Travel Hacks

Doing Europe in winter this year? These are your packing necessities

Packing for Europe travel is tricky enough, but add in the element of colder temps and it’s enough to turn even the most expert packer into a suitcase-stuffing, over-the-weight-limit mess.

It doesn’t help that you’re in a constant battle over packing warm and comfy things that look like they’re pulled straight from a Harry Potter movie set wardrobe of ‘casual’ muggle looks, and the cute but paper-thin things that’ll look good in your photos.

Whether winter temps are new for you, or you’re a regular mitten maverick, we can all use some smart packing tips, so here’s our list of what to pack when you’re travelling Europe in winter:

Clothes

Easily the most surefire area to overpack in, the key to packing for winter is wholeheartedly embracing the idea of layering. If an item isn’t versatile enough to be paired with more than one other item in your suitcase, then leave it behind. You need to be able to mix and match day-to-day in order to prepare for fluctuating weather and temperatures.

  • Fleece-lined leggings or smart fleecy joggers (that warm lining will be a godsend on cold days)
  • Plaid button-up shirts (easily dressed up or down)
  • Chunky sweaters (easily dressed up with jeans, accessories or dressier bottoms)
  • Dry-fit athletic shirts (for smart and warm athleisure looks)
  • Undershirts (to provide a barrier between your skin and itchier fabrics like wool)
  • Long johns (get a good discreet pair and you can even wear them under your favourite skinny jeans)
  • Turtlenecks (because a scarf every day can be too much to handle)
  • An ultra-light and portable down parka (folds up for portability but deceptively warm)
  • A lighter waterproof jacket (bonus points if it has a removable liner)

One of the biggest things to remember when selecting your wardrobe is to opt for breathable fabrics such as cotton, because there’s nothing worse than walking around all day in the cold while you’re secretly drenched in sweat under your coat.

winter-packing-clothes

Toiletries

Other than your usual travel necessities, add these extra tools to your winter kit:

  • Hand warmers (for that extra bit of warmth when you need it)
  • Dry Shampoo (to reduce your wash days and prevent going out in the cold with wet hair)
  • Lotion (because dry, itchy skin is something no traveller wants)
  • Lip balm (same applies for dry chapped lips)
  • Vaseline (for emergency lotion, lip balm, dry scalp treatment, makeup remover or boot polish)

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Accessories

You’re gonna need some multiples here, so pick your favourites:

  • A versatile scarf or two (that can act as a blanket, a wrap, a pillow and an actual scarf to shield your neck and face)
  • Gloves with texting pads (because pulling your glove off every time you wanna unlock your phone is super annoying)
  • Multiple mitts, gloves and toques for snowy days (because they do get wet)
  • Earmuffs and headbands (for keeping your good hair days safe from toques)
  • Wool insoles for your boots (for extra comfort and warmth)
  • Wool socks (warm and moisture-wicking)
  • Lots of socks in general (you can never have too many, and wet socks are the WORST)
  • A cloth bag for winter market shopping (say no to plastic)
  • Sunglasses (because it can be sunny in the winter too, and all that white snow can be blinding)
winter-Europe-accessories

Luggage

Cobblestones are tricky enough in summer, so add snow and ice to the mix and suitcase pulling can get quite entertaining…

  • A suitcase with strong handles (in case your wheels fail and lots of lifting and carrying is needed)
  • Or, a big backpack with adjustable straps to fit over your layers (but not so big that it will put you too much off balance in slippery situations)
  • A cross-body day bag or backpack (because carrying bags with your hands in gloves or mitts is uncomfortable)
winter-packing-luggage

Shoes

You just don’t have room for 5 pairs of boots, so pick your favourites and call it a day:

  • Warm boots with thick rubber soles and good grip (the rubber helps keep your feet dry)
  • Dressier leather boots with rubber soles
  • Slippers (for cold bathroom floors and cozy nights in)
winter-packing-boots

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