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Packing lightly but travel in winter

My husband and I are planning two back to back trips next November/December first the 7 day Paris trip then Munich, Saltzburg, Vienna. We still want to travel with only carry ons. Paris will be okay since we will be there long enough to wash clothes. Winter clothes seem like they’d be hard to wash in the sink. I know it’s a long way off, but I’m excited and already planning. Clothing advice would be appreciated

Posted by
8157 posts

I always carry a set of black silks unless I am traveling in summer -- they weight almost nothing (I get mine at REI) and as a base layer they make my usual cords in winter or jeans in spring or fall adequately warm on a chilly day. I layer a cotton turtle on top and then a lightweight down vest under my raincoat -- I can throw in a polartek cardigan if it is really cold. Add ear muffs, gloves or hat and gloves and of course a scarf and warm waterproof hiking shoes or boots and I am good to go. You wear the boots on the plane, and the coat and polartek (planes are often cold and so that is just a useful thing for an overnight flight) and you can manage the rest in a carry on. Silks launder easily and when you are wearing both underwear and long silks you can launder the jeans and top layers seldom --just keep washing the base layers. My silk top is turtleneck -- it can be worn as a shirt if need be and silks also make pretty good pajamas. Smartwool socks. Here is an example: https://www.rei.com/product/168547/rei-co-op-silk-bottoms-womens
I am not seeing the turtle silk tops at REI right now but I am sure someone has them.

Posted by
5022 posts

If you layer properly, then you can get by with less laundry in cooler weather. I wear a thin t-shirt under my tops, and if it's really cold then silk long johns under my pants. So barring accidents or spills I just need to hand wash the under layers, underwear and socks. We did a 2 week trip in February with just carry ons.

Posted by
15510 posts

They key is layering. I take the same clothes as spring/fall but add an extra merino wool sweater or two. They pack light, don't pick up odors quickly, and can be washed in the sink.

Posted by
7562 posts

Do you get cold easily, or do a couple of layers of clothes often keep you warm enough? If expecting chilly temps, long underwear can make a big difference. Silk is lightweight, and sink-washing and hang drying goes pretty fast. But synthetic fabrics, like polypropylene, work well, too, and aren’t heavy like heavy woolens. There are lighter wool garments, but wool takes time to dry.

An outer coat with pockets is key - room for your hat, scarf, and gloves while out and about, touring, but you can also stuff extra items in the coat for while you’re flying over. It’s a bit like having an extra personal carry-on, depending on how much you choose to cram into your coat. Having a fleece ear warmer/headband can help, especially at night, and takes up little room.

I spent November/December 2018 in Sicily (one week, cool but not freezing), then in France (Lyon for 3 days, then Nice for a month), just with an International carry-on suitcase and a “personal bag.” Staying put in Nice for a language school meant I could use the washer in my apartment at will, so laundry wasn’t an issue. But while traveling around a bit, I wore the same tops more than once before deciding they needed to be washed - as long as I didn’t drop food on something!

This winter, just before the Pandemic hit, we were in London for 2 weeks, and just did laundry once, midway. Using the Underground to get around out of the elements when we could, and planning a lot of time around being in warm (sometimes warmish) museums, and ducking into a warm cafe or small restaurant to warm up a bit with a warm treat when needed, helped the clothes we brought get us through.

I had a nicer pair of shoes to wear to dinner, but for sightseeing, I used Gore-Tex low-top light hiking shoes and good hiking socks. Not exactly fashionable, unless you’re on a trail in the Colorado mountains, but practical, warm, very water-resistant, and supportive, both when walking down Baker Street in the rain, and when standing at Security in the airport.

Have a coat, not a shorter jacket. Windy days will remind you why!

Posted by
19137 posts

Except for long underwear, a knit hat and gloves, I don't pack any differently for summer or winter. However, I do dress differently for the flight. In the summer, I wear a pair of low cut leather walking shoes, and I wear a lightweight summer jacket; in the winter I wear higher hiking boots (for walking in snow), and I wear a down ski parka on the plane. The parka is lightweight, but warm. Anytime of year (I haven't traveled in Europe in June or July), I pack a medium weight sweater; on a really cold winter day, I wear it under the parka. After thirty+ years of skiing and almost 50 years living in Western PA and in Colorado, I'm pretty good at dressing in layers to keep warm.

I basically just need an extra layer, and a warmer coat to stay comfortable in the winter.

