What to Pack for a Cold Weather Trip
Heading somewhere cold and worried about bringing the wrong things or forgetting something? Here’s a list of everything you need to pack for your cold weather holiday! Don’t miss the free printable checklist at the end.
If you are traveling somewhere filled with snow, head over to How to Pack for a Snowy Winter Getaway instead.
The most important thing when packing for cold weather is including a lot of layers. Clothing layers, accessory layers, layers on layers on layers.
Here is what I recommend packing, which you can modify based on the activities and duration of your trip:
TANK TOPS — as mentioned, layering is key! My preference currently is bodysuits because they are soo much more comfortable. Click here for my favorite one or below for some other options I love (a lot of which I own):
LONG SLEEVE INNERWEAR — depending on the temp and the activity, I almost always would put a long sleeve shirt over a tank and underneath my coat. Or instead of a tank, I go for a long sleeve bodysuit. Click here for my favorite one! If it’s in stock in your size, grab it FAST, it’s almost always sold out.
TOPS— if you aren’t going somewhere so cold that you need HEATTECH innerwear, bring other tops instead! Everlane has many of my favorite options especially because of their affordability and transparent pricing (they tell you exactly what it cost to make each item and their prices are much cheaper than traditional prices).
SWEATERS — depending on how cold it is where you are going, you should make a decision as to whether you want to bring more sweaters and less coats (for not-so-freezing-places) or less sweaters and more coats (for places you’ll likely be wearing your coats most of the time). Two sweaters that I very highly recommend; one from Canada Goose and one from Everlane. Click here for the Canada Goose sweater and click here for the Everlane sweater (it comes in a million different colors, too!). The Canada Goose is a bit pricey but I swear it is SO amazing.
Click below for some other great options:
SWEATSHIRTS — I bring a crewneck sweatshirt or two if I am going to be hiking or doing other outdoor activities. If not, I generally stick to just sweaters since they look nicer.
FLANNELS — I am ride or die for Rails button downs, buying new ones each year. They are very warm and an easy way to look a little more presentable than a plain old tee. I resort to these a lot on less adventurous days (strolling around town, shopping, etc.) as well as for dinners. Click here to check pricing and availability.
MAXI DRESS OR SKIRT — not 100% necessary depending on your style but I usually like to pack a dress/skirt or two, regardless of weather! Maxi length is perfect for the cold and you’d be surprised how warm you can be in them with the right shoes (more on that below). Click here for my favorite maxi skirt. I own it in yellow!
For some other fall dress options, click below:
LEGGINGS — my absolute favorite are Alo’s high waisted ones. I own at least five pairs. Click here to see the latest prices.
JEANS — whichever you normally wear. Bring two to three pairs depending on trip duration. My favorite are AG Legging Ankle Jeans (sooo comfy!).
CASHMERE WRAP — I always bring a cashmere scarf or wrap on all trips because I consider it an absolute essential. I actually carry one in my purse at all times. It is especially important during winter because, well, winter is cold! You never know when you’ll need an extra layer on a cold plane, train, or something else. Click here for a great option!
CARDIGAN — Barefoot Dreams’ circle cardigan is honestly one of the best travel purchases I have ever made. So warm and absolutely necessary. Also great for transit days and hotel lounging! Click here to shop it.
WARM FUZZY JACKET — if you follow me on Instagram you know that these are my #1 weakness. Thankfully these are much in style right now so you can roam the world freely looking like a bear, being insanely comfortable and also warm. I have oh-so-many different ones, here are some of my current favs (including this one that’s only $33, has great reviews, and is almost exactly the same as the blogger fav I.AM.GIA. version!):
OTHER JACKET (leather, suede, puffy, fleece, etc.)— I have a thing with jackets, can you tell? Puffy jackets are fashionable and incredibly warm and comfortable so I often reach for them when packing for cold weather. If the weather is cold but not too cold, I bring my suede and/or leather moto jackets. Click here for my favorite blush-colored and very reasonably priced puffy jacket!
More good options:
PARKAS — if you are going somewhere very cold, this is EXTREMELY important! I have worked with Canada Goose over the past two years and have been lucky enough to be gifted a handful of coats, but in all honesty they are 100% worth it because they will last a lifetime. The attention to detail is remarkable (even random things like the sleeves are SO warm and soft), they have a lifetime guarantee, and they are remarkably warm. If you can splurge on one, I am confident you will not regret it.
Some of my favorites (including a few of the ones I own):
PAJAMAS — everything from PJ Salvage is so warm and lovely, I really cannot recommend them enough! Click here to shop their current designs.
SOCKS — the warmer, the better! And bring a lot. I’ll never forget standing outside the Louvre at opening in early January and how truly freezing my feet felt. If you need no-show socks, click here for the best of all time!
INTIMATES — obviously ;)
SNEAKERS — not the warmest option so possibly skip these depending on how cold it will be where you are going! But I do find sneakers to be the most comfortable option especially when walking around all day so bring them if you can. My very favorite are M. Gemi’s white leather sneakers. I literally never travel anywhere without them. Click here to see latest prices!
