Having decided to travel in winter, thermals are an essential part of your wardrobe: long johns, singlets (vests), and long sleeved tops as well.
The most important thing is layering and taking mix’n’match shirts, pants and skirts. Always pack at least one t-shirt with a non-offensive message, maybe one from an interesting place you’ve visited, which can often be a conversation starter.
Keep Your Feet Warm
Shoes, joggers, boots, sandals, slippers and thongs are also essential items for you to consider. Although I would like to take all six, common sense dictates I must choose. If buying new boots, you will need to “wear them in” during our winter.
Don’t ever wear new boots or shoes! I had to give my beautiful new boots away in Bratislava as they simply hurt too much! Purchasing footwear that can be worn day or night will save you space.
Your feet will thank you for a visit to your podiatrist to have comfortable shoes such as Frankie4 fitted, well before your departure date.
Snow boots may be necessary not only for snow, but for walking on slippery, icy surfaces. Personally, I love my Jack Wolfskin hiking sandals and socks- so comfortable!
Wearing sandals with two pairs of Merino & Possum Socks is my chosen footwear most days, but check the weather forecast before you set out for the day- if rain is predicted, forget the sandals and socks and wear your waterproof boots to avoid soaking wet feet in freezing temperatures! Not my most pleasant experience!
Halve Your Clothes
Write out a list of the clothes you want to take, then halve it, maybe even halve it again if you’re a person likes me who wants to take everything including the kitchen sink!
Consider the activities you’re planning to do. I always take my swimming costume: hot springs or “thermes” are more enjoyable in cold weather.
Keeping Your Hands Warm – A Must
Gloves, warm headwear, scarves and warm socks are a must. I love my fur-lined leather gloves purchased in Prague in 2011 and still going strong, my Russian fur hat I received as a Christmas gift that same year, and my possum merino socks bought in New Zealand in 2013.
Scarves are a different matter altogether. I have many, many scarves bought all around the world as well as many I’ve received as gifts. The hard part is deciding not only how many to take, but which ones!
Don’t Forget A Sarong
I always pack a sarong; you’d be surprised at how many different uses you can find for it. It was a real life-saver when travelling in a second class Chinese sleeping car and wanting to change into my pyjamas in front of 5 other Chinese people-men and women!
It was perfect as a curtain, which not only gave me some privacy but shielded my eyes from the bright lights of the carriage and allowed me to get to sleep.
What About Medications?
The heaviest part of my luggage is always my medications, toiletries, skincare and makeup. By all means, take the basics, but unless you’re going to the Amazon jungle, you can always buy more wherever you go.
Do take ALL of your prescriptions though- other pharmacists often don’t know what you’re talking about even if all you’re after is antihistamines.
Also take a letter from your doctor specifying all of your medications. I’ve never had to produce it, but I always take it just to play it safe. I can’t think of anything worse than being accused of drug smuggling!
Have You Bought Travel-Size Toiletry Kits?
Take sample sizes of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, cleanser, toner and moisturiser. Travel size toiletry kits are available from most chemists and supermarkets.
Take a stick deodorant and dry shampoo, and a couple of sample size perfumes instead of a 100ml bottle. Don’t forget your lip balm!