Winter Vacation Packing List | Cold Weather Essentials

Winter Vacation Packing List | Cold Weather Essentials

Holidays are always exciting, and there’s just something really nostalgic about a winter vacation in specific - especially when there’s snow involved. Whether you're stuck inside because of the weather, or out playing in the snow, there are an endless amount of exciting and adventurous things to do on a snow day.


cold weather essentials


Imagine spending all day in pjamas, warm bed sheets, cozying up under a comfy blanket next to the fire, watching movie marathons, and sipping on hot cocoa. Then getting all dressed up in layers upon layers to brave the cold, make snow angels, and get into snowball fights with your loved ones. Winter truly is a season of magic and memories.

An essential part of preparing for your winter travels is, of course, packing for the trip ahead of you. Although, packing for winter travel is very different from packing for summer travel. Your typical beach packing list is not going to suffice this time. But fear not, this winter vacation packing list has got you covered.


Winter Traveling Tips

Before you consider what to pack for a winter vacation, you need to understand how to pack for cold weather. This includes figuring out how to pack light for winter travel. After all, you don't want to be lugging around back-breaking bags while you’re on vacation.


packing for winter travel


Packing light for cold weather is an art, and it can be somewhat perfected. Here are some top winter travel tips for you to make the most out of your space before you start packing.


More Layers, Less Bulk

First things first, you have to be picky about what you are packing. Choose multiple layers of thinner insulating clothes instead of only one or two big, bulky items.

Not only will these thinner clothes take up less space in your bag, but you’ll be happy to have more clothing options during your trip.


Wear the Bulk

Next, if you have one or two bulky items that just have to come with you, that’s okay—no need to struggle and squeeze them into your suitcase.


packing list for cold weather


Instead of packing them away, wear your heaviest stuff as you travel. Take the time to narrow it down to only one sweater and one jacket or coat that you wear as you travel. You can always pack your lighter sweaters and jackets along with the rest of your winter travel clothes.


Choose Your Shoes Wisely

It’s no secret that shoes often end up taking the most suitcase space and weight, especially when they’re big. For a winter holiday, you’re going to want to take some boots along. Not only will these keep you warm, but they make walking in the snow as easy as a walk in the park. Make sure that the boots are worn in though to ensure maximum comfort.

Instead of packing your boots in your luggage or carry-on, wear them while you travel. This will leave extra room in your suitcase for you to pack some sneakers and maybe even a cozy pair of slippers.


winter vacation checklist


Packing List for a Cold Weather Holiday

Now that you have more of an idea of how to pack, it’s time to discuss what to pack for cold weather. Here is the ultimate cold weather packing list full of winter essentials.


Coats, Jackets and Sweaters

When it comes to jackets and coats, it is recommended to take at least one, but at most two. However, you must remember: wear the heaviest, pack the lightest.

A down jacket is also always a good idea. It will keep you as warm as possible while blocking out any cold breezes.

You can never go wrong with sweaters, so pack as many as you want. But, remember to wear your heaviest one while you travel.


T-Shirts and Bottoms

T-Shirts - as many as you deem necessary depending on how long you’re planning to stay in your winter wonderland.

You’re going to need enough bottoms for the duration of your vacation. It’s up to you but throw in some denims, trousers or leggings, and maybe even a pair of comfortable sweatpants for travel days.


Base-layers, Underwear & Socks

You need to pack underwear, at least one pair per day. Socks too, but make sure they’re warm and even fuzzy.

Then you’ll also want to pack a few base layers such as vests and long-johns. Never underestimate the power of multiple layers in cold weather, ever.


winter vacation packing list



Winter warmer accessories are an absolute must. You have to keep as much of yourself covered up and cozy.

Make sure you have a beanie, a scarf, a pair of gloves, and maybe even some earmuffs if you want to keep those ears warm and toasty.



Boots are always recommended for cold weather. Not only will these keep you warm, but you’ll be able to adventure through the snow so much more freely.

And just in case the boots aren’t always necessary, pack a pair of sneakers for comfort and style.

Finally, you can never go wrong with a good pair of slippers for staying warm not only outside but also inside.


Extra Vacation Essentials

Once you’ve nailed the basics, you’re going to want to pack a few of these extra essentials, no matter the weather.

  • Chapstick - cold weather equals dry weather, and dry weather equals dry lips, and nobody wants that.
  • Camera - making memories is possibly one of the best parts of going on vacation, and what better way to remember them than to capture them in the moment.
  • Winter sports gear - if you’re an adrenaline junkie and love to ski or snowboard, be sure to pack your gear. 
  • Toiletries - you need to pack your day-to-day toiletries and please: do not forget your toothbrush.


Time to Tick Off Your Winter Vacation Checklist

There you have it—the all-you-need-to-know on what to pack for winter vacations. From winter necessities to other cold-weather items, your luggage will have everything you need to keep you warm so that you can spend more time out exploring.

All you need to do is get packing, plan your trip, organize some fun winter activities and remember to adapt this winter packing list to your planned vacation timeline.

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