On The Road Again: The Traveler’s Winter Survival Guide

There’s a reason why winter is called the most wonderful time of the year. Laden with blue skies, fresh snow, and cozy cheer, the cold season can be one of the most magical times during which to take a trip. When you’re on the road over the winter holidays, however, you might be faced with a different set of travel challenges that just don’t make an appearance at any other time of the year. Cold spells and unpredictable travel conditions can rear their heads at any time and, if you’re not well organized, winter weather can really hit you hard. Bundling up and packing on the cozy side are all part and parcel of winter traveling, but if you really want to succeed this season, you will need to take serious stock before you head off into the snowy horizon. It’s a cold world out there, but all it takes is a little extra planning.

Err On The Side Of Over-Packing

While it might cost you a little more in luggage fairs, you’re not going to regret packing that extra pair of woolly socks or fleecy sweater. Traveling during the winter months can be a real game of chance and, even with weather apps and forecasting, you probably won’t know what cards you will be dealt until you arrive at your destination. When it comes to winter travel, it’s best to pack for any kind of weather outcome. Extra blankets, waterproof gear, extra-sturdy shoes ­– if you think you might need it, always pack it.

Invest In A Great Pair Of Shoes

If you’re off on a seasonal adventure, chances are that you’re going to want to do a lot of exploring when you get there. Out of everything in your suitcase, shoes should be the one item that you spend the most time and effort getting right; get your footwear wrong and you might not be able to trek far in the cold conditions. Good travel shoes should be sturdy, waterproof, and most importantly, very warm. A decent pair of hiking boots will see you through any wintery terrain and, by the time the season comes to a close, they should still be in one piece to do it all over again the following year.

Don’t Forget The Sun

The fact that it’s winter doesn’t mean that a little sunlight won’t be coming your way and, regardless of where in the world you’re heading, it’s worth investing in some good sun protection. A pair of polarized sunglasses will help to protect your eyes from low winter sunlight and make appreciating the view that much more enjoyable. If you’re skiing or visiting somewhere where there might be snow, layering up with sunblock is a must. With winter sun reflecting off the snow, the sun’s UV rays can be just as damaging as they are during the summer months; protecting your skin against wind and sunburn will help you make the most of your trip.

Dress In Layers

While we’re all told to dress using layers in order to battle the weather, actually doing so can be a tricky game to master. Layer up too much and you could massively expand your body size; layer too little and you put yourself at risk of catching cold. Dressing in thin shirts with heat technology can be a great way to get around the problems of multiple layers; due to their lightweight material, bundling up with items of clothing like this is effective and won’t restrict your movements. While a thick scarf or hat can keep you really warm, thin layers should be the foundation of your traveling wardrobe.

Arm Yourself With Stop-Off Spots

Doing a little research on the place you’re visiting will make your trip so much more enjoyable, and while you’re taking note of museums and attractions, it might be worth listing a few cafes and restaurants, too. Luxuriating in the warm glow of a local cafe is the perfect way to enjoy the winter season and knowing where to go before you’re there can save you a lot of time down the road. Stopping off for regular drinks and rests can help your body to refuel after long periods of sightseeing and keep your mood elevated at the same time. Winter is all about indulging and relaxing ­– and when you go away, it shouldn’t be any other way!

Winter travel can lead you down some of the most unexpected roads and, as long as you’re well prepared, you can have the trip of a lifetime. If you’re going away in the coming months, try thinking ahead and preparing for your adventure before arriving. You might just catch the winter travel bug.

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.

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