By Lincoln McElwee
Though daylight savings time is almost here again, which means that the spring season is upon us, the cold weather is far from over. For many of us, actually, this is the time of year when the cold weather season really shows its true colors!
And yet for all of the season’s potential pitfalls, a great many of us still feel that it’s the best time to travel. Traveling during the shoulder season, or offseason as it’s commonly known, can in fact save you a great deal of money. Moreover, destinations tend to have a different feel about them—perhaps the promise of renewal—during the spring season, something not exactly there in the fall or summer.
Regardless, if you love cold weather travel or simply happen to be traveling during the next few months, you’ll want to make sure that, above all, you have the right cold weather accessories for you and your family.
Dealing with both inclement weather and ornery family is a tall order indeed. But it doesn’t have to be. The following 3 reminders can make all the difference between traveling with a frozen itinerary and exploring the world with a fresh perspective on the cold!
1. Layers, Layers, Layers!
It’s something we’re used to hearing related to packing, but we often need reminding of it. The trick to packing in general, but especially for cold weather, is to refrain from stuffing every warm piece of clothing you have into your luggage.
For starters, you won’t have much space for anything else if trying to fit a handful or heavy sweaters and a winter jacket into your suitcase. Instead, pack thinner layers of clothing, base layers that are insulated, ideally.
Wool is best, but there are many cheaper options out there that will provide great support and quality as well. Check out Patagonia, L.L. Bean, Under Armour Cold Gear and other providers of winter apparel for ideas.
2. Sweat the Heavy Stuff!
For many people, the natural thing to do is to try stuffing all the heavy items—winter shoes/boots; jackets/coats; sweaters—into your checked luggage. You don’t want to wear it on the plane, right? Wrong! Many travel experts agree that wearing your winter gear in transit not only saves more space in your luggage for other items, it will keep you prepared for the bracing weather once you arrive to your final destination.
Your winter gear can also be easily stowed overhead or under your seat while onboard your flight. So instead of packing those “compact” winter boots, wear them. If things heat up, simply take off what you need to and store it!
With the inclement weather, be sure to have the right accessories as well.
Winter socks are thick and cozy, no doubt, but try opting for a thinner, durable pair of socks that will keep your feet just as insulated as those bulky go-tos. The same thing goes for scarves and gloves. Remember: it’s easier to layer and/or store thinner, insulated items than bulky items. You’ll find that flexibility goes a long way when dealing with inclement weather—you can certainly combat both the heat and cold with functional, insulated clothing and accessories a lot more easily than with cumbersome, heavy gear.
Another trick: rather than packing your gloves, scarf and hat in your checked baggage, try storing them in your jacket instead. Again, this will allow for more space in your luggage and keep you prepared for any weather fluctuations will in transit.
So, whether traveling to a new or favorite U.S. destination or stretching your wings a bit more and heading overseas, choosing the right cold weather gear—and packing this gear correctly—will allow your family to focus on the vital task at hand: staying warm and calm while having tons of cold weather fun!