Oh, and did I mention, I do "carry-on only".

Posted by
8799 posts

Until this year spent all most every November or December in London. I fly from LAX to LHR with carry on luggage.

Experience has made me adapt in an effort to stay warm and cozy in chilly weather.

Patagonia Micro D Pullovers, capilene under garments, Smart wool socks, a beanie, scarf , fleece lined gloves and water proof coat are what I wear.
I do pack a couple of long sleeve lightweight turtle neck tops as well. Unlike many I prefer to wear jeans. My favorite brand are those by Gloria Vanderbilt. The black ones can combine with a nice turtleneck top and Keen boots if there’s a call “ to dress up.”

Packing light for winter can be done! Mixing, matching and layering guide your shopping.

Posted by
5837 posts

The key to winter travel is layering - base layer next to skin, middle layer and outer wind/rain shell layer. I only need to wash my base layers that are next to skin. My base layers are light weight wicking moisture transport material and are quick drying (not cotton) and will easily dry overnight. The only reason for washing outer or middle insulation layers would be something like a spill accident.
https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/layering-basics.html

While traveling (plane, train, coach) I wear my middle insulation layer and outer shell, storing these layers in the overheads (don't leave them on the bus etc). The only winter extras that need to be packed in luggage would be base layers that would be too warm to wear on the airplane etc.

With your winter travel apparently be city/urban biased you don't need to pack for extreme outdoor conditions. For urban conditions I use the same light weight base layers that I use for active (e.g. skiing) outdoor activities. The middle or heavy weight base layers are too warm for indoor (e.g. museums, restaurants) settings.

Posted by
14151 posts

Your profile doesn't reveal where you live so I'll assume you are having to acquire items for this trip.

I am in agreement with the others that you won't have to pack that much differently, just layer.

Base layers: Definitely go with base layers. I havent had silk base layers in years but they used to bother me because they bagged at the knees and seat. They have probably improved over the years. I'm currently wearing a brand called HotTotties which I like a lot. They are good for winter activities here in North Idaho including hiking and snowshoeing as well as more stationary pursuits such as birding in the cold. I wear them under my regular jeans and they are plenty warm down to the teens or lower if I'm doing something pretty active. Take a look at Lands End as well. I use their Heat Crew base layer all winter as a regular top - I size up and wear a thermal henley or drifit quarter zip over them. I've not used the heat crew bottoms. They are probably on sale now and if you sign up for the Lands End emails you'll get nearly daily offers for 30-50% off. I just looked at the Costco website and if you are a member they have 32 degree Heat Tees and Pants. I've not used them but I've been very happy with the 32 degree vest from several years ago. They are only $15.99 or so for a 2-pack so might be worth your while to try them.

Gloves: I like the Smartwool glove liners. They are good for active things but not quite warm enough for inactive activities when it is below 20 or very windy. I doubt it will be that cold for you in Nov/Dec in Paris and Germany.

Neck gaiter: I like the polarfleece ones for winter. Some use wool but I've decided even the Merino makes me itchy so I've gone back to fleece.

Hat: You'll want a warm hat. I use a beanie-type hat for cold weather. I've got a neat Outdoor Research brimmed hat that I use if it's snowing heavily as it keeps the snow out of my eyes. Looking at the OR website I don't see this particular model any more but you'd not want to spend that much on a hat you might use for 1 trip if you live in a warmer climate

Coat/vest: Definitely waterproof for the outer shell. I'm going with a puffy inside. I will take a puffy vest as well as I can go pretty cold with just a waterproof shell and a puffy vest. Others might need more. Many of the Columbia jackets have that foil lining now. My SIL has one and it's too hot for her her in N. Idaho unless we are standing around outside not being active and it's very cold.

Shoes: Wear your heaviest on the plane. My last few trips I've worn one and packed a waterproof pair of my brand of choice. I
never had them out of the suitcase but I'll take them on my Christmas Market trip.

Socks: I like the Costco Kirkland brand of Merino wool socks. I can wear these for several days without needing to wash them. The do itch my lower legs a bit. They were also not really available this year. I saw them in the store early on in the fall but they are not there now nor online.

Shirts: I'm also planning to do winter markets and will take 3or 4 Lands End Heat crews shirts plus 1 or 2 quarter zip drifit layers. That number includes what I'll wear on the plane.

