cold weather travel

Winter is here – and that makes packing light more difficult.  Yes- it’s easy to pack light when you’re headed to 85 degrees and sandy beaches but packing for cold weather travel destinations, like a European river cruise in December, can be a real challenge.  You want to pack light but you also need to stay warm.  Here are tips to packing light for cold weather travel.

Plan your wardrobe in layers

Pack a few key pieces that can be layered for warmth.  Layering items will help keep your bag lighter and you more comfortable in cold weather.  No need to pack three sweaters when one sweater or fleece zip up top can be layered over a quick-wicking base layer and then and ultimately a coat on top of both.  As you get hot, peel off the layers, and add layers back on as it gets colder.  Plan layers so you can add or remove items easily as needed.

And quick-wicking fabrics as a base layer are great since you can hand wash them while traveling and they’ll dry fast – which means you can pack less.

For added warmth without the bulk of heavier coats, puffer coats and vests take up almost zero space in your luggage when packed in a compression bag like these from Travelon, which come in a set of two reusable bags: 1 med and 1 large.


Travelon Compression Bags – 2pack
Member Price $10.99

Wear your heaviest items on the plane

Did you know your coat doesn’t count towards your carry-on and personal bag items?  Woo Whoo!  Save space by only taking one coat – wear it on the plane – and change it up with a pop of color from scarves – which also adds another layer of warmth.  Choose a coat with a hood, like Columbia’s Splash-A-Little Jacket and you’ll be traveling lighter – no need for an umbrella.

Tip: put your name and cell number in your coat pocket just in case you leave it in the overhead compartment – it just might catch up to you.

And even though boots can be one of the heaviest items to pack – I don’t recommend wearing them on the plane.  No matter how comfortable they are when walking, boots can be uncomfortable to sit in for long periods of time.  Instead, pack them in your carry-on bag and wear a lighter shoe on the plane.

Columbia’s Splash-A-Little Jacket
Member Price $ 64.88 while supplies last                            

Cold Weather Accessories

And don’t forget to pack a hat, scarf and gloves.  For really cold weather pack gloves with a lining and if you’re planning on taking lots of outdoor pictures – look for gloves with touch-screen fingertips to allow quick easy access to your smartphone.

With all these layers and winter accessories coming off and on it’s easy to misplace something.  Keep these essential items organized in a day bag like Eagle Creeks Ranger Backpack.  Hats, gloves, scarves, umbrellas – there’s room for everything – and a snack.  The perfect solution for all day-sightseeing.

Eagle Creek Ranger Backpack 26L
Member Price $89.00

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