How to Pack for a Winter Vacation

By Sri Teja Vemuri

Sometimes, in the sweltering summer, the sensation of snow on my face is all I can think about. Making snow angels and blowing the steam from my hot chocolate are two of my daydreams. Perhaps it’s time to think about taking a winter vacation if this describes you in any way! While the majority of people do choose to travel in the summer, there is something particularly special about traveling by car or airplane to a winter wonderland.This packing list for a winter vacation will include all the information you require, including what to take, what NOT to bring, and other useful FAQs.

Must-Haves for Winter Vacation Packing

Waterproof Gloves

Cute mittens are wonderful, but if your gloves aren’t waterproof, your numb fingers may seem red and bloated, which is not at all comfy! These touchscreen-compatible, waterproof gloves are also insulated and resistant to dampness. They are a must-have item on your packing checklist for a winter vacation. Additionally, they have a removable wrist strap to prevent the gloves from slipping off or coming undone.

Curated Brand: MCTi Ski Gloves,Winter Waterproof Snowboard Snow 3M Thinsulate Warm Touchscreen Cold Weather Women Gloves Wrist Leashes which costs $25 and is available on the Amazon website.

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You can put on the cozy thermals whenever the temperature dips below forty degrees. Thankfully, Thermajane produces soft, fleece-lined thermal pants that are a must-have item for what to pack for a winter vacation. These pants are cozy enough for wearing around the house but fitted enough to wear underneath a pair of jeans and a shirt if venturing outside in the snow. With their special sizing system, you can choose the right fit, and the poly-spandex fabric prevents bunching or riding up throughout the day.

Curated Brand: Thermajane Long Johns Thermal Underwear, Fleece Lined Base Layer Pajama Set Cold Weather which costs $28 and is available on the Amazon website.

Wool Socks

It is vital to keep in mind how to pack for a winter vacation and prioritize warmth in cold weather destinations. Your feet and head lose the majority of your body’s heat, so it’s essential to wear thick wool socks in any snowy areas. These warm socks should be a key addition to your packing list for winter vacation. No matter the weather, these superior blend merino wool socks will keep your feet dry, odor-free, and incredibly comfy throughout your trip.

Curated Brand: DANISH endurance Merino Wool Light Hiking Socks for Men, Women & Kids, Trekking which costs $15 and is available on the Amazon website.

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Insulated Boots

Always remember to include heated snow boots in your packing for winter vacation. These boots will keep your feet dry and toasty all day long, no matter if it’s merely a strong downpour or freezing temperatures in the morning. For both men and women, Columbia offers a variety of insulated boots with arch support, non-slip bottoms and waterproof seam-sealed construction. Although they may appear to be a bit pricey, I have already had a pair last for almost ten years, so the investment is definitely worthwhile!

Curated Brand: Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Lightweight Waterproof Shoe Hiking Boot which costs $60 and is available on the Amazon website.

Hot Hands

Your fingers will nearly always become at least somewhat chilly when playing in the snow, even if you are completely dressed from head to toe. For those times when blowing hot air on them doesn’t quite do the trick, it’s worth storing these Hot Hands in your luggage. Portable, air-activated heating devices are called Hot Hands. They are ideal for using on the slopes or in between snowman-building competitions. You can tuck them into your pocket or your gloves.

Curated Brand: HotHands Hand Warmers, 10 count (5 pack with 2 warmers per pack) which costs $6 and is available on the Amazon website.

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Travel Umbrella

When preparing your packing list for a winter vacation, it is always a good idea to include a small umbrella. Regardless of whether your destination is snowy, icy, or just windier than what you are accustomed to, having an umbrella can be a lifesaver. This lightweight umbrella weighs less than a pound and is compact enough to fit in a backpack, handbag, or car glove box. Since we can never be entirely certain of the weather forecast, it’s a wise choice to be prepared.

Curated Brand: HERO Travel Umbrella – Windproof, Compact and Portable which costs $34 and is available on the Amazon website.

Quick Dry Hiking Pants

Warm, cozy hiking trousers are a need whether you’re planning a ski vacation, a mountain trek or a snowmobile adventure. These quick-dry trousers have several pockets and can be worn over thermal underwear so you may reduce the weight of your bag without worrying about moisture leaking through. For any outdoor event that can result in a fall or muddy knees, this outfit is ideal since it has an adjustable waist feature and extra padding and protection on the knees.

Curated Brand: Singbring Men’s Outdoor Fleece Lined Windproof Waterproof Hiking Snow Ski Pants costs $29 and is available on the Amazon website.

Merino Wool Jacket

The warmest material you may wear to shield yourself from the piercing cold of winter climes is merino wool. You can stay warm without wearing a heavy, puffy jacket because, as you may already know, layering your clothing will keep you warmer for longer. These long sleeve Merino Wool shirts are the ideal foundation layer for any winter outing and can be simply matched with a flannel, sweater or cardigan for a more polished appearance.

