Packing for a Winter getaway can seem hard. Especially when you have hand luggage only as Winter jumpers, scarfs and boots take up so much more room than Summer dresses, sandals and shorts.
I am an optimist though so in some ways I think it’s a bit easier to pack for Winter trip.
- Firstly because you know what the weather is going to be like in Winter – cold!
- Secondly, I feel you need less outfit choices because generally, in terms of photos anyway, no one sees what you are wearing under your coat or jumper, and wearing the same black jeans for 3 days straight doesn’t seem as noticeable.
- Plus there’s no desire to wear anything different to go out for dinner in as it’s so cold the idea of changing into a thinner top isn’t that attractive!
- Also, you’ll wear one set of clothing on the plane as its likely it’ll be cold where you are flying from too so thats one less set of bulky clothes to pack.
Whereas in Summer it’s nice to have a day outfit plus an evening outfit. The weather can change too, hotter in the day and cooler at night, not to mention if it’s really hot clothes get sweaty so you feel like you need more items.
If Skiing is part of your plans for this Winter, after this, have a read of:
I’ve been on quite a few European Winter Weekends away that have been rather cold (Vilnius, Amsterdam, Riga, Cotswolds, Basel, St Anton & Hamburg) and I feel like I’ve figured out and perfected the art of what to pack using hand luggage only to ensure I optimise the space in my case and don’t waste space with bulky wooly items I won’t end up wearing!
I’ve also not been overly cold whilst on these trips which is a huge plus so my obsession with layers has worked!
If you want to see how I’ve done so many Winter trips whilst working Full Time see:
With that being said I thought I would share with you what I have been packing for a European Winter City Break (2 or 3 nights) using hand luggage only along with some tips for your trip:
2 x Thick Jumpers – Travel in one and pack the other. (I love Winter jumpers from H&M as they’re great quality for a good price!)
1 x Black Jeans – Travel in them and wear them throughout (and hope you don’t get your dinner down them!).
2 x Scarfs – Travel in one, pack the other. (See my scarf tip below)
1 x Thermal Long Sleeved Top – Pack.
1 x Tights or Thermal Leggings for under your jeans – Pack.
1 x Vest Top or T-shirt for under your Jumper – Travel in.
1 x Evening going out top that is warm – Pack.
1 x PJ’s – Pack.
2 x Thermal Socks – Pack.
Underwear – Pack.
1-2 x Woolley Hat – Travel in one, pack the other.
1 x Touchscreen Gloves – Put in Coat Pockets.
1x Winter Coat – Travel in.
1 x Foldable Ultra Light Jacket to put under your main coat if its going to be extra cold! – Pack
(Most of the above linked items are Marks & Spencer’s items that I got from Amazon for a really good price and would really recommend as I used them on every trip!)
I took these shots whilst wearing my PJ’s so this is everything I had clothes and shoes wise on my trip to Riga in December but obviously this didn’t all go in my case.
This is what my case looked like:
1 x Boots – Travel in them.
1 x Walking boots – Pack.
I have been wearing KEEN’S Terradora Pulse Mid WP Brown Walking Boots on ALL of my Winter trips. They were gifted to me but honestly, compared to my black ankle boots they have been a game changer in enabling me to walk even further due to their incredible under foot comfort. They are also waterproof so they keep my feet dry and warm and they’re really not as un-attractive as walking boots initially sound!
Water Bottle – I use a Chillys Thermal Bottle which I love!
All of the basic toiletries, make up, hair brush etc etc!
High Capacity Power Bank– oh how I adore this!
I pack all of this into my Red Tobago Revelation cabin case which I love! I’ve been using this for most of the year and it’s still in great condition despite being dragged around a lot of cities and I swear I’m never going back to a 2 wheeled case again!
I also use my Herschel Classic Day Pack to take my purse, camera’s, book etc in.
Finally, my Top Tips:
- Remember that one set of warm clothes is what you’ll wear on the plane anyway, including your coat, so that’s one day’s outfit done!
- Don’t worry about re-wearing jeans, vest tops etc, that’s just the nature of the winter space game I’m afraid!
- Take 2 hats and 2 scarfs which are different colours to each other and mix them up to help show in photos that it is indeed a different day as you are wearing different accessories. (Example below of a pink day and then a red day in Riga!)
I hope this insight into my suitcase gives you some inspo on what to pack for a Winter City Break!
*Let me know in the comments or by tweeting me @wandering_quinn!*
Ready to book a Winter European City Break now?? I’m a total Skyscanner addict and find some great deals through their site. Why not look up some flights on Skyscanner now!?
To look on their app instead, click here!
If you’re travelling around Europe you might find these posts useful:
Please note that I have been gifted some of the items above however I would never recommend something I didn’t truly love!
Also, some items linked are affiliate links but I truly recommend these too and they come at no extra cost to you.