Packing for below freezing temperatures can be difficult, especially with the need for so many layers. I’m not one to ever over pack… I actually love to pack light & efficiently. Over the past 2 winters, I’ve perfected the art of packing for a winter trip, mainly because I’ve visited a lot of cold places. I’m sharing my tips & tricks on how to pack for a winter vacation below.
I went to San Francisco, Portland, NYC, & Vancouver last year & Boston this year over the holidays. I always pack one small, carry-on size suitcase + a small travel duffel. My luggage is Lipault Paris, from Samsonite.
My most important tips for packing smart:
- Pack heavy jackets & sweaters on the bottom.
- Pack lighter items onto the top.
- Fill small spaces with socks, a hat & gloves.
- Only bring 1 or 2 pairs of shoes & make them boots.
- Bring 1 or 2 NEUTRAL colored scarves.
For my trip to Boston over the holidays, the temperatures were in the low teens & there were scattered snow showers. I was there for 5 days. Below are the 11 necessities I packed…
- ONE Wool Jacket
- ONE Winter Coat
- TWO Scarves – I always pack one or two scarves, always infinity, because I think they’re the cutest, easiest to style, & warmest for super cold days.
- TWO Pullover Sweaters – For this trip, I packed 2 pullover sweaters. I love a good cardigan, but they aren’t warm enough for a winter vacation.
- TWO Long Sleeve Tops – I packed 2, neutral long-sleeve tops. I wore an olive one on the plane & packed a gray one. Fitted, not super thick, long-sleeve tops are perfect for layering under a sweater, over a tank, or under a fur vest.
- TWO Pairs of Jeans + ONE Pair of Sweatpants – I wore my dark denim jeans on the plane & packed one pair of black jeans. My favorite jeans are I also packed a pair of black skinny sweatpants (from GUESS) for the plane ride home.
- ONE Basic Tank – For this trip, I packed a North Face black knit beanie & a tan/pink faux fur beanie (similar style below). Both are warm & go well with all of the outfits I packed.
- ONE Pair of Tall Socks – I also always pack one pair of thick, tall black socks. I wear these under my jeans & layer another pair of short socks on top. If you’re going skiing, I’d recommend thermal, long underwear.
- TWO Hats – For this trip, I packed a North Face black knit beanie & a tan/pink faux fur beanie. Both are warm & go well with all of the outfits I packed.
- TWO Pairs of Boots – I have a pair of boots from Nordstrom that I never take off my feet. They’re Blondo waterproof ankle boots in black. They go with everything – jeans, skirts, dresses. They look good with casual outfits & more formal outfits. And they’re warm (specially with 2 layers of socks underneath). I also pack a brown pair of boots as well, so I can switch it up. Those are a little taller, over the ankle. For this trip, I wasn’t actually going skiing or going to be walking around in the snow. If I were, I would have packed my go-to black boots + a pair of snow boots.
- ONE Pair of Gloves – I have two favorite pairs of gloves – one black faux fur trimmed pair & one black tech-touch pair (by North Face). I packed the tech-touch pair for this trip, because they’re a little more practical for everyday use.
A few other basic necessities I would never want to forget for any vacay: moisturizer, sunscreen, vaseline (for my lips), sunglasses, & a small cross-body bag.
Hope you enjoyed reading my best tips on how to pack for a winter vacation! Let me know what you pack for winter getaways & your favorite brands in the comments below!