your library with you.
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial if you want to wake up recharged for the next day. Insomnia may strike when you’re away from home so pack items that help you sleep. This could be a comfortable eye mask, ear plugs, or even a tiny bottle of essential oil. These items may seem trivial to pack, but they can have a big impact on your mood during your holiday.
Once you’re back home, take some time to rest before getting back to work. Rushing to work the day after you return from vacation leaves your home — and your mind — in a mess. Keep a buffer of a day or so to unpack and rest. Store all your travel items safely, so you can use them again for your next winter adventure.