Curated Brand: MERIWOOL Merino Wool Midweight Long Sleeve Thermal Shirt costs $60 and is available on the Amazon website.

Rain Jacket

As part of your winter vacation planning, it is always a wise choice to pack a lightweight rain jacket, especially if you’re heading to colder locations where rain is more common. Having a rain jacket handy allows you to be prepared for any unexpected weather changes during your journey. Additionally, it can be layered with a heavier shirt or undershirt, ensuring you look stylish and weather-ready without feeling overly bulky.

Curated Brand: Columbia Men’s Watertight Ii Waterproof, Breathable Rain Jacket costs $61 and is available on the Amazon website.


By the time you see the snow, if you haven’t already started to crave hot chocolate, you most certainly will! Bring a leak-proof thermos with you to the slopes for a snack in the snow. You will save some money and, unless you’re kind enough to share, will make your pals envious. This stainless steel thermos comes with a lifetime warranty and is guaranteed to keep your meals or beverages hot for up to fifteen hours. Not only that, but it’s also a really cool color and dishwasher safe!

Curated Brand: Stanley Classic Vacuum Food Jar 24oz Hammertone Green which costs $24 and is available on the Amazon website.

Power Adapter

If you are traveling abroad, don’t even consider leaving home without this universal travel adaptor. The different outlet forms in Europe, the UK, Ireland, Thailand, Australia, and many other places all function with it. It comes with a cotton travel bag that is ideal for storing it in your carry-on and weighs less than four pounds.

Curated Brand: Hero Universal Travel Adapter which costs $30 on Amazon website.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Although having a virtual private network set up for such a brief trip may seem excessive, we have discovered that we simply CANNOT travel without it. No matter where we are, VPNs make sure that our data is kept secure and unhackable. Sure, it’s better to be safe than sorry.When traveling, NordVPN is a great option for a VPN service. Every time you go on to their website, you can be confident that all of your information will be kept private.

Quick Dry Travel Towel

This microfiber towel puts all others to shame because most are quite thick and not worth the bother. It is especially helpful for hair that gets wet from snow falling, and you can get it in a number of sizes to carry along while you engage in winter activities. No matter where you go, the towel’s compact mesh pouch makes it simple to pack and keep track of.

Curated Brand: Rainleaf Microfiber Towel Perfect Travel & Sports & Beach Towel which costs $10 on Amazon website.

What NOT to pack on a winter vacation

  • Avoid packing sandals
  • Remove the bath towel from the list
  • Avoid bringing extra valuables.
  • Avoid bringing too many pairs of shoes
  • Take no jewelry
  • Avoid packing high heels

Summing Up

When preparing for a winter vacation, it is crucial to prioritize the right things to pack for winter vacation. Ensuring warmth, comfort, and style should be at the top of your list. From waterproof gloves and cozy thermals to wool socks and insulated boots, these items are essential for a successful winter getaway. Don’t forget to include practical accessories like a travel umbrella, hot hands, quick-dry hiking pants, a merino wool jacket, a rain jacket, a thermos, a power adapter, a VPN, and a quick-dry travel towel. By packing these essentials and leaving unnecessary items behind, you will be well-prepared to enjoy your winter vacation to the fullest.

Common Queries About Packing for a Winter Vacation

What are some essential items to include in a family winter vacation packing list?

When preparing a family winter vacation packing list, it’s important to include warm clothing layers, such as hats, gloves, and scarves, for each family member. Don’t forget to pack insulated boots, waterproof jackets, and plenty of thermal socks to keep everyone comfortable and protected from the cold weather. Additionally, packing extra blankets, hand warmers, and portable chargers can come in handy during outdoor activities.

Should I pack sunscreen for a winter vacation?

Yes, sunscreen is still important during winter vacations, especially in snowy areas where the sun’s reflection can intensify UV exposure. Opt for a sunscreen with SPF appropriate for winter conditions.

Can I wear regular socks or should I invest in specialized winter socks?

It is advisable to invest in specialized winter socks made of materials like wool or thermal fabrics, as they provide better insulation and keep your feet warm and dry.

How many pairs of gloves should I pack for a winter vacation?

It is recommended to pack at least two pairs of gloves to have a spare in case one gets wet or misplaced.

Are thermals necessary for a winter vacation?

Yes, thermals are essential for layering and providing extra warmth in cold weather. They are highly recommended for a winter vacation.

Vemuri Sri Teja
About the author

Meet Sri Teja Vemuri, a globetrotting wordsmith who believes that traveling is not just a hobby, but a way to broaden one's horizons and gain new perspectives