There is something about the European winter, and the weather in general, you must know from the start, it’s not constant, it is unpredictable, and you need to be prepared for it to enjoy your trip, and at the same time, save space in your luggage if you intend on going shopping. No, it’s not easy, even for those living here. I too have problems when packing during winter, especially when I want to prevent overpacking.
So what to pack for Europe in winter? From my experience of both living and traveling frequently around the Old Continent, I came up with several personal tips that will help both women and men to pack, prioritize, and not freeze. So here we are, my European Winter Packing Essentials:
A winter coat is a must!
It will be your best friend, the most present in your pictures apart from yourself, which means, you have to choose one carefully. Don’t worry, here are my tips for choosing the ideal winter coat:
Pick a neutral color: this way it will match all your clothes, and you won’t need to pack more than one coat.
Opt for a material that can handle water well: doesn’t need to be a waterproofed one, most coats are made of polyester, which already does a great job.
It must have a hoodie: even though you might be wearing a beanie/hat, it will shield you from wind, give an extra warmth and even protect from the rain.
Decide on the ideal length: I particularly prefer having it a little longer, under the waist, but you may prefer it even longer. like up to your knee.
Pockets are very important: mainly for keeping your hands warm (in fact some coats offer fluffy pockets for more warmth), but I confess that my coat’s pockets become my second bag during winter!
A winter/windbreaker jacket
Remember I mentioned how unpredictable the weather can be? Well, sometimes in December the temperature can be as high as 13C, so your winter coat might not be that useful then. That’s why having a second option, such as a winter or windbreaker jacket, is an asset.
Jeans are always essential
Prioritize the color that matches your tops best, but at least one black is a must.
Long sleeves and pullovers
Forget tanks and t-shirts, they won’t be of any use. Get a few basic long sleeves and pullovers, they are the real thing for winter.
Choose them wisely, think of how much you’re going to walk with it, and for how long. They must be comfortable, warm, in a neutral color, able to protect your feet from water, and yes, stylish, but no heels, or you’ll regret!
To prevent overpacking: 2 pairs are more than enough, and there is no need to pack normal shoes, it’s best to get a pair of ankle boots.
Don’t underestimate the importance of having a warm and cozy pyjama. The ideal ones are pants and long sleeves.
Gloves: an idea would be to get a touch screen one, which enables you to use your phone without having to take them off
Scarves: long, thick, cozy and in neutral colors are the real deal (for women especially)
Skin care essentials
Lip balm: your lips will thank you later, they are a must!
Body lotion: trust me, your skin will get dry, especially your hands, no matter how used to the cold you are.
Face moisturizer: even for those with oily skin. There are great options for those with this type of skin.
Add-ons to keep you warm
Beyond the basics, there are also some items I have all the time with me, and trust me, they are worth having:
Thermo leggings (second skin): ideal to wear under the jeans and for those who feel cold in the legs a lot.
Thermo long-sleeves (second skin): for an extra warm layer.
Thermo socks: the thickness is important, and how it fits your feet so it doesn’t come off as you walk.
Hand/feet warmer: if you can find them in your country, try to get some in drugstores or supermarkets. They can be very handy in a very cold day, which you’re spending a lot of time outdoor.
The European winter packing essentials list
Thermal long sleeves
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