Pants: I'll take 2 pr of jeans - dark wash jeans and a black pair

I'm so looking forward to travel next year! I'm hoping since the markets were cancelled this year that they'll pull out all the stops next year. PLUS you'll love the Best of Paris program! MSV is excellent as well!

***editing to add: Land's End has their cashmere sweaters on sale right now. I am considering a cardie as a substitute for one of the drifit pullovers although I won't decide until next Fall if this is a item I want to add. They are so lovely and luxurious if that is in your budget!

Posted by
2458 posts

Where are you from? I do like Lee. Maybe it’s a Colorado thing 😂😂

Posted by
16644 posts

I think we all like Lee! 😏

I am a fan of merino wool, and since the pandemic began I have become a fanatic. Our clothes dryer is not working properly, and I won’t let a repairman (or anyone, actually) into our house yet. So we have to get by without it. We minimize laundry and dry everything on a rack. Our Smartwool 200 and 250 weight tops dry in hours if we press them out in a towel first; overnight if we do not. Either way, they would be fine for travel.

Not only that, but the merino does not get “stinky” like synthetic base layers (Capilene, Underarmour, etc.) do after 1 or 2 wearings. I don’t wear merino for my workout, but put it on after my post-workout shower and wear it til bedtime. I won’t tell you how many times I wear a base layer top before washing it, but it is more than once or twice.

I think my husband, whose clothes have more tendency to acquire “stink”, wears his merino shirts a good 5 times before washing them—-and they still don’t stink at that time. Sorry if this is TMI but I have been really impressed with this attribute of the merino.

Layer another sweater, or a lightweight microfleece, over the base layer, add a down or other jacket, and you’re good to go for most winter temperatures you will encounter, unless you go to Alaska, Norway, etc.

Posted by
19137 posts

Stephen, I think you meant to say, "I do like Lee does." But thanks for the compliment.

Posted by
7 posts

I live in Northern Colorado, but do not ski. I do frequently ride horses in the cold, but have a 35 degree rule.
I.e. If my unheated indoor arena is less than 35 deg. I don’t ride. I did just buy a battery operated heated vest. I get very cold easily. What about a long coat to keep my rear end and legs warm. Eddie Bauer has a great long down parka. Lola, where do you buy your merino base layer.

Posted by
203 posts

People have fog enveloped some great suggestions already. Our family did two weeks in NY/DC last Christmas/New Years and we only had carryons, so it can definitely be done. Not sure where you’re staying, but we try to arrange to be in an Airbnb with a washing machine every 5th night or so, so we can do laundry. I haven’t done packing cubes yet (though got some for my husband for Christmas). They seem like they might help. One packing suggestion is waterproof shoes. I recently got a pair of Sorel Women’s Out and About Plus and they do a great job of keeping my feet dry in the PNW , which will be important on a trip.

Posted by
11348 posts

We have traveled above the Arctic Circle as well as in European cities on the same trip. We swear by Icebreaker merino wool tops. Lightweight, warm and best of all, do not take up much space. They have their own shops but can be found in outdoor focused stores too like REI. My cousin used them exclusively when hiking in Nepal for several weeks.

Posted by
19137 posts

This is why I wish everyone would fill in their profiles completely, including their location. Then we would have a better idea how to answer the question.

For example, if someone from Florida had asked this question, we would have known that there was no way they could ever understand packing for a cold climate. On the other hand, if they were from Alaska, eh ..... well, they would never have asked the question in the first place.

Posted by
7 posts

I’m sorry I didn’t see anywhere to fill out my profile info when I put in my question. I still got some great answers. Thank you.

Posted by
510 posts

As a Minnesotan, I own a whole closet full of coats and jackets - long, short, light, medium, heavy. Many are down or down-substitute. These are great because they are light-weight but very warm. My favorite for winter travel is a long down coat that stuffs into a bag, handy when I want to stash it on the plane or elsewhere. I bought it from Land’s End. I also have shorter jackets that stuff into a small bag. I sometimes wear the long one, but pack a short one in case the weather is a bit warmer.

A lot of people have mentioned Merino wool which I like, but I favor cashmere sweaters for their warmth, softness and light weight. Yes, cashmere can be expensive, but I watch for sales - I bought two new ones this year from Macy’s on sale for only $40 each. Both Land’s End and LL Bean have good cashmere at fairly reasonable prices. I have a couple of cashmere scarves and usually take one on winter trips. These add a layer of warmth around my neck and upper torso.

