While Europe is often a popular destination in the spring, summer and fall, it is not often a crowd pleaser when the weather turns bitterly cold. However with the budget friendly airfares and low season hotel room rates in the late fall and winter, more and more travelers are taking their chances in the cold across Europe. Last year I traveled around Europe when it was under one of its coldest spells in history. Needless to say, I wasn’t as prepared as I could have been. If you want to snag those cheap deals to Europe and not turn into a human popsicle, don’t leave home without these five items.
A Down-Filled Long Jacket: When I was freezing in Slovenia, I noticed all of the locals bundled up in their down jackets. I thought a simple peacoat would do, but not when Europe turns to freezing. I quickly purchased a jacket in order to survive the cold and blend in with the locals. While you might feel like a marshmallow or as though you are lugging around your sleeping bag across your body, a down-filled long jacket will keep you warm while sightseeing around Europe. If you are looking to save space in your bag, you can wear it on the plane and use it as a comforter throughout the flight.
Scarves, Gloves and Hats: While traveling around Europe in the winter, I thought I could just bring one pair of gloves, one hat and one scarf. These three selections would become my everyday wardrobe for the next two weeks. One can only wear a bright red hat so many days in a row without feeling a bit redundant. If you want to avoid looking like you are wearing the same thing every day in your travel photo album, pack several options for gloves, hats and scarves. These will be your saving grace when the wind seems to hit you in a gust of spine-chilling pain. Keeping your neck, hands and head warm while traveling around Europe is key toward avoiding that dreaded travel crankiness over the bad weather.
Long Underwear/Tights: On my last night in Prague, my stupidity was hard to avoid. Not only had I traveled around Europe freezing in jeans, but also I had a solution to the problem right in my bag. I ended up wearing tights underneath my jeans in an effort to keep warm in the chill of Prague. The problem I had the entire trip was suddenly solved. You can avoid my stupid error and pack accordingly for your limbs before you take off. Travelers should be sure to pack some form of long underwear and/or tights to keep those legs warm.
Hand warmers: A simple stroll out for dinner in Europe can be downright freezing. While slipping your hands into your pockets might provide some respite from the cold, the addition of hand warmers makes that stroll more bearable. Hand warmers are easy to throw into a suitcase without taking up any sort of space.
Waterproof Insulated Boots: Even if you think just simple tennis shoes will do in the colds of Europe, your feet will quickly freeze in just socks and simple shoes. Places like Italy and France can be downright rainy in the fall and winter months. You want to keep your feet protected with some sort of waterproof insulated boot.
What are you must-pack items for cold weather travel in Europe?
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