Travel Essentials for Winter Vacations

Travel Essentials for Winter Vacations

The holiday season is one of the best times of the year to travel and countries with your loved ones. However, packing for this season can sometimes be stressful if you are planning to pack light, but also need all your travel essentials. You may even feel the need to carry an extra check-in bag during the winter season, but there are better options to get around this situation.

Assist America, our emergency travel assistance partner, shares tips to help you stay warm, pack light, and carry the right essentials for when you travel this holiday season.

Before You Leave:

Clothing Essentials

Start with the basic packing list that you usually take with you while traveling such as shirts, pants, and shoes. The next step is to focus on swapping in the winter essentials that are the most important for your vacation which are warmer clothes. For your winter travels, you should plan to bring two pairs of pants, swap a few shirts for two to three sweaters, one pair of winter boots, and about two jackets.

During your winter travels, other people are most likely only going to see the outermost layer of clothing such as the jacket and boots. Choose clothing that can be worn multiple times, keeps you warm, and allows perspiration to diffuse out. Since the inner layers of your clothes are going to be hidden, make sure to take items that you are comfortable wearing for long periods of time rather than choosing stylish options.


Chilly winter air and the frosty weather can cause dry skin and other skin conditions. Even during the winter, make sure to carry a hydrating chap stick, a heavy skin moisturizer, and some sunscreen for your outdoor activities. Other alternatives include skin oil, post-shower moisturizer, saline solution for dry eyes and nasal passageways, and natural makeup with SPF.

Winter Sports Gear

If you’re planning to engage in winter sports or related activities, bring a few things that can easily be packed into your day bag so you can save money on locker rentals. You should invest in travel-friendly crampons if you are planning to walk for an extended period of time during the winter holidays as they can be attached to your normal hiking boots and keep you from slipping and sliding in hard snow.

During Your Travel:
Air Traveling

On the day of your travels, wear the heaviest jacket, winter boots, and snow pants which will help save some much-needed room in your travel bags. Instead of fitting your bulkiest jacket in your bag, you should try to fit all your other belongings in the carry-on bags. The carry-on luggage will not only stay on the same flight as you so that you can grab- and-go, but you will also save time on collecting your luggage during the holiday rush.

Day Bag

During your winter travels, you will want to take a day bag that can fold down small and will help you store things like extra layers of clothing, extra sets of gloves and socks, phone chargers, snacks, and small trinkets you pick up while exploring and traveling. You should also invest in a packable down jacket that can easily be folded away into your day bag and opened back up when you feel too warm or cold during your travels.

Change Up Your Warm Accessories

Accessories are an easy way to change up any outfit while traveling and are generally small and easy to fit in your bag. They are also a great way to add some color to an otherwise neutrals-heavy travel wardrobe especially when you are wearing similar clothes day after day. Some accessories that will keep you warm are hats, gloves, scarves, and long socks.

Packing for the winter holiday season can be difficult when you are unsure of where to begin and you may end up forgetting many of the essentials you require on your trip. These few simple packing steps will give you and your loved ones a better chance at enjoying a worry-free holiday season.

If an emergency arises during the holidays or you require pre-trip information, remember to contact Assist America, our emergency travel assistance partner who is available 24/7 to help you find a qualified doctor near your location, secure prescriptions at a local pharmacy, or help you track down your lost luggage. To talk to an Assist America coordinator, download the Assist America Mobile App on iPhone or Android or call 1-800-872-1414 (toll free) / +1-609-986-1234 (outside of the U.S.).

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