With the holiday season approaching, you may be preparing to travel to colder climes to visit family, indulge in outdoor winter sports, or hang at a luxury resort and let yourself be spoiled. Whether you’re going with a significant other, friends, children, or alone, you’ll need to bring certain items with you. The problem, of course, is while you may want to minimize the number of pieces of luggage you have to haul with you, winter items can be bulky. Read on for some tips on how to pack for a snowy holiday getaway.
All winter jackets are not the same. The farther north you go and the higher the elevation, the colder it is likely to be. Make sure you find out what the average temperature is where you’ll be, then choose a jacket that will provide sufficient warmth and protection. (Helpful hint: The label or tag will usually give you that information.) Make sure the jacket has a water- and wind-resistant outer layer. Windy weather can make it seem colder outside than it really is—that’s what meteorologists mean when they talk about the wind chill factor. Therefore, your jacket should offer some protection from the wind cutting through your clothing and chilling you. A waterproof down jacket will do just that; plus, it’s easy to compress into your suitcase at the airport when your getaway ends if you’ll be returning to a warmer part of the country.
Although the idea that you lose half your body heat through your head is a myth, the head and face do feel the cold more easily. Moreover, fingers, toes, and the tips of the ears are more susceptible to frostbite. Ensure your extremities are protected by packing appropriate winter accessories. Hats, scarves, and mittens or gloves will help your head, neck, and hands stay warm. If you are one of those individuals who despise hats, consider ear muffs or a cold-weather headband to at least protect your ears. Choose insulated gloves or mittens, especially if you plan on building a snowperson or engaging in a snowball fight—it’s hard to enjoy such activities when your hands are wet from the snow that’s seeped through. For extra protection, consider packing a pair of glove liners to help keep warmth in.
If you’re vacationing in a snowy environment, women's snow boots are a must. Snow boots usually are insulated to keep warmth in. and they also should have good treads to help keep you from slipping on ice. After all, no one wants to spend a getaway hobbling around on crutches or sporting a cast. Because boots can take up a lot of suitcase space, you may want to wear them on the plane or, if you’re driving to your destination, throw them into the trunk of the car. Your socks should also help keep your feet warm. Be sure to pack at least one pair of wool socks, and, for extra help, add a pair of sock liners.
Layers are critical to staying warm in snowy weather, so be sure to pack tops you can layer over. Start with an underlayer of thermal underwear. Thermals are specifically designed to trap your body heat and wick away moisture should you sweat from activity. Over that, it’s a good idea to layer a turtleneck top. The close fit at the neck will keep it warm and also prevent body heat from escaping, which an open-neck shirt would not do. Next, depending on how cold it is, add a flannel shirt or a pullover sweater—or both. To minimize the amount of clothing you need to bring, choose layers you can easily mix and match and that can be rinsed out in a sink and hung to dry, if necessary.
The same holds when it comes to keeping your legs warm. In addition to jeans, study cargo pants, or corduroy pants, pack a pair of tights or thermal leggings (or both!) to wear underneath.
After a long day of outdoor activities, there’s nothing like relaxing in front of a fireplace—or in a hot tub. So, be sure to pack a swimsuit just in case. Even if you don’t plan on going in any water other than a shower, you’ll still want to change into comfy clothes, so pack a pair of sweatpants and your favorite cozy fleece pullover. And don’t forget to include a pair of lined slippers for your feet.
If you’re with a group of people, whether family or friends, is it even a holiday if everyone isn’t wearing matching pajamas? A couple of weeks before you leave, have a vote to choose a pattern, then let everyone choose the sleepwear style of their choice. Be sure to take a group photo to remember the occasion.
In addition to packing warm-weather wear, you’ll also need other things for your getaway. Snow can reflect sunlight, so be sure to pack a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the resulting glare. If you intend to spend a great deal of time outdoors, a few sets of hand and foot warmers might come in, well, handy. Even though it’s winter, you’ll want to pack sunscreen to prevent sunburn, as well as a lip balm to prevent or soothe chapped lips. Finally, the wind and cold can dry your skin out, so be sure to pack your favorite moisturizer.
With care and planning, you’ll be able to pack everything you need to keep you warm and safe during your snowy holiday getaway.