Sure, summer vacation is nice – beaches, sand, sea, girls in bikinis… but there is something special and much more adventurous in winter traveling. It’s a modern way to return to the roots – man vs. nature survival experience. Ok, we may be exaggerating a bit, but the point is that travelling in colder days requires more endurance and better preparation. We can’t help you about the former, but the latter can be managed with just a few carefully thought through tips. Here are some things you should know in order to be packed and prepared for all the challenges winter vacation carries with it.
The first thing people think about when someone says “winter vacation” is cold. Keep this unpleasant feeling at bay by packing all the right clothing. The secret to staying warm during cold days isn’t in one warm fabric, it is in several layered fabrics, carefully chosen so they insulate your skin from the outside effects. Always start with a basic layer that adds enough warmth without adding too much volume to your outfit or luggage. The best base layers are made of wool, merino wool and polyester designed for athletes. Supplement the base layer with polyester or cotton. Pack several base layers so that you have enough of them during the entire travel. Wear a warm, yet light coat. Cover your ears with a wool beanie. For a long-distance trip that requires sleeping in a car/bus/plane, pack a mini blanket.
Protect Your Hands and Feet
Your body reacts to decreased temperature, but not all parts of your body react the same. Hands and feet are especially sensitive, so you should take this into consideration when choosing gloves, socks and shoes. Unless you don’t want socks taking up most of the space in your suitcase (and shoes) you should go for a thin material that still keeps you warm (wool is the most efficient insulator). Comfy, hiking boots are the best option to complement your socks, especially if you’re going to be walking a lot. Since your hands will be the most exposed, gear up with a pair of thermal gloves.
Take Good Care of Your Skin
Winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin. Be well prepared for dry skin caused by indoor heating system and outdoor cold and cracked skin caused by the wind. Pack your grooming essentials, that should include a razor, moisturizer, lip balm, comb, beard comb and beard oil.
Now that you know what to pack, you also need to figure out how to pack it. Flat packing might seem as the most logical solution, but in fact, it leaves a lot of unused space. Instead, try roll packing, which brings the added benefit of fewer wrinkles. Also, make sure you protect your items from moisture and elements by carrying a droplet wet bag.
Safety on the road is of the utmost importance. If you’re traveling by bus, train or plane, check the weather conditions and choose a reliable transport company. If, on the other hand, you are traveling by your own car, you should go for a thorough checkup several days before you get on the road, so that you have time to fix any inconveniences. Don’t forget that parts like car wheels and tyres are especially sensitive to winter conditions, so make sure you get snow tyres and check whether or not you should install tyre chains. Some other things worth checking up are the battery, coolant, and emergency kit. Also, you should pack jumper cables, charge your mobile phones and check for road closures along the way.
Winter vacation has its challenges, but if you’re properly prepared and packed, you can easily overcome them and have the best time of your life. Just make sure you have your priorities straight: safety, warmth and lightweight luggage.
Written by: Peter Minkoff