If you trawl the web for packing tips, you can find millions of commonsensical and somewhat vague advice on how to pack for a winter vacation. Don’t pack too much stuff, dress in layers, pack all warm clothes, etc—but you know all that stuff already.

To help convert general advice into a usable packing list, I have some tricks that will help you to figure out where to start and what to pack for your winter travel keeping it simple, straightforward, and useful.

Warm Caps —the Secret to Staying Warm

If you don’t want to freeze your body off, invest in a good warm cap. Requirements for a good warm cap are:

– Covers your ears completely
– At least partly covers the back of your neck
– Has no flaps, fluffballs, or other unwanted accessory
– Is made of thin, modern materials and gives you maximum warmth

Shoes—Your One Heavy Item

Feet are first prone to extreme weather you will encounter; it’s recommended that you be unafraid to go big. Requirements for good winter travel shoes:

– Weatherproof— Waterproof, Windproof & Breathable Clothing
– Light on lacing—you need to get through security at all times, so a pair of shoes or boots that can be worn loosely and don’t require a lot of tying and untying will always come to rescue.

It is advisable to choose boots which serve both the purpose.
– Dark colored, so that the stains from mud, slush, or getting thrown on filthy security belts don’t show up.

There are plenty of decent boots that hold up sufficiently to hike through snow, but also looks good enough to wear to dinner or when you walk out the door for the airport.

Pack Warm — Lightweight Socks

Boots alone won’t keep your feet warm. It’s important to pack warm socks when packing for trips in winter season. Bulky winter socks also take up more space than thin socks. So pack 3 or 4 pairs of lightweight Smart wool socks.

Gloves—Thin, Light, Breathable, and Waterproof

Gone are the days of massive mittens and woolen gloves, get a great pair of warm, waterproof, yet very thin gloves that weigh very light and will take up only a few square inches of your luggage. Requirements for warm gloves are:

– Weatherproof
– Breathable
– Extremely light and low bulk
– Quick drying
– Have some type of grip

Your Warm Cap, boots and socks, and gloves, covers your vulnerable extremities in winter travel.

Clothing— for Layering Up

When traveling during winter, clothes taking up maximum space, figure out what to pack:

– Light long- or short-sleeve shirt (or T-shirt) for indoors
– Long-sleeve top over to layer up for outdoors
– Fleece or sweater, though wool tends to be bulky but due to extreme climate you might require it
– Lightweight coat that is waterproof – provides outer shell cover in case of rains

– Go for a longer, slightly oversized coat so that you can easily wear lots of layers underneath

– Pack warmer clothes or thermals for base layer

– Replace 3-4 tops with 2 sweaters / sweatshirts

– A basic pair of black pants that matches with any top wear

On sunny days, a coat can be worn over a t-shirt. Once temperature is dropped add a sweater for an extra layer.

This will ensure you have enough and the right clothes to layer up pretty much in any weather you will encounter both indoors and outdoors.

Some Accessories to Consider

– Polarized sunglasses:

Even in winters sunlight can reflect on your eyes. Hence, polarized glasses should be must have.

– Sunscreen:

Sunscreen in winters? Absolutely Yes.  Rays from sun can affect your skin in any climate.

– Scarf / Stole:

In extreme weather, a scarf or stole can be a small and light but very effective add on and also complete your look.