10 Winter Travel Essentials For The Best Winter Trip

January 8, 2024
5 mins read

In the past few years, every winter, we spent a few days to weeks in Chicago. If you’ve heard of Chicago before, you know. Winters are hard, very cold and snowy.

The first time I experienced Chicagoan winter I was mesmerized. I come from a country that doesn’t have real winter and the amount of times I’ve had snow days can be counted on two hands.

But soon the magic disappeared and I was cold, so cold. Every time I got myself equipped with better gear and gadgets and visiting became more and more easy.

So if you’re like us and get to travel in the winter times to wintery destinations here are 10 winter travel essentials for a warmer, cozier trip and a bonus one at the end.

Winter Travel Essentials To Stay Warm

Let’s start with the basics – the clothing you wear outside can make or break. Good layers and clothing that keeps your most important parts out of the cold are key when traveling in the winter.

Thermal Shirts And Pants

One key strategy when traveling is wearing your clothes in layers, and that’s true for all seasons. Because we’re always moving, going in and out of buildings, sometimes up and down, and at different times of the day. The temperatures vary and you need to fit yourself accordingly.

In the winter it’s even more important, when the outside is super cold and the inside is usually warmer and cozy. 

So thinking of layering, get yourself some comfortable and warm first layers, if possible thermal is best. A good, thin, and long shirt and some warm tights could be so helpful when traveling in cold weather.

Warm Coat

And when I say warm I mean it. If there’s one thing not to budget on is a good coat. It can make a huge difference and it stays with you for years. 

Make sure it has nice and comfortable pockets to push your hands in to keep them warm too. The longer it is the better because it covers more of your body, your thighs and even your knees will thank you.

Also get it a size or two bigger, don’t forget the other layers you’re wearing under it.

Smartphone Gloves

Gloves are a given, I know, but what are you doing when you wear them and need to check the map? Yep, take them off, I know it’s freezing, but what can you do?

Enter smartphone gloves! Warm gloves that you don’t have to take off when you need to check the phone. So when you get yourself some gloves make sure you can still use your phone when wearing them.

cozy in my winter travel essentials

Warm Socks

My feet being cold is like a tiny torture winter offers me, it’s almost painful. So when I’m out and about I like to layer socks as well.

I usually wear a first layer of normal socks and a second one of wool socks or some other socks that are a bit thicker and can keep the temperature at my feet comfortable.

Quality Winter Boots

Naturally, the next recommendation on our winter travel essentials list will be boots. 

Some important things to think of are first waterproof, make sure you can walk in those boots in the snow without it coming into the shoes. Next, make sure the sole of the boot has some grip so when you walk on frozen pavement there’s less chance of you slipping.

Make sure the boot you’re wearing is wide enough to accommodate your warm socks and most importantly they’re comfortable to walk in for hours and easy to take on and off.

Winter Travel Essentials – Accessories

Packing Cubes

To make sure all your extra layers can squeeze into your suitcase without a fight, get a few packing cubes. Those are cubes to hold your clothes, they’re flexible and pretty big so you can easily squeeze in different pieces of clothing. 

I like to roll my clothes in there, it allows putting more clothes in one cube.

It’s also portable so when you’re settled down in your accommodation you can take it out of the suitcase and use it as a tiny closet if you don’t want to start organizing your clothes in the closet provided in the room or if you don’t want to leave your suitcase open every time you need clothes.

Crossover Bag Or A Fanny pack

Using a crossover bag or a fanny pack is a must in any travel season in my opinion, but in the winter it allows you to be a little less clumsy. With all the layers it’s more comfortable to wear something crossover rather than a full on backpack. Easier to reach, easier to maneuver around, and more comfortable to wear.

Another benefit is in most times, when the bag is not too big, when going on flights it doesn’t count as another bag and they let you take it with you without question, and so you have some extra storage in which I like to put everything I need within reach.

If you have more things and need a backpack, make sure it’s waterproof to protect everything inside.

Windproof Umbrella

There’s no better way to learn about the need of a windproof umbrella than a heavy rained on experience. If you heard of our story traveling in Pompeii you’ll know we got to experience it first hand, and it was, well, wet.

A good sturdy umbrella that survives through all kinds of wind and rain is so hard to get and if you find one, hold on to it, very tight. I mean, don’t let it fly away from you in the wind.

Seriously now, it’ll keep you dry and sane, I don’t think any more elaboration is needed.

Hand Warmers

Yes, I told you before that a good warm coat with comfortable pockets will keep your hands warm, but what if you also had some nice hand warmers waiting for you there. That will definitely be a cozy perk.

So it’s not a must but if you’re able to get your hands on it, why not? 

Winter Travel Essentials For Health And Safety

Lip Balm And Moisturizer

It sounds like pampering, but no, it’s a necessity and therefore one of our winter travel essentials. Walking in and out between different temperatures can make your skin so dry, and you very uncomfortable. 

Somehow every trip I make the mistake of forgetting this and everytime first store I visit is the pharmacy for some good strong moisturizer for hands and lips. 

Seriously, don’t be me, be ready in advance with these things.

Bonus And Most Important – Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is great in case your luggage is missing or something of yours got stolen, but one thing a lot of people forget is that it can also help you with health issues. So if you’re traveling to a different country, health travel insurance can be a serious help.

On our last trip to the US I got the flu and for days stayed in bed with a fever and couldn’t do anything. Even though I chose not to take care of it and wait for it to pass, I still had the option to go to a doctor to get treatment at any time because I had paid for health insurance. I think it’s super important because you can never be sure your trip will go smoothly. 


Winter Travel can be a unique experience, very fun and memorable but to enjoy it you have to come ready. 

I hope those 10 winter travel essentials helped you with planning your next winter trip, or made your trip more comfortable and cozy.

If you’re looking to plan your next winter trip, here’s our itinerary for a weekend in Paris. A visit to Paris could be so unique this time of the year.

Don’t forget to share with us your travel adventures and tell us in the comments what are your winter travel essentials, we would love to grow our list.

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