10 tips for traveling light on your winter vacation in Europe

Do you have a trip to Europe soon? Here are some simple tips to teach you how to travel light for Europe.

There’s nothing quite like spending a snowy winter vacation in one of Europe’s beautiful cities. He has a totally different energy about it. But since you’ll be exploring Europe in colder temperatures, you’ll need to have the right clothes.

How do you decide what to bring without packing your entire wardrobe – potentially paying extra for overweight luggage? Packing for winter vacation doesn’t mean you can’t travel light.

Tip 1: Lay everything out on the floor

Before you even start packing, lay out each item on your bedroom floor or even on the bed. Don’t be overwhelmed; there is a method to this madness.

Now is the time to examine – even scrutinize – each element. Ask yourself (and be honest): Am I really going to wear this? What day or event do I see myself wearing this?

And if you can’t justify it, then you know you’ll end up carrying the item. It will also take up space in your suitcase. This method guarantees that you will take only the bare necessities.

Tip 2: Start with a smaller suitcase

It’s a no-brainer – but if you have less space to start with, you’ll be smarter to use it. So if you have smaller luggage at your disposal, start with that. When you have more space, it’s easy to automatically want to start filling it with more clothes and items than you think you need. Starting with small forces, you have to be selective – and ultimately pack light.

Tip 3: Pack for the best scenario

Instead of packing your bags for the worst possible scenario, pretend that everything is going according to plan on your trip. If you really need additional items, you can always buy them. In most cases, packing the basics is more than enough to see you through your journey.

Tip 4: Use packing cubes

Besides the fact that these handy little cubes will make organizing your suitcase easier, they really make a difference to the space in your bag. You can use them to divide your clothes into days (allowing you to take only the right number of outfits). They also save you from packing extra items that you might not need since all of your outfits will be pre-planned.

Tip 5: Invest in merino wool

If your goal is to travel light and stay warm during your winter trip to Europe, buy merino wool clothing. It’s a winner all round since you can wear merino wool jerseys for a few days in a row and it won’t smell.

Tip 6: Choose versatile items

Choose clothing, shoes and accessories that are versatile and can be worn with multiple outfits. For example, instead of packing two different pairs of boots, choose the pair of boots that will go with the most other outfits you pack.

Tip 7: Always choose quality over quantity (especially shoes)

The truth is, you basically only need one or two pairs of warm, comfortable, and water-resistant shoes. Shoes like boots that dry quickly and allow you to walk comfortably or stand for long periods of time. Getting the most out of your European holiday means you’ll probably have to hit the streets to soak up the culture – and that takes a lot of walking. Make sure you’re comfortable – sore feet can quickly ruin your experience.


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Tip 8: Plan several layers and a very warm jacket

When traveling in winter, thermals are your friends (and your layers). Make sure you have some decent warm underwear to layer under your everyday outfits and opt for a really warm, well-made and water-resistant jacket that will ensure you don’t get caught in the cold!

Tip 9: Carry bulky items on the plane

You can save extra space in your luggage by wearing your bulkiest jacket and pair of shoes on the day of your flight. You can always take the jacket off on the plane and stow it in the overhead bins, and take off your shoes to give your feet a break from the pressure of the cabin. This way, you also won’t have to worry about these items taking up too much space in your checked baggage and staying below the weight limit.

Tip 10: Do not completely fill your suitcase

Pack light for your trip to Europe (and everywhere else) by not packing your suitcase 100%. Fill it two-thirds full, giving you plenty of extra space for souvenirs, or bring an empty lightweight bag to use as carry-on for your flight home. The expandable compartments are really handy when you get home and your bag is packed.

Essential clothing items to pack for your winter trip to Europe

Looking for a packing list for your trip to Europe?

Let’s start with what you should wear on the plane:

  • jeans
  • Shirt
  • Cardigan
  • Jacket
  • Shoes
  • Scarf
  • Bag
  • Sun glasses

what to pack

  • 3 tops (if your trip is longer, you can add some to this list)
  • 2 stockings
  • Socks (bring a pair for each day of absence and a spare pair)
  • Underwear (still bring an extra pair)
  • Sleepwear
  • Towel (if you need it for the beach)
  • Beachwear
  • Gloves or hats (if needed)
  • slippers
  • Chargers
  • Output converters
  • Camera
  • A book (if you have time to read)
  • Bottle of water
  • power bank
  • Toiletries
  • Ziploc bags for small items

Following these few basic guidelines should be enough to save you space in your suitcases before and during your next trip to Europe this winter.

Happy and safe travels!

Efrat Sagi-Ofir is CRO and founder of Air Doctor. Air Doctor is a startup that connects travelers to a global network of 20,000 local doctors through an easy-to-use app, to receive appropriate medical care from anywhere in the world.

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