With bulky clothes and wild weather, packing light for winter travel seems like a daunting task. However, it is certainly possible to go light and fast even in freezing weather. In order to cut down on the bulk, you'll need to get innovative with what and how you pack. Stop lugging around that gargantuan suitcase with this complete list of handy hacks for light and fast winter travel.
When it comes to your wardrobe, you'll certainly want to pack outfits that all go together. That way you can reuse staples such as women's jeans for more than one wear. Pack one staple women's sweater instead of three separate ones. Use accessories that take up less room, such as jewelry and scarves, to differentiate your look.
Think about creating a color scheme for your vacay in order to wear clothing more than once. For example, pack a couple of staple turtlenecks you can wear as layers. That way you can get away with packing just a few clothing items to mix and match, creating multiple outfits with just a few essentials.
You don't need to pack the kitchen sink when you travel. Do your homework and pack only what you need for your winter getaway. Check to see if your hotel room or Airbnb has a hairdryer; if so, leave that bulky thing at home. Bring a tablet instead of a laptop or forgo technology altogether to catch a break. Bring only the toiletries and accessories you need. Of course, you want to look good, but try stepping away from some of the tedious beauty regimens and enjoy being on vacation, away from your normal routine.
One of the biggest benefits of packing light is the ability to carry everything with you when you board the plane. In order to do this, you'll need to pack TSA-approved liquids (3.4 oz maximum). Instead of buying expensive disposable travel bottles, consider getting reusable ones. That way you can pack exactly what you need and refill each time you travel. Use toothpaste bits (essentially dried out toothpaste) instead of pesky tiny tubes. You'll not only save space and weight, but you'll be doing good for the environment, too.
If you're traveling to a place with wild weather or you're going from a cold climate to a warm climate, it can be difficult not to overpack. Keep things streamlined and simple by packing versatile layers, such as a fleece jacket and a thin raincoat instead of a bulky winter coat. This way, you can utilize either the fleece jacket or raincoat in a warmer climate instead of bringing along a bulky parka that you won't need at your final destination.
For colder climates, bring a packable down coat that you can stash in your bag for your flight. The great thing about down is the ability to pack it easily; just be sure to let it sit out of the bag after travel so it can restore the fluff that keeps you warm.
Another way to travel light this winter is trim down on all the extras. For example, bring a tablet or download an e-reader app on your phone instead of bringing a book. If you workout while you travel, use lightweight headphones in lieu of bulky earmuff-style ones. We love to travel with a refillable water bottle, but in order to save space when we aren't using it, we'll pack along a collapsible silicone one instead of a bulky, heavy metal bottle. Think about simple ways to cut back on bulk and you won't feel like you're lugging around bricks in your carry-on.
Sometimes you're visiting a place where you just need those big women's winter boots and bulky long coat. You shouldn't sacrifice comfort when you're traveling to extremely cold places, but instead of packing those items in your bag, consider wearing them instead. Coats make excellent pillows and blankets on longer flights, and when you wear your boots, you're not taking up tons of extra space in your bag.
For long-haul flights, pack a spare pair of thick socks and store your boots underneath your seat. This way, you can give your feet a rest while wearing a pair of cozy socks, but you still aren't taking up precious cargo space in your pack with winter boots.
Packing light in the winter takes a little bit of creativity and thoughtfulness to nail just right. The key is to look for multi-functional items and substitute heftier items for more streamlined counterparts. The result is a lightweight travel system that keeps you comfortable and looking your best without lugging around a colossal suitcase.