NO-SHOW SOCKS — To go with the above mentioned shoes! I have tried so many different ones and find that most fall down under your heel (ouch) but these do not. Click here for the ones I love.
DAY HEELS — Heels you can actually walk in? Yup! These Day Heels are heels you can walk in all day long. They aren’t warm, but they also aren’t sandals, so they might be appropriate depending on where you’re going. Click here to check availability (they sell out constantly, get them while you can!).
ANKLE BOOTS — boots of course keep you more covered than sneakers and are also very fashionable, making them a great option for cold weather destinations! Here are my top recommendations at the moment:
KNEE HIGH OR THIGH HIGH BOOTS — even warmer than ankle boots, knee high or thigh high boots are great. When I visited London and Paris in abnormally cold temps a few years back I bought a pair of Tory Burch knee highs (click here for a similar pair) and would’ve basically died without them.
WINTER BOOTS — need something more intense? These M. Gemi boots are to die for! Handmade makes a world of difference when it comes to comfort. Click here to check availability.
SCARVES — an absolute necessity! My favorite is & Other Stories’ oversized wool scarf, available each year in a handful of the most beautiful colors. Click here to see all of the different color options.
HATS — if your head is warm, the rest of you is warm! They also happen to spice up an otherwise boring outfit and make for a good photo prop, so the more the merrier.
GLOVES — if needed!
SUNGLASSES — for obvious reasons.
HAND WARMERS — for your hands, your feet, and your phone in case it gets too cold! Grab this value pack
CAMERA BAG — this item actually has nothing to do with cold weather specifically, but since every bag I am wearing in the above photos is a camera bag from GATTA and I know I’ll get questions, I am including it! Very highly recommend. Click here for the most stylish camera bag for women.
LEATHER TOTE — I never, ever, ever travel without my Cuyana Leather Zipper Tote. It holds so much yet never feels as heavy as other bags! I even like it more than my Louis Vuitton Neverfull which cost 5X as much. Click here to check it out.
Wanna know my organizational tricks? Click here for how to organize your carry-on.
JEWELRY — Make packing easy with the ultimate travel accessories from our latest collection! Click here to visit our jewelry shop or on a specific item below:
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE — I always pack this because it is important for the environment. Hydro Flask is the best because it keeps your drink cold (or warm). So worth the investment. Click here to see the latest prices.
SILK SLEEP MASK — To block out light on the plane and in the hotel. I bring this always and am especially thankful for it when I find myself traveling with someone who wants to stay up later than I do. Silk is anti-aging and great for your skin which is why it must be silk! Click here for the one I use and love.
TOILETRIES AND MAKEUP
SKINCARE — If you follow me on Instagram then you know I am a skincare fanatic. While I have an incredibly lengthly process while at home in SF, I try to keep it a little more low-key on the road. Click here to see more detailed skincare info or below for the items I believe are most essential for travel:
FACE MASK — I always bring Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask on all travels because the container is perfect for travel, it’s ultra-nourishing, and doesn’t look crazy when on. You can even apply it as a primer under your makeup if you are extremely dry! Click here to see the latest prices.
MAKEUP — Keep it minimal. Click below for the makeup items I pack when traveling:
FALL LIPSTICK — because it is the quickest and easiest way to instantly look put together. All of the ones in my bag right now are:
TRAVEL STRAIGHTENER — A travel hair straightener is a good thing to have if you want to be able to do your hair but don’t want to commit to lugging around a full size (and much more pricey) straightener. T3 makes a good compact one that is perfect for travel. It even has auto-world voltage! And of course if you are really skilled a straightener can double as a curling iron so it’s kind of a 2-in-1. Click here to see the latest prices.
CURLING IRON — Click here for the one I travel with.
WET BRUSH — Not to be dramatic but this is one of the best purchases I've ever made (especially for less than $8). There is nothing better for brushing your hair out, especially after you have been in the ocean. Click here to see the latest prices.
For a full list of toiletry packing recommendations, click here for how to organize your travel toiletry bag to ensure you never forget something.
CAMERA — To document your adventures! Click here to see the latest prices for my Sony a7II. If you don't need a full frame camera (if you aren't sure what that means, you don't need one!), I recommend the Sony a6500 instead. Click here to see the latest prices.
GORPO — Great option if you are going to the coast since it is waterproof. Also because it is small and therefore easy to transport. Click here to see the latest prices.
SD CARD — Always bring back up! Make sure they are at least class 10 so that your camera can keep up. Click here for the ones I use.
CHARGERS — For cameras, phone, other electronics.
EXTERNAL CHARGER — To help keep your phone alive all day. Click here for the one I use - it charges your phone seven times!
EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE — I always bring an external hard drive (or two) on each trip I take and make sure to back up my photos at least every night. You never know what might happen. Click here for my external hard drives.
UNIVERSAL ADAPTERS — Click here for the one I always pack because it works anywhere in the world, including Italy. And since you will be going to the EU, I recommend also picking up a 6-pack of these!