how to pack for a winter vacay in a carry on
I feel like every time I pack for a winter trip I am just set up to fail. I can get about two pairs of jeans, one sweater and one pair of boots and then I have NO room. At all.
So … I’m going to try to give you the best tips I have for winter carry on packing! I’m going to Boston for 4 days and I it WILL be cold.
Tip number one? Planning.
I feel like this is such an important step for me. I can’t pack unless I plan. Sometimes I even download this planner created by Caroline Joy! Start by checking the weather especially if you’re going somewhere cold. There is a big difference between 50 degrees and 23 degrees so you want to be prepared!
Jot down all the activities you’ll be doing; hiking, swimming, fancy dinner, business meeting…
I also like to start packing by how my days look: Wake up: Pajamas. Workout: Leggings, sneakers, sports bra. Touring the city: Jeans, sweater, jacket. Nice dinner: Dress, heals…you get the point.
You’ll soon find that everything you “need” adds up quickly, so put those things on your list first and then add in the fun/just-in-case/I’ve-been-dying-to-wear-that items!
Tip number 2? Get your everyday items.
I shouldn’t have to tell you how many pajamas, wool socks and undergarments to pack, but toiletries can be a bit trickier. 90% of the time I don’t pack shampoo or conditioner (since I wash my hair once a week) and focus mostly on skin and body care.
But if you HAVE to have your own hair products, I would get travel sized items.
I put them all in one bag and usually keep them in my personal item since sometimes you have to take liquids out for TSA… and my moisturizer is on hand in case my skin gets dry!
Tip number 3? Start packing your clothes.
Now, the fun part, outfits! But since it’s winter, let’s strategize.
1) I know this is devastating, but you’ll have to ditch any oversized sweaters go for more lightweight sweaters instead. PRO TIP: Wear your biggest chunkiest sweater on the flight with your jacket! Aim for packing at least two lighter sweaters to wear under a jacket and over a base layer.
2) Now add as many long sleeve shirts as you think you’ll need — I usually go for a white tee, grey tee, a striped turtleneck, and something with pizzaz like a velvet long sleeve body suit. These can all be worn underneath your sweaters for extra warmth if it’s just so so chilly.
3) Add in your bottom layers. I know myself well to know that leggings and a dress won’t keep my legs warm, so i opt for 2 pairs of jeans. If you can do dresses and layer well, go for it!
4) A little bonus pieces of advice while packing is to go with a color palette. This way you can mix and match you layers without having a piece of clothing taking a space and nothing for you to wear it with. My color pallet in winter tends to be a lot of grays, whites, and muted blues.
Tip number 4: Don’t forget the shoes!
…Or rather do forget them. Try to stick to only bringing 3 pairs including what you’re wearing on the plane! You know you’ll need boots if it’s cold, so you best wear those then add in the others you’ll need based on what you’ll be doing.
This is where I get the most versatile usually packing one cute sneaker (worn for exercise or walking around town), wearing heeled boots on the plane (not ideal for most people but Im used to it and they are the bulkiest) and waterproof boots (depending on weather).
Tip Number 5: The shake down.
This is what Noah does when we grocery shop, but I think it applies here too! Haha.
See if any items you packed can do double duty: i.e. Could your daily base layer also be a sleep shirt? Could you survive wearing the same boots everyday?
When you’re wearing a jacket most of the time don’t be afraid to wear the same things twice. Pack a scarf, hat, or some jewelry to give your outfits a fresh new look each day.
My Packing List
I only used pieces I already had in my closet. I didn’t go shopping at all before this trip. So, this isn’t necessarily an ideal packing list — but it is a real packing list.
And It worked wonders for me!
Let’s take a look:
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1 | CalPak Carry On Suitcase | Hard-shell suitcases are the way to go! I’ve had my suitcase for over a year now and I love it! My favorite thing is how organized it keeps me. The color is also adorbs and easy to find if I do have to check it.
2 | Small Crossbody Bag | Perfect for dressier nights or if you don’t want to carry a big bag.
3 | Gym Clothes/Equipment | Most people don’t travel with workout equipment but I know if I do, then I’m going to use it. Usually I’ll just bring the P.volve ankle band, P.band, and gliders. I can get in a quick 30 minute workout before breakfast in my hotel room!
4 | PJs and Toiletries | Comment below if you’d like a separate blog post on travel beauty products!
There you have it! That was a long one, so thanks for sticking around!
And on that note, I am hoping to publish our review of Boston and a travel guide soon. Let me know what questions you have for Boston and I’ll be sure to add it in.
Hope you all have a great weekend!