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Winter is Coming, But These 9 Packing Hacks Will Help You Chill Out

Written by Suzy Guese

With suitcases stuffed to the brim with cumbersome coats, sweaters, and bulky boots, traveling during the winter isn’t always a picnic. Just factoring in the logistics and cost alone, winter travel presents one giant packing predicament. This holiday, you might want to travel lighter and more efficiently but at the same time carry everything you need to keep warm. To help you get where you need to go this winter, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite winter travel packing hacks so you don’t have to stuff your suitcase silly.

Pack Heavy Items at the Bottom of Your Suitcase


When you book your cheap flights in December to go to grandma’s house for Christmas, resist the urge to just pack without any sort of plan. To allow for more space, you can easily place your heavier sweaters, coats, and shoes at the bottom of your bag. By carrying out this one simple step, you can zip up your bag much easier. Instead of sitting on your luggage and huffing and puffing to shut it tight with so many bulky items on top, place the heavier items at the bottom and the lighter more flexible items on top for easy suitcase zipping.

Use Packing Cubes

Packing in the winter can be difficult because of how cold and wet it often is; packing light requires meticulous preparation with many hours beforehand well spent on packing (and unpacking). Packing cubes are a great way to pack light when it’s winter. They allow you to compress your bulky clothes, which saves space and makes rolling and compressing items easier. We always use packing cubes to make a living in tight spaces possible with ease.

Stuff Your Shoes

Winter Travel Packing Hacks With Boots

Summer travel may mean all flip-flops and easy-to-pack sandals, but winter is a whole new ballgame when it comes to footwear. Packing shoes for the cold can be a nightmare involving bulky boots and thick-soled shoes. Most travelers just accept that their winter shoes will eat away 50% of the space in their bag. Rather than admit defeat, stuff your shoes with other items you need to pack. The space inside shoes is perfect for loading up with socks, underwear, and even toiletries wrapped in plastic bags. That way, you’ll save space and still keep your heavy shoes for winter travel.

Select a Puffy Insulated Jacket


Your coat is probably eating up all the space in your suitcase for winter travel. One of the easiest winter travel packing hacks is to purchase the right coat for winter travel, generally a goose-down or synthetic puffy insulated jacket. Not only can you save loads of space by going with a coat that compresses, but you also won’t sacrifice warmth as these types of jackets are incredibly insulated. The key is selecting a coat that’s lightweight, warm, and compressible. An added bonus is that you won’t need to pack as many layers to go under a goose-down jacket thanks to all the warmth it provides.

You may also like: Seven Air Travel Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Flying in Winter

Bring a Good Pair of Waterproof Boots

Winter Travel Packing Hacks for Boots

Boots are great for winter travel packing because they can get you through snow and slush without getting your socks wet – which is essential. Also, you don’t want to ruin the rest of your clothing with icky, cold water. You can choose from a variety of waterproof winter boots with excellent grip and support to save you from an embarrassing fall on icy surfaces. These lightweight options usually aren’t as durable in the snow, but they provide good protection against slushy walks or slippery, icy sidewalks.

Protect Your Suitcase

Winter Travel Packing Hacks With Suitcases (1)

Be sure to pack your clothes in an airtight container and use a waterproofing spray that will keep water from soaking through. Gathering the right items before heading out into the weather can seem more inconvenient than anything else nowadays. You want to make sure you protect your luggage inside and also avoid causing damage to the outside of your suitcase during transport. If you have a cloth suitcase, you may want to invest in a hard-shell case instead!

Pack Ziploc Bags to Store Wet Clothes

Winter Travel Packing Hacks With Plastic Bags

We suggest packing plastic bags just for dirty clothes or wet bathing suits. They’re also great at containing smells, like souring food or bad foot odor from shoes that haven’t been aired out yet. Plus, they’re waterproof too, which means you won’t have to worry about getting some else’s belongings wet either. Additionally, Ziplocs make organizing items easy as pie with its leakproof design.

Only Pack Items You’ll Wear At Least Twice

Winter Travel Packing Hacks for Cloth

Many people make the mistake of overpacking their suitcase with items that they’ll never wear again, wasting valuable space. Packing light is all about strategizing. The worst thing you can do when traveling with just a carry-on bag is to overpack. It’ll only make your clothing messy and take up too much space. Only bring items that will be worn at least twice. Additionally, make a packing list ahead of time and plan out your outfits, so you won’t overpack in a fit of last-minute stress.

Rent Winter Gear at Your Destination

Are you tired of lugging around heavy equipment on your flight? Renting is a great way to make traveling less exhausting. If you’re looking for a winter getaway, consider renting some snow gear at your destination. That way, you’ll still have the fantastic adventures you’re seeking, minus the stress of packing all that bulky gear.

Which winter travel packing hacks do you swear by? Tell us in the comments below!

About the author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at

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