Got a winter trip planned? Maybe you’ve planned that bucket list trip to Alaska or Iceland? Or maybe you’re silly like us and offer to house-sit in Canada during the winter! Winterizing your wardrobe for a cold weather destination takes a bit more planning than an ordinary trip, but can be done quite easily.

It goes without saying that if you’re headed for the snow, you will need extra accessories to keep your extremities warm, and this is really important, because if you arrive without the proper clothing it can really ruin your trip.

If you find yourself coming from a much milder climate, you may need to seek out and purchase items necessary to keep you warm and comfortable on your next cold weather trip. Online shopping may be the best place to look if your local stores don’t stock the items you need.

Use the following guide to make sure you have everything you need for your next cold weather trip.



The Essentials

It goes without saying that you will need a nice jacket to keep you warm. However this doesn’t necessarily have to be an Antarctic expedition parka. Unless you’re planning on sleeping in an igloo, you can get by with a normal everyday jacket and simply layer underneath with other clothing as necessary.

Your feet will be doing most of the work when it comes to travel so make sure they are well cared for. Cold weather means you may need to leave those comfortable flats or oxfords at home and choose something a bit warmer. Cold weather may mean snow, in which case boots will be necessary. Cold or wet feet can ruin a day quickly.


Channel the Onion: Choose Layers

You don’t need to bring all your heavy jumpers or sweaters with you for a cold trip. Lighter weight long sleeved shirts that are put on in layers will be far more effective as warm air is trapped between the layers acting as an insulator.

By bringing just one or two jumpers, you will save a lot of suitcase space and keep in mind these will not have to be washed after a single use. You may find undergarments get more use before needing a wash as colder destinations won’t have you sweating as you would in a tropical climate.

Be sure to pack a thermal base layer for your legs (a.k.a. long johns) as they can be worn under jeans or dress pants to shield you from the cold. This is a better option than bringing sweat or ski pants which aren’t as versatile.



The Necessary Accessories

A beanie or compact foldable earmuffs are essential to keep your ears from freezing as are gloves for your hands. Your extremities are the first to be affected by the cold and in severe cold weather are most apt to suffer from frost bite.

Gloves are available nowadays which have fingertips which allow you to still use your smartphone or other touchpad electronics without having to remove them.

Scarves are great compact lightweight accessories to take along, and you should probably think about swapping your traditional socks for something a bit thicker and warmer.


Make Use of Compression Bags

Because winter clothes tend to be bulkier, it is wise to make use of compression or vacuum pack bags. These will compress your suitcase wardrobe to allow for more room. Remember to wear your bulkiest items on the plane as this won’t count against your baggage allowance and will free up even more valuable space in your luggage. It is nice to have an extra layer handy as flights, trains, and other transport can often prove to be quite cold.



Avoiding Sunburn?

The last thing you would expect to get while on a cold weather vacation is sunburn, but even places like Antarctica can have you returning home with a nasty sunburn as a souvenir. Higher elevations that are usually colder are also much closer to the sun and therefore rays are much stronger.

If you find yourself skiing or simply around a lot of snow, the reflection of the sun off the stark whiteness can also have you reaching for the aloe if you forget to slather on the sunscreen.


Pack for Your Activities

It’s important to make sure you have all the necessary equipment to partake in the winter or cold weather activities you plan on enjoying. It may prove more convenient to rent things such as ski equipment or ice skates, but make sure they will be available in your chosen destination.

Cold weather may mean snow or rain, so make sure you have waterproof clothing because getting wet means the cold will bite you all that much harder.

If you are travelling somewhere cold but don’t plan on travelling far from your hotel room or nearby shops and restaurants, then you may not have to pack much in the way of warm clothes at all. It all depends on where you will be staying and what activities you plan on doing.



Colder air also means drier air. It is therefore vital to keep your skin moisturized. Your hands and face will be exposed to the elements so they will need to be protected by appropriate creams. Petroleum jelly is a good idea to pack as it relieves and heals dry and cracked skin.

Lip balm will keep your beautiful smile from becoming chapped and bringing along eye drops or saline solution will relieve your dry eyes. Try to wash your hair less frequently in cold/dry weather as you will find it dries out your scalp.


Regardless of what clothing you ultimately choose to bring, make sure it is protected by your travel insurance provider. This will cover you in the event your baggage is lost, stolen, or damaged. It will also come in handy should your bags be greatly delayed by an airline or transport company and you are forced to purchase new clothing to get you by.