Picture this. You’re about to head off on an amazing winter vacation. Perhaps it’s a long-awaited ski break. Or a once-in-a-lifetime trip to photograph the Northern Lights. You’ve got all your cold weather gear ready to go; toasty coats, gloves, and scarves to keep you warm. But there’s just one problem: the size of your suitcase.
We know the struggle. It seems like there’s never enough room for all those bulky winter clothes, no matter how long you spend squishing down your bag. But with a few little hacks, you can stay warm and stylish — without going over your luggage limit.
How should I pack for cold weather?
- 1. Stay warm with thermals
- 2. Bulk up on the plane
- 3. Roll your clothes
- 4. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen (yes, really)
- 5. Pack light and layer up
- 6. Limit your color palette
- 7. Bring a pair of boots
- 8. Pick the right accessories
1. Stay warm with thermals
They might have a reputation as your granny’s undergarments, but thermals don’t deserve their uncool image. They’re a great way to stay warm without having to pack bulky clothes. Thermals also mean you can wear lighter tops and tights without freezing — perfect if you’re headed somewhere with stylish locals like Stockholm or Canada’s cosmopolitan cities.
2. Bulk up on the plane
If you’re going on an adventure somewhere icy, you can’t get around taking big boots and a huge coat. But that doesn’t mean they need to take up luggage space. Wear your heaviest items on the plane so you don’t have to try and squeeze them in. (They’ll protect you from chilly plane air conditioning, too.)
3. Roll your clothes
This tried-and-tested method will give you tons of extra room in your bag. Instead of folding, roll up your clothes before you pack them. Not only does this minimize empty gaps, but you’ll also reduce the amount of creasing.
4. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen (yes, really)
Sun protection isn’t usually top of the list for a winter getaway. But if you’re going to a snowy destination, it’s essential (unless you want to end up looking like Rudolph). It’s particularly important if you’re going skiing, where long days on the reflective slopes can lead to some serious sunburn.
5. Pack light and layer up
It’s tempting to reach for your biggest stuff when planning a cold-weather wardrobe. However, bringing lots of lighter items is usually the smarter choice. You can still create that warm, cozy feeling by layering up, and you’ll have more options to mix and match outfits.
6. Limit your color palette
When it comes to staying chic in colder weather, black is definitely the new black. By sticking to dark, neutral colors, you’ll find it easier to create stylish outfit combos with fewer pieces of clothing. A pair of dark jeans can be worn with almost anything, while a black coat will work with your entire wardrobe.
7. Bring a pair of boots
You don’t need lots of heavy shoes taking up precious luggage space. Unless you’re traversing rough terrain, one pair of stylish boots will go with everything from day to night. If you’re heading to a more outdoorsy destination (like Iceland), you’ll also want to pack a sturdier pair — but you can still save space! Boots and big shoes make a great place to store rolled up socks and underwear.
8. Pick the right accessories
Accessories often get left by the wayside when packing for a vacation, but they can make all the difference. For gloves, consider wool linings and special touchscreen tips — they’ll allow you to access the GetYourGuide app without getting frozen fingers. Statement jewelry and colorful scarves are an easy way to make the same outfit look different day after day.