October 19th, 2012

Packing Light for a Cold-Weather Getaway

Packing Light for a Cold-Weather Getaway


Packing light—or more accurately, packing right—can be one of the most challenging parts of travel preparation. Take more than you need and you’ll be dragging unwanted weight and bulk through airports, hotels and across new cities. Underpack and you’ll be forced to hunt down the items you need to stay warm in an unfamiliar destination (and probably spend more than you need to in order to get them).

Finding the perfect middle ground, especially when you’re jetting off to a cold-weather destination, is practically an art form. How can you get all of your extras, like scarves, sweaters, jeans, boots and outerwear into the same bag that holds nothing but swim suits and flip flops when you’re taking a beach vacation? The short answer? Don’t wait until the day you leave to start planning for your cold weather adventure! We’ve compiled a list of eight expert tips to help you pack the perfect bag for your wintery destination. Follow our advice, and you’ll have no trouble zipping up your suitcase or carry-on without sitting on it first!

Use compression bags  to organize items of clothing before packing. Use one bag for sweaters and tops, another for pants and bottoms, and a third for miscellaneous items. When you have all the items you want to pack, compress the bags, which will then shrink to half of their original volume. You can repeat this process throughout your journey.

Buy convertible clothing and remember to layer Most travel clothing companies now make jackets for men and women that have multiple layers. A typical style involves an inner layer and outer layer, which can be used together for extra warmth or taken apart for differing weather conditions. Choosing such a jacket will lessen the bulk you will need to pack and the overall number of items you will need to carry with you).

Bring a versatile flat shoe: For women, Tieks by Gavrieli, are a versatile travel shoe that fold up into half of the wearable size. These Italian-leather shoes are stylish and compact. If you choose the right material and color, you could pack only one pair of flat shoes for a trip: your Tieks. This will save space and simplify dressing. Consider the same principle for other shoes, packing a pair of heels that can be worn in multiple situations and a pair of boots that would be wearable for casual outdoor activities as well as for walking around in a city.

Don’t double up! If you want to include jeans or black pants – include one pair. For men, this is particularly applicable. For women, a pair of skinny jeans and a pair of wider leg jeans may be more appropriate but three pairs of jeans are most definitely superfluous.

Reuse and recycle Remember the simple fact that in cold-weather, clothes can be worn more times than in a hot climate. Therefore, less clothes are needed to begin with and items do not have to be washed as often as when traveling in the summer or in high temperature locales. Especially if you bring thin shirts that can be worn under the sam sweater.

Carry on your bulkiest items Planes, particularly in winter, can be very cold places to spend a prolonged period of time. Wear your boots, main jacket and the heaviest sweater you’ve packed on an airplane. Even if you find it’s more than you need, you can always store it in the overhead bin. At least you’ve saved yourself the added cost and bulk of trying to fit it in a suitcase.

Invest in cashmere, which is lighter than other fabrics yet enables you to be warmer than when wearing sweaters made of cotton or synthetics. Also buy silk thermal underwear, which also packs very light, but keeps you far warmer than other fabrics are able to.

Choose a color scheme and stick to it Packing tops and bottoms which all go together will enable you to pack less but get more miles out of the items you do have at your disposal. Usually, while traveling, you won’t see the same people day after day anyway so it’s more than acceptable to wear clothes more than once.

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by Kirsten Alana

Kirsten Alana is a professional photographer, writer, teacher and social media consultant. She has worked with brands like AOL, Expedia and Beck’s Beer; co-hosted #ExpChat, #TNI and #FriFotos on twitter; as well as been on-air talent for commercials and travel shows on networks like CNN and AMC. She enjoys teaching photography and talking about its important role in our increasingly social society at conferences all over the world.