What to Take on Winter Vacations

Packing for a winter vacation requires a different strategy than packing for a summer one – and more than swapping out shorts for sweaters. We asked two travel experts for beyond-the-obvious suggestions on what to take and what to leave at home. Here’s what they had to say:

Pack for Layers

Pack so you can dress in layers and add or remove one depending on the temperature, suggests Claire Newell, author of Travel Best Bets. Consider taking an undershirt, long-sleeved shirt and medium-weight sweater rather than just a bulky sweater. “Bring extra under-layers, which you’ll change more often,” Newell says.

Protect Against Snow/Rain

“It’s easy to get snow in your boots while tobogganing or skiing and then your feet get wet. So pack extra socks and a few plastic bags for your trip,” recommends Evelyn Hannon, editor of Journeywoman. That way you can take a second pair of socks and line your wet boots with the plastic bags to keep dry.

Take Emergency Supplies

Take a charged cell phone, snacks (such as granola bars) and a small flashlight for when you’re snowmobiling, hiking or snowshoeing. You want to be prepared in case you get off track.

Flying? Leave the Sports Gear

You’d probably prefer to use your own gear, but consider the cost of taking it on a flight. Airlines used to allow you to check sports equipment for free, but now they charge. “You may be better off renting when you take into account the cost, the wear and tear on your equipment, and the inconvenience of carrying your gear to and from the airport,” Newell says.

Leave Your Guidebook at Home

Instead of taking a big, bulky guidebook, pick up a smaller one of the area at your destination. “It will be cheaper and smaller to tote around,” Hannon says.

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