Travel comes with challenges. And one of my biggest challenges is always packing for winter trips. Coats are so bulky, boots are huge and weather seems even more unpredictable than in the warmer months. Winter packing requires strategy and careful attention to detail.
Unfortunately, strategy and detail have never been my strong suits when packing. I tend to be an extreme packer- meaning I either go WAY overboard or I under-pack and end up needing to make purchases to supplement my way through the trip. You can read a little bit more about my packing here and here.
Before you haphazardly throw items into a suitcase for your next winter trip, here are a few tips to consider:
- Size: One of the first thingsI do before packing is check the sizes of all our winter gear for my kids. Since we live in the South, there’s usually a lot of time between uses. Often the children have outgrown their snow boots, or heavy coats. We even struggle to locate matching pairs of gloves. Checking these things early allows plenty of time to shop prior to the trip. Likewise, if we head somewhere more tropical, there’s a great chance that they’ve outgrown their swim wear and flip flops. It’s often difficult to find out of season clothing so be sure to check sizes way in advance of your trip!
- Swim Gear: Speaking of tropical destinations, often we pack swim wear even if we are heading somewhere cold. We love booking hotels with indoor pools (read Hotel 101.) There’s nothing more disappointing than booking a hotel with a pool and then forgetting bathing suits! Additionally, you’ll want to remember to pack some pool attire- nothing looks sillier than a bathing suit and snow boots!
- Coordinate: Winter clothes just take up more room than summer clothes. And, for that reason I do my best to coordinate our outfits to minimize items. If we can re-wear a pair of jeans or sweater, I make every attempt to do so. Obviously, you want to have enough stuff to comfortably make it through the trip. However, paring down on the extra, bulky items (jackets, hats, etc.) helps a lot.
- Shoes: Similarly, if possible, we try to travel with just 1 or maybe 2 pairs of shoes. I don’t usually have a huge problem narrowing down my own selection of shoes- but I love having the perfect shoe for each of my kiddos outfits. Its hard, but it saves so much room if you limit the number of shoes in your suitcase.
- Carry-On: We also do our best to carry as much as possible on an airplane to avoid having it in our suitcases. Even though it isn’t ideal, wearing or carrying our coats saves so much space. I also try to put the kids hats and gloves in their carry-on back packs so they are handy when we arrive at our (colder) destination.
Where are your winter trips taking you?
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