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Winter Is Coming: Travel Light With These Winter Packing Hacks

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. 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 have to pack for grandma’s house for Christmas travel this year, 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 lighter more flexible items on top for easy suitcase zipping.

Stuff Your Shoes

Summer travel might mean all flip-flops and easy-to-pack sandals, but winter means 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 to save space and still keep your heavy shoes for winter travel.

Load Up on Cold Weather Accessories for Easy Outfit Variation


Rather than packing more outfits for winter travel, you merely need to get smart with your accessories. To make the same outfit you wore a few days ago look a bit different, cold weather accessories can easily do the trick. A variety of hats, scarves, and gloves will help keep you warm and also make your standard black coat look a bit different for each day of your holiday. Also, these accessories tend to pack well and take up less space than trying to bring additional outfits.

Bulk Up for the Plane Ride

Space can be hard to find when packing for winter travel, especially if you’re trying to cramp it all into a tiny carry-on size bag. To save some space, you can wear all of your bulkiest items on the plane. A coat and scarf can both function as blankets on chilly plane rides. Wearing your boots can free up half of the space in your bag.

Select a Puffy Insulated Jacket


Your coat is probably eating up all the space in your suitcase for winter travel. The trick 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 on 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.

By practicing these travel hacks for winter, won’t have to sacrifice space, warmth, or even fashion when traveling November through March.

Do you have a genius winter travel packing hack? Share your packing tip with 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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