Health,  Travel

Packing for Winter in Europe

Travelling to Europe has taught me a thing or two about packing for winter. I see a lot of you on the ‘Gram struggling to decide what to pack; or where to buy warm clothes when you hit Europe. How lucky that you have me, who has journeyed twice to a wintery Holland, to give tips on what to take.

If you can pack two travel bags – one check-in bag and one carry-on – then you have done an amazing job! This, however, does come with the difficulty of figuring out if you have packed enough, especially if you are visiting for the first time. I had to ask around, not bothering to rely on the weather service because it would fail me dismally.

The winter in Africa is not the same as the winter in Europe. We freeze different, so this is what I think will help with your upcoming Europe winter travel.

How to pack:

Start off by laying out everything you may need either on your bed or the floor. You want to pack as though you were going on a local winter retreat, starting with the most important things first and working your way through the items as you along: pants, followed by t-shirts, jerseys, sweaters and coats, and lastly, shoes.

Whatever you pick, the idea is to have “winter look” in mind. Some people use Google looks , Tumblr or Pinterest as a means of inspiration using items that are already in their closets, while others may go to the lengths of shopping for a winter-friendly wardrobe. Ready-to-wear clothes, such as a jersey, beanie and boots, need to be packed into your carry-on so that you are prepared for the cold onslaught as soon as you have landed and stepped off the plane.

What you need:

I suck at buying for winter, so every time I have had to travel to Europe, my partner would assist with purchasing quality winter items such as jackets while I focused on long sleeve t-shirts. You however, will need to pack the following:

  • Two long sleeve t-shirts
  • Thermo stockings
  • Two pairs of flat boots and one at least with a heel for a fashionable look
  • You would obviously pack underwear
  • two pairs of leggings
  • Denim jeans/pants
  • Lots of socks
  • One coat and jacket
  • Oil based lotion (I take Vaseline)

The quick fixes:

  • Swap your sun hat for a beanie
  • Use your scarf interchangeably as a scarf or head wrap for more stylish and sophisticated look
  • Pack your hot water bottle for the flight, you might need it along the way
  • Switch your summer lotion for an oil based skin body butter
  • Pack your toiletries at the corner of your suitcase in a zip-lock bag for ease of access and to avoid any mid-flight accidents- Try Stasher Bags.
  • You can pack one pair of pants and match it with different layers of sweaters and coat.

What to think about when packing:

Winters around the world are different. It is cold and wet in The Netherlands and snowy and wet in Czech Republic but either way, try packing a jacket that accommodates the coldest weather. Don’t even think about your conventional shoes because your toes will freeze. Boots are your best friend!

The best inexpensive places to shop in Europe are Pull&Bear and Primark if you want to save some bucks. At the end of the day, black keeps staying a staple colour for a lot of travelers because it is easy to clean and pairs well with anything.

At the end of your packing mission, you might just find yourself with one checked bag and a backpack- traveling light and paying less.

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When you can travel the world, you are lucky. But when you travel around your country and enjoy it, it is a right and a privilege because only a few see beauty in the places they call home.

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