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10 top tips for packing light for your Winter holiday in Europe

Have a Euro trip coming up soon? Here are a few simple tips to teach you how to pack light for Europe.

There’s nothing quite like spending a snowy winter break in any of the beautiful cities across Europe. It has an entirely different energy about it. But since you’ll be experiencing Europe at colder temperatures, you’ll need to have the right clothing.

How do you decide what to bring without bringing along your whole wardrobe – potentially paying extra for overweight baggage? Packing for a winter holiday doesn’t mean you can’t still travel light.

Tip 1: Lay everything out on the floor

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

Now it’s time to examine – even scrutinize – each item. Ask yourself (and be honest): Am I really going to wear this? Which day or event do I see myself wearing this on?

And if you can’t justify it, then you know you’ll just end up carrying the item around. It’ll also take up space in your suitcase. This method ensures you’ll only pack the bare essentials.

Tip 2: Start with a smaller suitcase

 It’s an obvious one – but if you have less space to begin with, you’ll be smarter about making use of it. So, if you’ve got smaller luggage available to you – start with that. When you have more space, it’s easy to automatically want to start filling it with more clothing and items than you think you’ll need. Starting small forces, you to be selective – and ultimately pack light.

Tip 3: Pack for the best-case scenario

Instead of packing for the worst possible scenario – pack as if everything will go 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 trip.

Tip 4: Make use of packing cubes

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

Tip 5: Invest in Merino wool

If your goal is to pack light and make sure you still stay warm during your winter Euro trip – buy some clothing made from Merino wool. It’s an all round-winner since you can wear jerseys made from Merino wool for a few days in a row and it won’t smell.

Tip 6: Pick versatile items

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

Tip 7: Always opt for quality over quantity (especially footwear)

 The truth is you essentially only need one or two pairs of shoes that are warm, comfortable, and water-resistant. Shoes like boots that dry quick and you can comfortably walk or stand in for extended periods of time. Making the most of your European holiday means you’ll likely to be taking to the streets to soak up the culture – and that requires lots of walking. Make sure you’re comfortable – sore feet can quickly ruin your experience.


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Tip 8: Pack lots of layers and one really warm jacket

When traveling in winter, thermals are your friend (and layers). Make sure you have decent warm underwear to layer under your day-to-day outfits and opt for one really warm, well-made, water-resistant jacket that will ensure you’re not caught out in the cold!

Tip 9: Wear bulky items on the plane

You can save some serious 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 store it in the overhead compartments, and kick-off your shoes to give your feet a break from the cabin pressure. This way you also won’t have to worry about these items taking up too much space in your checked luggage and staying under the weight limit.

Tip 10: Don’t fill your suitcase completely

Pack light for your trip to Europe (and anywhere else) by not packing your suitcase 100% full. Fill it to two-thirds full leaving you plenty of extra room for souvenirs, or bring along an empty lightweight bag to use as a carry-on for your return flight. Expandable compartments really come in handy when you’re headed-home, and your bag is packed to full capacity.

Essential clothing items to pack for your Winter Europe trip

Looking for a packing list for your Europe Trip?

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

  • Jeans
  • Shirt
  • Cardigan
  • Jacket
  • Shoes
  • Scarf
  • Purse
  • Sunglasses

What to pack

  • 3 tops (if your trip is longer you can add a few to this list)
  • 2 bottoms
  • Socks (bring a pair for every day you’re away and a spare pair)
  • Underwear (again bring an extra pair)
  • Sleepwear
  • Towel (if you need one for the beach)
  • Beachwear
  • Gloves or hats (if needed)
  • Slippers
  • Chargers
  • Outlet converters
  • Camera
  • A book (if you’ll have time to read)
  • Water bottle
  • Power bank
  • Toiletries
  • Ziploc bags for smaller items

Following these few basic guidelines should be enough to save you major suitcase space before and during your upcoming trip to Europe this winter.

Happy and safe travels!

Efrat Sagi-Ofir

Efrat Sagi-Ofir is CRO & Founder of Air Doctor. Air Doctor is a startup that connects travelers to a global network of 20,000 local medical doctors through an easy-to-use app, to receive appropriate medical care from anywhere in the world. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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    1. Hi Nick,

      That’s definitely true – if there’s extra room on the way home then one has truly mastered traveling light!

      Thanks for reading the post and leaving a comment.

  1. Please can someone forward this to my wife surreptitiously?

    Going to the airport with her is nerve racking, she always pushes the airline’s baggage limit right to the wire.

    1. Hi Dick,

      Thanks for giving it a read and for leaving that chuckle-worthy comment!

      Hopefully this helps to lower the anxiety levels and gives you a few tips to lower the airline-baggage-limit-pushing!

      Good luck!

  2. The thing about versatile clothes and footwear is to have versatility in mind when you go shopping.

    A) It makes packing easy.

    B) It should save you money too.

    1. Hi Fiona! :)

      That is a true tip! I agree with you – if your wardrobe is versatile you can just pack the essentials and basics and have more outifts with less clothing items. . .

      Thanks for leaving that gem here.

    1. Hi Laura,

      It’s definitely an investment! Thanks so much for giving the post a read and backing up one of my tips! :)

  3. Tip 1 really starts at the beginning. Getting everything together and then reassessing is really sensible. One of my many packing problems is last minutitis. At the last minute I keep thinking of extra things that I ought I take – “just in case”. It means I always end up with a case that’s ps led with too much stuff. Most of these last minute cram-ins never get used. Now, I must remember to stick to Tip 1.

    1. Hi Diana,

      I don’t think you’re the only one who experiences last minutitis. :) You’re absolutely right, making sensible packing choices and sticking to the essentials is all that really counts when trying to pack light.

      Thank you for giving the post a read and leaving this one-of-a-kind comment!

  4. Global warming really isn’t helping, we’re getting so many extremes of weather now and it means that when you pack you have to cover all the bases.

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