Beat the elements and style boredom on your next cold-weather adventure.
When traveling during the winter, it can be tempting to leave behind slush-soaked sidewalks and cheek-scorching winds for sunny skies and an easy ocean breeze. But there are so many places that are strikingly beautiful—and far less crowded—during the colder months. Aside from ski resort towns, there are generous off-season deals to be found all throughout Europe, and the long weekends in January and February are perfect for a short, snowy getaway close to home.
But more so in winter than any other time of year, packing smart is essential. Do your research to see just how low temperatures could drop, and if you’re sensitive to cold, bring a big, warm coat instead of trying to layer yourself into immobility. You can always tuck it into the overhead bin if you don’t want to wear it on the plane, though (believe it or not) it's possible to pack a heavy winter jacket.
Sneakers always make for comfy travel shoes, but they're not as useful in the face of a wintry mix. If there’s even a chance of chilled precipitation where you’re headed, invest in sturdy, waterproof boots with good traction and room for a thick sock. Warm, dry feet can be the difference between a fun, active day and one that’s reduced to the time you spent as a sad, human-shaped ice cube.
Yes, winter boots tend to be bulky—even the cute ones—and are admittedly a pain to take off at airport security. But don't let that deter you. Boot removal amounts to no more than a cumulative 15 minutes of your trip, accounting for very complicated boots, whereas you’ll be spending hours on end braving the elements. If you do decide to pack a pair, stuff them full of smaller items to save room.
In addition to the essential winter accessories (gloves, scarves, a hat) consider bringing a few pairs of leggings or tights that are opaque, preferably fleece-lined, and can be worn comfortably underneath a pair of pants if needed. It’s also more convenient to forgo a tote or handheld bag for something no-fuss, like a backpack or a cross-body.
And the best way to wear all of these essentials without entering blob territory? Coordinate your outerwear, and keep the base layers basic with neutral sweaters, easy-to-layer tops in heat-retaining fabrics, and denim. Below, you’ll find winter travel outfit ideas that are warm, versatile, and very decidedly not marshmallow-like.