Winter coat for cold climates

How to pack for a colder climate

Excellent idea, let’s go to Lithuania in January I said back in November 2017. At that point I didn’t remember that the weather in January would be bitterly cold. But we like the cold, so that’s OK.

Thanks to Ryanair’s NEW baggage policy changes, it meant the carry on we were going to take was no longer included in our booking. It was in fact reduced by half. Yep, Ryanair are back to Wizz air size free baggage, unless you pay for priority boarding. This wouldn’t be a problem if your booking already stated a normal cabin bag plus a personal bag but luckily for me, I checked with Ryanair’s twitter channel who confirmed all booking were amended to personal bags only. A few months back, I ordered a Wizz air friendly bag which meets the dimensions exactly, so we were all good.

Anyway, when I started to pack for the trip, I was conscious that I needed to maximise my space as best as possible. So, I tried to use the minimal packing ethics I used for our round the world trip. In a nutshell, picking out clothes that work together in any combination. More on that here:

Anyway, here’s the essentials for cold climes.

A decent winter coat.

I mean a super warm one. I’m lucky and bought a feather down coat from Uniqlo in New York ready for the winter season. It’s lined with faux fur and it’s incredibly toasty to wear.

Hat, gloves and scarf.

Now, this sounds like your mum but don’t forget these. If you’re going to be outside all day you’ll want to make sure you’re wrapped up. A hat keeps the heat in, a scarf stops the chill getting around your neck and down your coat, while gloves keep your fingers warm. Also, touchscreen gloves are great but they don’t work with fingerprint unlocking so you’ll either need to set up your Face ID or type in a code every time.

Top Layers.

My favourite word. Build layers up to keep you warm. So have a vest, a long sleeve tshirt, a short sleeved one over the top (if that bad), a decent fleece lined hoodie. If you’ve packed so all your items go together well, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Bottom Layers.

Same goes for legs too. The best thing I ever bought were a few pairs of fleece lined tights from Tiger! I wear these under my jeans to act as an extra layer PLUS thick socks.

It sounds like you’re carrying lots but you won’t be. Remember, it’s only the layer in contact with your skin that’s likely to get sweaty (if you’re that warm, take a layer off!) so you can mix and match to stay warm.

Weather proof boots.

Everyone thinks the best shoes for cold weather are fleece lined things. Yes, it’s a benefit but NO they’re also not. Cold weather normally means ice and snow, so your favourite cosy boots are likely to absorb the whole street.

Be sensible, stick with leather boots or even hiking shoes. Preferably something that supports your ankle if you do slip over. You can get super thick socks to help line them for comfort. I have a pair of waxed Dr Martens or Sorrel’s (always go 1 size larger in your Sorrel boots. I find I can’t walk in mine for every long but some extra room would be grand) for such occasions. I team them with some slouchy socks (there’s normally 2 pairs at least) and some ankle or trainer socks for extra warmth.

Lip balm and Hand Cream.

I know you’re restricted for liquids with hand luggage only but don’t skip these. Even inside your gloves your hands will go dry and split.

And your poor lips will hurt. Don’t lick them! Lip balm them. If you want to save on liquids consider a solid moisturiser or lip by taking coconut oil. It’s solid at room temperature at melts when in contact with your skin.


Depending on your stay, in lots of places abroad you may find yourself in a converted old property. During our stay in Vilnius, our B&B was a converted monastery with no central heating. Although blankets and electric heaters are provided, your first night might be chilly so something that’s suitable for bedtime is recommended.


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