Travel in the winter is cold, but it has a lot of perks! For the most part, there are less tourists, lines are shorter, transportation is quicker, and you’re not dying of heat exhaustion after a day of sightseeing. However, when you’re packing for cold, you’re guaranteed to pack heavier…
In the last 6 weeks, I’ve travelled to two very cold destinations (Munich, New York) for two separate work trips. I am not the best packer in the world, so I knew that this would be a challenge for me. Regardless, I documented the experience in hopes that it would help other people struggling to pack for cold-weather trips.
Before I go somewhere new, I like to do some preliminary research on the area. Not only does it give you a better sense of the city, but it also serves as an excellent inspo tool!
- A quick google search for the Top 10 Instagrammers in X city will return an excellent list of style conscious individuals for you to peruse. Give them a follow and let the inspo roll in.
- Geotags are a great way to research popular sites as well as scope out the vibe of that specific area.
- It may not be as geographically accurate, but Pinterest has a robust collection of packing guides to suit your style. More than anything, a visual checklist can be a powerful tool prior to packing for your trip. A few good visual guides include, this one and this one.
3 General Packing Tips
- Pick a color scheme.
A trip to a new city is no time to experiment with lots of new colour combos. Make sure all your items – more or less- go with each other. This will make outfit making during the trip much easier.
- Define your outfit scenarios and only pack for those
Be realistic about what you plan on doing on your trip. If you’re mostly going to be doing sightseeing/tourist activities, base your outfits around cute sneakers and layers layers layers! If your trip also consists of nice dinners and drinks at the plaza, be sure to research the local dress etiquette. There may be standards in place, so do your research!
- It’s okay to repeat outfits!
When you’re travelling, comfort is a key player in your outfit-making decisions. If you find that a particular outfit seamlessly fits into your travel routine, then wear it on repeat. No one will know anyway, because you’ll be gone the next day!
- Basic Tee
- White, grey or black
- Layering is key in cold weather. Start with a basic tea and layer outwards.
- White Blouse
- Classy, easy, great for layering. A white blouse will be your best friend.
- Pullover sweater
- Its chilly out there! A pullover is practical and warm. Make sure its a medium weight fabric as anything to bulky is difficult to layer under a coat
- I like a cardi when I want to show off my shirt underneath. A cardigan will give you more variety in what you’re wearing as you can show your layers more clearly.
- Winter Coat
- Choose wisely. Coats take up loads of room, so bring your most practical, most neutral, most warm coat. You’ll thank yourself later!
- Optional – Leather Jacket
- I’ve brought a leather jacket with me on nearly every trip I’ve been on (including Australia) and I always end up wearing it at least once. It’s an effortless piece that can be worn on its own during milder days or underneath your winter coat
- Casual Denim Jeans
- These are great for walking around during the day. Bring a comfy pair as you’ll be living in these during the day
- Black/Dark Denim Jeans
- Great for a night out, or as a change from your casual jeans.
- These Aritzia trousers are a MUST HAVE for anyone travelling. They don’t wrinkle, they’re super soft, and they pair well with a pair of black booties or sneakers.
- I like to bring a dress for it’s versatility. I recently picked up this one from Aritzia and it served me very well. I wore it twice. Once casually during the day with a leather jacket and once for a more formal work dinner on it’s own.
- 1 Pair of Flat Black Booties
- Booties are light and travel well. They’re a great option for night when you want to dress up your outfit.
- 1 Pair of sneakers
- This may be obvious, but a pair of sneakers is so crucial on any long day of walking. At our trade show in Nuremburg, I wore my black Jensen’s the first day, which are incredibly comfy, but my feet felt like they were going to fall off by the end of the night. My sneakers saved me on DAY 2 of the show.
- Crossbody Purse
- Your cross body bag will be your go-to. I like to keep it on the small side to avoid overfilling it and causing shoulder pain!
- Great pair of Sunglasses
- Yes! There is sun even in the cold! When I’m wearing my fave sunnies I feel like an actual boss. These Givenchy sunglasses kept me company on my last two trips and I am still obsessed.
- Dainty Necklace, Watch, everyday rings
- Keep your head toasty with a toque and protect against the elements.
- Keep it neutral and make sure it’s not too bulky. Scarfs are like mini blankets and can take up a lot of room in your suitcase.
I actually learned a lot from travelling this winter, and I wanted to leave you all with my top 5 pieces! They were my go-to’s and I would highly recommend them during a winter trip 🙂
Top 6 Pieces from Munich & New York in January/February
- Auxillary Crossbody from Aritzia
- Acne Studios Cream Pullover
- Babaton Cohen Pant from Aritzia
- Madewell White Blouse
- Givenchy Sunglasses
- White Marc Jacobs Sneakers
What are you cold-weather packing tips? Is there something you always pack?