How to Pack Light for 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 winter travel can be a real challenge. You want to pack light, but you also need to stay warm.  Here are some top tips to packing light for winter travel.

Plan Your Wardrobe in Layers

Pack a few key pieces that can be layered for warmth – this 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 worn over a quick-wicking base – and ultimately a coat over both.  As you get warner, peel off the layers, and add back on if needed.

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 consider taking a puffer vest and/or coat.  These items take up minimal space in luggage  – especially when packed inside a compression bag. The Travelon compression bags – which come in a set of two – are the ideal solution: use one for coats and sweaters and one for laundry on the way home (they seal in odors!).

Travelon Compression Bags
AAA Member Price: $10.99
Travelon Compression Bags

Wear Your Heaviest Items on the Plane

Did you know your coat doesn’t count towards your carry-on and personal bag items?  Save space by only taking one coat – wear it on the plane – and change it up with a pop of color with scarves –  adding yet another layer of warmth.  Choose a coat with a hood and you’ll be traveling lighter – no need for an umbrella.

Boots can be one of the heaviest items to pack –and no matter how comfy they are when walking; they can be uncomfortable when sitting for long periods of time- i.e. on a plane.  Instead, pack them in your carry-on bag and wear a lighter shoe on the plane.

Cold feet? Compression Socks – like Sockwell Compression Socks – are ideal for cold weather travel – they not only keep your feet warm; they supply graduated compression to help reduce swelling and fatigue that can occur while traveling.

Sockwell Compression Socks
AAA Member Price: $21.99 – $26.99

Cold Weather Accessories

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 outdoor pictures – look for gloves with touch-screen fingertips to allow 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 lightweight pack like Eagle Creek’s Ranger Backpack – where there’s room for everything.

And best of all? For long travel days, take the weight off your shoulders and let your rolling bag carry the pack –  the pass-through sleeve keeps it securely in place.

Eagle Creek Ranger Backpack 26L
AAA Member Price: $89.00
ranger backpack

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