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Ready to get up and go on your next winter wonderland vacation? Hang on - you have to pack a bag first! It can be hard to tell what needs to go on your winter vacation packing list and what can be left in the closet. Packing your suitcase without stuffing it to the brim is challenging when it comes to winter gear.
Save on costs and avoid buying forgotten items like hats and mittens when traveling to popular winter spots. Here's the ultimate winter vacation packing list for anyone traveling to a snowy destination! You can save your sanity and pennies by sticking to this miracle list.
Ultimate Winter Vacation Packing List
One of the toughest parts of preparing for an upcoming trip can be packing your bag, especially because airlines charge an arm and a leg for extra or overweight baggage.
On your vacation, you might decide to spend the day exploring a new city or lace up and hit the mountain trails. Be sure to pack all of your winter gear and stay organized with this simple packing list.
Clothing & Footwear
- Weatherproof boots
- Weatherproof shoes
- Down jacket
- Long sleeve pajama set
- Cozy slippers
- Light long sleeve tops
- Fleece lined leggings
- Long underwear or nylon tights
- Merino wool or warm, thick socks
- Thick gloves
- Thin gloves
- Casual purse or backpack
- Camera and charger
- Battery pack
- Glove and boot warmers
- Shampoo & conditioner
- Soap or body wash
- Body lotion
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Hairbrush and elastics
- Razor and shaving cream
- Feminine hygiene products
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Over-the-counter medication (e.g., ibuprofen, allergy medicines)
- Passport and passport holder
- Currency and cards
- Copies of essential documents
- Travel Insurance
Adventure Gear (Optional)
- Hiking poles
- Reusable water bottle
- Backpacking bag
- Travel board games or cards
- Portable speaker
Tips to Organize Your Winter Vacation Bag
Now that you've got a good idea of what to pack, it's time to organize it all! After you've narrowed down your packing list to the items you know you'll need, try these handy tips to keep it all organized!
Choose the Right Luggage
Make sure you're taking the right size and type of bag. Depending on your snowy destination, dragging around a suitcase might be difficult. Consider taking a trekking backpack that you can easily lift and carry. This will ensure your belongings stay nice and dry!
Use Packing Cubes
Invest in some packing cubes. Packing cubes help to organize clothes and small accessories into one manageable space!
Download a Packing App
Organize all your packing lists in one place with a handy packing app. Check out our latest review on some of the best packing apps out there!
What to Put in Your Carry-On Bag?
Ensure you have these important items in your carry-on bag to ensure all your travels run smoothly.
- Passport and ID
- Cash and cards
- Phone and charger
- Ear plugs
- Travel pillow
- One set of clothing
Things to Avoid Packing for a Winter Vacation
- Illegal substances
- Flammable liquid
- Hazardous materials
- Perishable food
- Excessive amounts of money
- Warm weather clothes and shoes, unless your hotel has a pool!
Where to Buy Clothes for a Winter Vacation?
If you're headed to a cold and snowy destination, you'll want to ensure you have the weatherproof gear to keep you dry and warm. There's nothing worse than having a wet jacket or wet socks while you're out exploring.
Some great, reliable brands make warm layers perfect for winter travels. Check out our in-depth review of Columbia, Patagonia, Marmot, and Norrøna to decide which brand is right for you!
Winter Vacation Packing FAQs
How many outfits should I pack for a 7-day winter vacation?
A good rule of thumb when packing for a winter trip is to pack one outfit for every day you'll be away, plus one extra just in case something happens during your travels. Be sure to pack clothing that's appropriate for your planned activities. For example, if you're hiking, bring extra socks and insulating layers. If you're exploring a city, bring light, weatherproof layers.
How do I keep my luggage/bags safe and dry?
The last thing you want is wet luggage! To keep your luggage safe and dry, try to keep it out of the snow as much as possible and try not to drag it through snow and slush that's deeper than the wheel height. While your hard-top suitcase might be waterproof, the zipper that closes it can let water in!
If you're taking a trekking backpack, they often come with a handy waterproof cover that you can place over the pack to keep it dry. Keeping the cover on while the bag's in transit can not only keep it protected, but it should stay dry too!
Weatherproof vs. Waterproof
In your travels, you might come across gear labeled weatherproof and some labeled waterproof, so what's the difference?
Waterproof gear is just that- waterproof. You can be guaranteed you'll stay nice and dry. Weatherproof gear is meant to protect against wind, rain, and snow but is not entirely waterproof. It can hold up but will eventually get wet.
Be sure to bring the right kind of gear for your winter trip. Waterproof boots will be excellent for deep snow and hiking, and you can get away with weatherproof gear if you stay closer to a city.
Plan Your Trip with Pilot
Packing for a frosty holiday doesn't need to be a challenge. This simple winter vacation packing list will help ensure you're prepared for any adventure. Whether you're going away to a snowy destination, on business, or to the beach, Pilot has you covered.