Most avid travelers have the packing thing down pat. Heading out for a weeklong ski trip on the Swiss Alps? Stuff your suitcase with ski pants and warm clothes. Visiting the sandy beaches of St. Thomas? Throw in a mix of bathing suits, shorts, and tank tops. Pretty basic and therefore, pretty easy.
But what happens if you’re going from the frigid Swiss Alps straight to the sunny beaches off the coast of Greece all in one trip?
Naturally, there’s that brief moment of panic: Sweaters, shorts, jeans, shoes for every occasion—how can it possibly all fit?!
Thankfully, you can be prepared for any type of weather Mother Nature throws your way without having to spend an arm and a leg on additional baggage fees. Here are our packing tips and tricks:
Tip #1: Layer-Up!
If you’re traveling from the tropics to the tundra over the course of two weeks, layers will be vital to getting the most of your clothes—not to mention the most space out of your suitcase. Tank tops and t-shirts are the perfect essentials for both men and women, since they’re perfect for layering and therefore great for any climate. Of course you’ll need to bring your essentials, such as a bathing suit, thermal clothes, and pants, but don’t overdo it. Also, leave the big bulky sleeping bag-jacket at home and invest in a waterproof coat with a detachable fleece. *Note to the ladies: You also have the added benefit of transforming summer shorts into winter-ware with a pair of tights or leggings, so keep this in mind!
Tip #2: Less is More
If you’re thinking the recommendation above will leave you with limited outfit options, it probably will, depending on the length of your trip. Accept the fact that you’ll have to wear the same thing more than once. In the bigger scheme of things, this isn’t as horrible as getting frostbite on your feet because you couldn’t fit those fuzzy warm socks in with the rest of your wardrobe. Some hotels offer washer/dryer units, and depending on where you go, you’ll most likely have the option of purchasing additional clothes.
Tip #3: Leave the Shoes
As much as you’d like to bring a pair of shoes for every occasion, stick to the basics. You’ll need a pair of tennis shoes, simple dress shoes or sandals, and boots (which are perfect for staying warm and walking in any environment).
Tip #4: Pack Smart
Warm clothes can get rather bulky, which is why we recommend skipping those oversized cable knit sweaters and stick to light layers instead. But even if you follow that advice, you may find that there’s still not enough room in your suitcase. In that case, take advantage of some packing tips, such as rolling your clothes to create more space (which works great and doesn’t wrinkle your clothes!), or investing in some really cool vacuum-seal bags.
Any tips you’d like to share?
Photo by WordShore.