Blog followers, it is getting CHILLY out there! Though it has only snowed once at the TFT office, there is a distinct feel of winter in the air… Maybe it’s all the relentless Christmas music, but my thoughts have turned toward traveling home for the holidays… In a few weeks I will be traveling to the Great White North to see my family, so my thoughts have turned to the importance of proper packing when traveling to cold climates! So here are a few tips for winter traveling…
Much like packing for uncertain climates (like our Scotland & Ireland and Germany Austria Switzerland Adventure programs), layers for winter climates are extremely important. For example, if you’ve just finished skiing in the Swiss Alps and are heading into the chalet for some cocoa, you’ll want to be able to throw off your coat and mittens and grab that mug without freezing! Or, if you’re on our Europe for Older Teens: Amsterdam, Munich, Swiss Alps & Venice program, and you need to travel from the spring-like base of the Bernese Alps to the freezing wintery summit of Schilthorn, you’ll need layers and proper jackets to do so! For winter, some of my favorite travel accessories include fingerless gloves (you can wear these under warmer mittens that are easily removable for using your fingers when need be, while keeping your hand as warm as possible!), infinity scarves (a scarf that is one continuous loop is less bulky), boots, and at least one pair of thick, warm socks. Winter coats can be tricky to buy, because for traveling you want the warmest, lightest, and least-bulky one possible. Many high-end adventure outfitters (North Face, Marmot, Patagonia) offer coats that do just that! Some down coats even have the capability to squish down into a small pouch to make for easy packing.
A solid pair of warm, versatile boots is a must-have for winter. Preferably something faux-fur or flannel lined (you can even buy boots with a removable lining so you can use them when it’s not as cold), but the most important quality for a winter boot is being waterproof. Waterproof shoes will generally say so somewhere in the packaging. Companies to check out include Keen, Columbia, Merrel, Sorel, Boggs, and The North Face. Socks are just as important as shoes when it comes to winter. Nothing is worse than cold toes and a solid pair of warm breathable (very important when your shoe is trapped in a waterproof boot all day) socks can be the difference between a warm dry foot and frostbitten toes (gross)!
Though the above items, and really all winter clothing items, can be extremely bulky, careful packing can be a great way to get around extra baggage fees and overweight charges at airports! If it’s cold where you’re going (even if it’s not cold where you’re coming from), wear your heaviest items onto the plane. Throw your winter jacket over your arm and slide on that pair of boots to get on the plane with (you can always take them off once on board).
However, if you like to dream of warmer places and escaping the winter wonderland that will shortly be descending around us, you can start by selecting your warm-weather getaway with Travel for Teens this summer! If you’re interested in going to Europe for the sun, check out trips like Italy Explorer, Greece: Athens & the Islands, Sicily Community Service, Croatia Island Hopping, Spain and Portugal, and many more! Or, if Europe isn’t your bag, check out Tanzania Service and Safari, Fiji Service and Adventure, Thailand Service and Adventure, Costa Rica Adventure and Service, or any of our other Asia or Africa or Central America trips!