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Packing For Winter Travel, With Just A Carry-On!

During the summer, we seldom think of packing for winter travel. However, if you’re traveling to continents below the equator, our summer is their


Winter (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

winter and you’ll need to pack your bags accordingly. If you’re taking a trip to a location north of the equator, count on packing for winter travel between the months of October through at least April.

Find out the mean temperatures of the specific destination you’ll be visiting. If it rains most of the time, with occasional snow, packing for winter travel can be a challenge. A heavy coat, boots, several sweaters and wool pants, gloves and winter hats can load up that baggage in no time.

In summer travel spots, most people tend to jam in more clothes than they’ll ever wear in a couple of weeks. Faced with a winter wardrobe, travelers often think, “Packing for winter travel in a carry-on is impossible!”, and begin swapping clothes in and out of that carry-on once again.

The real secret to packing for winter travel is to wear your heaviest, most bulky items when you board. Wear the boots, a sweater, the faux fur hat you can’t do without and your fur-lined gloves. You may be a bit warm before you board. Once seated, take off that wool coat and open it up to hang over your seat. (As a courtesy to the passenger behind you, make sure your coat is not infringing on their seating space. Take off the boots, placing your booty socks on top of the boots. Your hat and gloves can be stored in the magazine rack in front of your seat, below the drop-down tray. If you’re afraid you’ll forget them when you disembark, stuff hat and gloves in your purse.

This strategy can save you additional money, over the amounts now charged for checked baggage. Now, many airlines are levying a charge when you ask for an in-flight blanket. You, the smart traveler, can say, “No thanks!”, because you’ve got a warm coat to use instead, which, incidentally is far more cozy than the flimsy rental blanket! If you’ve worn a sweater, a pair of wool pants, with silk long-johns underneath, you may not even need the coat. This strategy for packing for winter travel has also freed up a lot of space in that carry-on.

Now, with all this free space in the carry-on, things are looking better. For a two week vacation to a winter climate, two heavy sweaters will do you just fine. Trust me. You can even get by with just one, buying another at your destination. If you bring two, choose sweaters with some nylon content listed on the label. Nylon is incredibly warm and not so bulky. For shirts, nothing beats a turtleneck with a nylon-polyester mix. This shirt is both warm and friendly to your packing for winter travel in a carry-on bag. A few pairs of silk long-johns are of a similarly thin profile, packing nicely into a very small space. Both sweaters and long johns can be washed in your hotel room and hung over the tub or shower to dry quickly, ready and unwrinkled for tomorrow.

What’s left to pack in the carry-on? There’s more than enough room for undies, toiletries, cosmetics, jewelry and accessories, such as scarves. You should have enough room left over for a couple of travel guides in the outside pockets (handy for in-flight reading), as well as any souvenirs you may pick up on your trip.

So you can see that packing for winter travel need not be a nightmare. You just need to dress and pack smart!