I have switched almost exclusively to Smartwool socks. They really help keep my feet cozy.

Posted by
2345 posts

Bring a small spray bottle of febreeze for your jacket. Take advantage of the towel warmer in the bathroom, if you have one. It will dry your clothes faster. We were in Paris last November. A waterproof, wind proof, hooded jacket will be your friend. I bought one at Costco that has a nice fuzzy lining. I added an interior pocket (bought on Amazon) to it, which was super helpful. A scarf, gloves and comfy waterproof shoes are important. I love my Sketchers On the Go Joy ankle boots.

Posted by
16644 posts

Cswanson, I buy merino for my husband and for myself, as well as for our grandchildren, wherever I can find it on sale. I prefer the brands Smartwool and Icebreaker, and look for them on sale at REI Outlet, backcountry.com, and SierraTradingPost.com. Sometimes Amazon will have a good price on certain sizes and colors. Or we use the 20% discount on full-priced items that REI offers several times a year.

I have also found reasonably-priced merino tops for myself at Uniqlo. They offer cashmere as well. But I save cashmere for special occasions, not everyday wear. It seems more delicate and requires special care, especially in washing.

We both wear Smartwool or Icebreaker merino socks, too, for casual wear as well as for hiking and snowshoeing.

I wish I had known about the socks 30 years ago when I lived in north Idaho and had horses. I could not keep my feet warm, and that limited my winter riding. I mostly rode bareback in winter, so I could wear my Sorel boots.

Posted by
8582 posts

As far as packing for colder weather, I use the same rain-resistant outer layer I take anywhere not tropical. A heavier sweater or sweatshirt for the next layer. A stocking cap and gloves, and all shirts/t-shirts are long-sleeve. Other than that I trust that I can find anything else I might need over there. I enjoy shopping in foreign places and clothes make good souvenirs. We usually check bags on return anyway. I'm wearing my Jack Wolfskin fleece right now.

I have several merino t-shirts, short and long sleeve, I travel with summer and winter. They seem to wear out or develop small holes (silverfish?) rather quickly. Anyone else experience that?

Posted by
5837 posts

I'm also partial to the Smartwool brand of wool socks. Note that Smartwool offers a multitude of styles and thicknesses covering a wind range of activities from travel to hiking and skiing. Their socks are even specialized to the extent that their ski socks are offered in downhill skiing models to Nordic (cross country) skiing models and Nordic skis are offered in medium thickness to light thickness.

https://www.smartwool.com/best-socks-finder.html

The obvious is that lighter thickness socks dry faster than heavier thickness socks. Fortunately socks do not take up a lot of volume and are light and having a dry backup pair or two is a comfort for those of us who enjoy dry feet. I will carry a spare dry pair for summer hiking in the rain.

Posted by
4171 posts

I remember one fun response to a similar question from a long time ago. A woman was concerned about what to take for winter travel to Paris (?). She got lots of fashion coordination and layering advice to help cut down on the number of garments packed in her carry-on.

She reported back after the trip that the advice really helped, but that in almost every picture, she was wearing her coat.

So my advice is to have a warm coat that you feel good about wearing, along with other coordinated accessories (like a hat, gloves and a scarf or two) that are both warm and attractive.

And take lots of pictures. 😉

Posted by
27328 posts

I believe someone upthread alluded to packing cubes. I now use one or two compression cubes on each trip. All undergarments and sleepwear can be crammed into my small cube; I add a medium cube if the trip calls for long johns, heavy socks, a hat and/or gloves. Compression cubes do nothing to help with weight, naturally, and you must be very careful not to add more to your suitcase just because compression cubes make the bundles smaller. But the cubes help a lot with bulk.

If I end up with a cube that's not totally full of clothes, there's usually something in my suitcase that can be added to fill up the (space before compression). I don't usually put blouses or slacks in the cubes; I feel like they come out looking more rumpled. However, plenty of people are OK with the results they see. (Misting the clothes and hanging them to dry might solve the problem.)

Posted by
4972 posts

We went to the xmas markets in 2019 [such a lifetime ago] with carry-on only and wearing only four outfits.
I agree with so much of the above advice, it can be done and comfortably.

