How to Pack for a Winter Destination

Packing for a cold, snowy destination is always a challenge. Throw in woolly jumpers, thick coats and snow boots and your luggage is full already! I love cold city breaks and after each one I have learnt something new. So here are a few tips that I have picked up on my travels:


Wear bulky clothes on the plane

Wearing you bulkiest coat and boots on the flights will save you tons of space in your luggage. By doing this I’ve often managed to just get away with carry-on luggage for those shorter weekend breaks. I always take my scarf on board too as it can double up as a blanket when it gets too chilly on the plane.


As for any holiday packing, having an idea on what your holiday plans are and then pre-planning outfits, is key for having a rationalised suitcase. Try to pick clothes that you can interchange. Be tough! Ask yourself if and when you’re going to wear each thing, if you can’t, leave it behind.

For a long weekend break in a cold city destination I would normally take two pairs of jeans (including black skinny jeans for smarter evening use) one pair of boots, one winter coat and 2-3 tops (including woollen or fleece jumper and shirt for something smarter). Plus thinner, thermal undergarments! For long holidays I would take an additional pair of smarter boots and a couple more tops.

Generally I don’t do ‘dressy’ and tend to avoid places where there’s a dress code, but I always work on the principle that if I did need to smarten up my act one evening, I’d go shopping whilst out there! Then I also have a nice little reminder of my holiday to take home.

How to keep warm

You’ve probably heard it before but wearing layers really is the key to keeping warm when you’re out and about. Good quality thermal layers underneath a nice woollen jumper should do the job. The part I always find gets the coldest is my legs (I nearly froze to death walking around Berlin one December night!). Now I always wear thermal long johns underneath my jeans.

Thick woollen socks (or sometimes two!), a thick scarf, gloves (I prefer sheepskin mittens) and a woollen or thermal hat that covers your ears and you’re all set.


Good quality boots and coat

A good quality winter coat can make a difference and is really worth the investment. Having made many coat mistakes in the past, I now have a well-insulated down filled coat (a Marmott brand coat) and on a cold day in London it keeps me warm with just one thick layer underneath. Make sure it is weatherproof, is long enough to cover your bum (and preferably to your knees) and protects your neck from the wind.

I have two pairs of boots that I turn to in cold weather. For snowy destinations I have a pair of Sorrell snow boots that are waterproof and insulated (and look great!). Generally though I have a ‘vintage’ (read - very old) pair of walking boots I picked up in a second hand shop. Not for everyone, but mine are really comfortable for pounding the pavement and keep my feet cozy and warm.

Have fun!