Mother and child in yellow raincoats looking at Bled Lake

Winter travel tips: 15 Essentials for Cold Weather Travel

Rubina Cheruvalath Rubina Cheruvalath 02 November 2021
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A winter vacation sounds just great when it is simply about cold temperature and gusty winds. However, your perfect "cool" getaway could turn disastrous if you aren't prepared for difficult and harsh weather conditions like heavy snowfall or rain! However, you don't want to spoil the season fun by packing heavily with warm accessories and dread carrying the weight all around the place, right? What to pack for a cold-weather vacation depends on how long your holiday is planned and the weather considerations you might experience.

So, here are some packing tips for winter travel that you could use.

These winter travel tips could be what you need when travelling to a cold place like Iceland. Travelling to Iceland or any similar country could never be easy if you aren't equipped with winter travel tips. So, you must consider the essentials when deciding what to pack for a cold weather vacation.

Here are 15 essentials that are a must-have in your winter travel packing list! So, Book your flight, obtain your visa and have a fun-filled journey!

1. Thermals

When temperatures drop below 0℃, you must keep yourself warm with a set of thermal underwear, also commonly called long johns. This winter travel outfit traps your body heat and uses it as insulation against the cold. Thermals are thoughtful to carry for your trip, as:

• It is lightweight to carry yet keeps you warm and snug

• It provides for an additional layer of heat apart from your jacket

• It helps you reduce the pieces of clothing to carry and can easily fit in your travel capsule wardrobe winter wear

2. Down jacket

smiling girl

A down jacket is a winter travel outfit that pretty much serves as your first line of defence against the biting cold. This jacket is a puffy insulated coat, usually filled on the inside with feathers from ducks or geese. They are lightweight, compressible, and have a nylon outer cover to make them water-resistant and windproof.

Down jackets made from synthetic feathers are also available and are a much cheaper alternative than the conventional ones made from feathers. Make sure to pick a down jacket that is ultra-lightweight and can be easily compressed to pack. One of my most recommended Iceland winter travel tips is definitely to carry an authentic down jacket!

3. Beanie

person back winter clothes

A beanie makes for one small yet very essential winter travel outfit. In fact, it pretty much makes up for a jacket hoodie and provides for added protection to the head. Your travel outfits winter must include a trusty beanie as it can cover your ears from the cold weather and winds.

Also, if you are going to click some pictures for the 'gram, it's a good idea to carry some colourful beanies among your travel outfits in winter! Moreover, try on the beanie before you pack to make sure that it stays snug and fits on your head.

4. Winter travel kit

drug kit

Your winter travel kit should contain some essentials that must be carried throughout the travel. This winter travel kit must always contain medicines to tackle common ailments due to cold weather. It must hold nasal decongestants, flu or fever medicine, and pain relief medications, just in case. Carrying your medicines is one of the most important winter travel safety tips to follow, especially when travelling with kids.

Moreover, the winter travel kit can also include wet wipes, tissues, sanitiser, masks, and cold creams. However, carry travel-sized versions in small quantities, preferably in spill-proof Ziplock bags to avoid any mishap.

5. Moisturisers and skincare products

skincare product

Your winter travel packing list must include moisturisers, especially if you will spend long hours of the day in the open and exposed to different elements. Adventuring in the winter is superb until you end up with chapped lips and thirsty parched skin! So, one of my prime packing tips for winter travel is to carry more than one moisturiser and hand creams to keep yourself feeling comfortable.

6. A hard-sided suitcase for packing

hard sided suitcase for packing

When thinking about how to pack for a winter trip, the first thing that you must consider is the carry-on luggage. One essential that needs to be on your winter travel packing list is a hard-sided suitcase with a durable exterior and plenty of space inside. This type of luggage can resist the cold and water when the snow melts. However, if you are planning for a travel capsule wardrobe in winter and are not a fan of rolling luggage, you can go for a durable backpack for easier and comfortable travel.

7. Good pair of gloves

young businessman holding passport

Your travel outfits winter is incomplete without a good pair of gloves! When out in the cold temperature, especially below zero, your fingers tend to freeze quickly. Hence, you must keep your hands covered all the time. But, how could you risk a journey without clicking some Instagram-worthy pics? That's when smartphone-friendly liner gloves come into use. With these gloves on, you can swipe the mobile screen while keeping your hands warm.

8. Swimsuits and flip-flops

outdoor bag with beach clothes

Every winter holiday destination will have some appealing spots like a hot spring or even a hot tub bath. You will love to bask in hot mineral water when in a cold holiday destination. So, make sure to include a swimsuit and flip-flops in your travel capsule wardrobe winter when deciding on what to pack for a cold-weather vacation.

9. Boots

brown boots

You cannot beat the comfort and advantage of wearing boots by wearing extra layers of socking! Some people tend to do that, and it is a wrong practice to do. One of the best winter travel safety tips is to get yourself a good pair of waterproof boots for the trip. They are good insulators and can protect the feet from both cold and moisture. You can also choose to get padded boots for extra warmth. But, make sure to check for a stable grip in the soles.

10. Heat packs

holding warmer chaufferettes

Heat packs or warmers are ideal to instantly keep you warm and safe from freezing temperatures. Keeping heat packs for emergency use is one of frequent travellers' most popular winter travel tips. Heat packs may look small and trivial to keep in handy. But trust me, it works wonders when you are forced to be in the out for a long time in severely cold temperatures. You can find heat packs with adhesives to fix onto clothing or can even slip a small one into the pocket if needed.

11. A thermos flask

thermos cups

One of the smartest packing tips for winter travel is to carry your thermos flask. You can use it to store hot beverages to keep yourself hydrated while on the trip. Moreover, you can also fill it with hot water and use it to keep yourself warm during emergencies. Make sure to choose a flask that isn't bulky and difficult to carry. Always choose a trusty flask that is ergonomic in design and compact in size.

12. Portable humidifiers

humidifier producing vapor

A handy portable humidifier is sure to come to your rescue when visiting extremely cold places when the air is chilling. One of the most popular Iceland winter travel tips is to carry a portable humidifier! Dry and bitter air can cause respiratory ailments like flu and infections. Moreover, it can also lead to irritated skin and eyes. So, your safest bet is to use a humidifier to regulate moisture in the air while you sleep during the night.

13. Compression bags or packing cubes

different blue cube bags

A winter trip ideally calls for big bulky clothing like multiple numbers of jackets and pants. Compression bags or packing cubes are life savers when it comes to how to pack for a winter trip. These bags help you pack compact by sucking out extra air and squeezing clothing to fit well. Hence, you can save much space on the luggage, especially if you pack plenty in hand.

14. A good sunscreen

cream lotion hands

Many people tend to forget that they have to deal with the sun even when travelling to an extremely cold country. Hence, sun protection usually takes a back seat on the winter travel packing list. But Sunscreens are particularly important if you are going on a skiing trip and are prone to undergo serious sunburn issues. So, make sure to carry one while packing for a winter trip.

15. Torchlight

flashlight and beam

Winter temperatures also mean less of day and more of night. A typical winter day experiences only 9 hours of proper sunlight. Hence, you are likely to see more dark winter nights while on your winter holiday. While most cities are well equipped with advanced lighting, there may be instances when you have to rely on your light source. It is especially true when travelling to rural areas. So, carrying a torchlight is a smart tip for how to pack for a winter trip!

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Rubina Cheruvalath

Rubina is a free thinker and a dreamer. She believes that there is something to be learnt from everything. Despite securing a technical background in education, Rubina pursued to think beyond and work in the management field. A proud mum of two boys, she aspires to explore the world with her family and create cherishable memories.

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