The winter season is a great time for a change of scenery. Some travel during the winter to reconnect with family and friends, while others travel for fun and relaxation. Whatever your reason, packing for such a trip can pose quite a few challenges!
We know the feeling; you've got this amazing vacation planned, need to pack and an overwhelming sense of anxiety is looming. You live in Minnesota, it's 10 degrees below zero and you are bundled up like the little brother in A Christmas Story. You soon realize that you've got some serious planning to do with your wardrobe and stat. We’ve all heard stories of people getting to their destination but leaving their bathing suit behind (it was probably packed away with their summer clothes!) or watched someone try to cram their heavy winter coat into the overhead bin on a plane.
Here are a few tips and tricks for packing for dual-climate success!
Plan Ahead, Invest or Rent
Heading off to the slopes? Consider renting your gear rather than lugging it cross-country and through airports. Trading snow shoveling for playing in the sand? Investing in a packable winter coat is great for quickly and easily adding your warm coat to a checked bag before sending it on the belt. Plus it’ll be small enough to tuck away on vacation and not have it take up so much real estate in your suitcase.
Layers Are Your Friend, Friend
Cold to warm or warm to cold, dress in layers on your travel days. Full-zips and items that are easy to put on/take off will save you from elbowing your neighbor on the plane. Make sure your carry-on has enough space for your removed layers, so that you don’t accidentally leave your favorite sweater at the gate.
Wear Shoes, Pack Your Sandals
What’s the lesser of two evils: walking barefoot through security (eww.) or having to juggle your carry-ons and find a seat to re-tie your shoes? While neither is fun, it’s a good idea to save the space and weight in your bags and wear your heaviest shoes at the airport. If you’re going from cold to warm, consider tossing a cheap pair of flip flops in your carry-on.
And while we're on the topic of taking off your shoes at the airport, why not save yourself the hassle and apply for TSA PreCheck® It's easy to apply online, schedule an in-person appointment, obtain your Known Traveler Number and enjoy faster, more seamless screening. Families are welcome - Children 12 and under can join a parent/guardian with TSA PreCheck® in the dedicated lanes. Your membership lasts five (5) years. If you are a member or customer of certain credit cards and loyalty program organizations, you may qualify to have some or the entire TSA PreCheck® application fee covered or be able to pay with frequent flyer miles/points. Contact your credit card company or loyalty program to learn more.
Pro Tip: Once you obtain your Known Traveler Number (KTN), you'll need to add it to all existing airline reservations. It is important to note that it is not automatically added. For future reservations, you can add it to your airline profiles. Remember to enter your full name, date of birth and KTN exactly as you provided during enrollment because if there is a mismatch in the data entry in the travel reservation, you will not receive the TSA PreCheck® indicator on your boarding pass. Ask your Dune Lakes Travel advisor for more details.
Easier said than done, we know. Start with a great packing list, and fight the urge to “just throw one more thing” in. We both know if it doesn’t fit today, it’s not magically going to be more comfortable
on vacation, so just put it back. Having pieces that are great for mixing and matching and are wrinkle-free is key for saving space.
Success Lies In A Well-Planned Carry-On
Savvy travelers already know to throw valuables and medications in their carry-on. Taking a slightly larger bag to take just a few extras can make all the difference. No one wants their luggage to get lost; even the most amazing travel advisors can’t keep it from happening. So having a few essentials on hand is a dream. Plus, it helps with those other situations like spilling your coffee on yourself or getting caught in a rainstorm.
Always throw an extra outfit as well as basic hygiene items in your carry-on: under garments, t-shirt, makeshift pajamas, toothbrush, deodorant, soap. Better to have it and not need it than be the weirdo sitting by the pool in jeans and a sweatshirt with a giant coffee stain on it from two days ago because your bags got lost.
Now go and enjoy your winter getaway! When you plan ahead and pack accordingly, all you have to worry about is what time to hit the slopes or finding the perfect poolside lounger. We hope this helps you travel with ease - all that’s left is to get your trip on the books! We want to know: where do you want to go this winter? Schedule a complimentary vacation consultation with us to get started!