Packing light in the winter can be a challenge with heavier clothing and additional layers needed — especially when traveling with kids. It can be difficult to tell how many layers you will need, so be sure to check the weather as close to your departure as possible. This can alter your packing essentials, depending on just how cool it will be and how active your family will be on the trip. Follow a few of our packing tips and tricks to keep the bags light and everyone warm on your family trip this winter.
A key tip to keeping the journey light is packing long thermals. A few should do the trick as they don’t take up much space, don’t weigh too much and can be worn under nearly anything.
Begin packing with the smallest base layers for your winter trip. Roll up tank tops, shirts and flannels as tightly as possible. Choosing lighter layers wisely can allow for many options while still keeping luggage light. Weather-wicking materials from Under Armour can save a lot of room in luggage without compromising warmth.
Rather than packing several shirts and tops for the various days, only pack a couple and replace the others with one or two sweaters. Chances are you’ll wear the sweaters over the tops anyway and they will just take up less room in the long run.
Bring several pairs of lightweight, warm socks like Smartwool. The Merino wool helps control temperatures and keeps its shape. Bring one pair of gloves, one or two scarves and a hat. Most winter accessories can be bundled small and tight in your luggage, but for bulkier pieces, opt for a vacuum-sealed packing bag. These can be a serious space saver when packing the kids’ coats, hats, gloves and change of socks.
Make sure you and the kids wear your bulkiest boots and pack one additional pair of shoes if you plan on going somewhere indoors, such as a lodge or restaurant. By wearing the heaviest clothes, you can keep the luggage lighter and still have the heavyweight essentials on a colder trip.
For the older kids, make sure they pack smartly and efficiently. You may not have control over what they want to wear, but when it comes to costly checked bag fees, you want to at least make sure warm-weather clothing is just that and not a fashion show.