Whether you’re jetting off for a ski vacation, venturing abroad or visiting Winnipeg in January, winter is a great time to get away. If you’ve started to wonder about how you’re going to fit all your winter gear in your suitcase, we’ve got a few ideas. Here are our top seven recommendations when prepping for a cold weather adventure.
Arrive early… but not too early.
Pick your flight(s) carefully. If there’s a chance of bad weather, you don’t want to leave or return on either the day’s first – or last – flight. Try to find a sweet spot with a flight that leaves early in the morning (and one that also has a good on-time record) if it’s available.
Be strategic about flight times.
Speaking of which, try to time your flight to arrive at (or depart from) a cold-weather airport in the warmest parts of the day if you can. Say from mid-morning to the mid-afternoon (before sunset) – things get worse when the sun goes down and temps drop. Filter by flight times on KAYAK when you search, so you only see the flights that take off or land at the ideal time.
Booking a connecting flight can increase your odds of encountering delays, so avoid them when possible. You can also filter flights by the number of stops when you search to find your best options.
Opt for a carry on.
Try to squeeze everything you need into a carry-on bag to avoid losing your stuff in the event that your bags get lost. Wear comfortable shoes, clothing and layer strategically – that way, you can add on or take off pieces as needed.
Since we’re talking about layers, it goes without saying that you’re going to need plenty of warm clothing for your winter trip. Sweaters, coats and thermals can take up a lot of valuable luggage space, so rather than stuff these bulky items into your suitcase, wear them on the plane. Boots, sweaters, jackets and winter coats are all things that can be worn rather than checked in a bag. Layer up with an undershirt, t-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, sweater and coat for air travel – you can always shed the heavier layers once you’ve boarded.
Quick tip: Fluffy coats can double as a pillow during long flights, or can be stuck under the seat if you get warm. Stick a reusable shopping bag in your carry-on for easy transport once you’re in your destination.
Mix and match.
Have you ever returned from a trip only to unpack and realize you didn’t wear half of what you brought? The key to successful packing is to keep yourself from stuffing your entire wardrobe into your suitcase, and to mix/match outfits that can go together. Consider staples in a neutral color scheme or capsule pieces that can be easily dressed up or down.
Vacuum bag it.
When in doubt, vacuum bags can help condense bulky winter clothes so you’ll have more luggage space. Consider investing in a few of these bags when packing for winter travel.
Quick tip: Label bags so you know what’s in each. This will save time and effort later, when you’re looking for one particular item.