Take note of the fabrics, as mentioned . Cashmere is light-weight and provides much warmth; I always take a cashmere sweater twin set, along with the base layers. I found an ankle-length hooded down puffer coat, [bought it on sale in July] with real down, not synthetic. For the rain, I brought a poncho and rain pants, which also provided much warmth. For pants, I had one pair of jeans, and then preferred heavy, pull-on yoga pants, especially since I had the rain pants.

Make sure your socks, gloves, scarf, and hat are also wool or cashmere- no synthetic fabrics.

We brought a bag of hand warmers, and used them inside our gloves. The TSA looked at them at the airport, but I did my research, and hand warmers are allowed in carry-on luggage.

I wore my most comfortable winter booties, and treated them with waterproof spray.

The hotels where we stayed had those great towel warmer racks, so that even jeans would dry in 24 hours.

Have a great trip- hopefully all of us will be traveling in a few months!

Posted by
4171 posts

There are lots of wool recommendations here. That's great for those who can wear it. I'm not one of them. Down doesn't bother me, but it does bother some people.

Lightweight, layering winter synthetics are likely to be easier to pack and to sink wash than any natural fibers, including wool, especially if your skin or your wallet has an aversion to them.

Posted by
427 posts

We were in Vienna and Salzburg a few Christmas seasons ago, and it wasn't that cold. There was a lot of fresh snow and below freezing temperatures (especially at night), but it wasn't really that bad. Both my wife and I were fine with relatively thin fleece jackets under Gore-Tex shells, despite spending many hours day and night walking through the city and various holiday markets. I didn't bring or need gloves or a hat, but my wife, who seems to want to wear gloves even well above freezing temperatures, brought both.

Reading the comments above, I would have been w-a-y too hot if I had worn thermal or silk undergarments that were more than boxers or a T-shirt.

If you're from Colorado and you're accustomed to winter there, I wouldn't worry too much about temperatures in Vienna or Salzburg.

And carry-on bags should not be a problem as long as you wear your bulkiest outerwear while in transit rather than try to stuff it into your luggage.

Posted by
2211 posts

@Dana - I'm curious what "fog enveloped" started out as?!

Posted by
3236 posts

I agree with Sammy. Forget the long underwear. I often travel in winter and find Europe equal or warmer to New England, excluding the Nordic countries or high in the Alps. I don’t wear long underwear as you are stuck with it all day. (I only used it on the coldest of ski days pre good ski pants.) I wear an unlined wind breaking jacket/coat and a boiled wool sweater over a long sleeved modal tee from Landsend. Then all I have needed on the worst days are earmuffs/hat, scarf and gloves. As these items fit mostly into my pocket, I have no issue carrying on...I always seem to have room leaving home anyway. Leather walking shoes are all that is needed on my feet. My long sleeved model tees wash fine. I have sink washed my jeans, but will usually have the hotel wash my jeans if needed. Unless you plan on standing still outside for an extended period, your activity will help keep you warm.

What you don’t need to pack is make up, if you usually do, as you will have a nice fresh glow regardless of the color of your complexion from the fresh air.

Posted by
8157 posts

Disagree on long underwear. Silks are not hot but they make all the difference under cords or jeans if you are out in very cold weather. I remember an April in Spain where I had expected it to be warm and had sent my winter clothes home from Paris but kept the silks -- it was not freezing, but it was very chilly for the lightweight clothes I had -- the silks saved me.

Another thing to realize is that you can buy what you need -- Paris is easy. but any good size town will have places you can fill in blanks in the wardrobe. I once broke my elbow and had surgery in southern France and then was heading for Paris for October and November --- and none of my warm clothes would fit over my full arm cast. We were driving north and I was in a sleeveless blouse -- was able to acquire a warm cape and then when I got to Paris I picked up a down vest that I could wear under my windbreaker or cape and be warm enough till I got the cast off.

On another trip I bought an inexpensive cashmere turtleneck at C&H in Paris and it was the perfect warm layer in an unexpected cold spell. If you misjudge just go pick something up. My husband is a notorious underpacker and on one trip acquired a jacket, jeans, shorts, a sweater and a couple of shirts; we donated most of it to a local charity before heading home.

Posted by
898 posts

I'll add another vote for 32 Degrees clothing line. My husband lives in their Ts and tops year round. I Just spent the last two days wearing their Heat long sleeve T and heat pant under other layers. Planning to order more of the pants from costco -$16 for 2 pairs - for a trip to Europe next fall. They wash easily in a sink and dry very quickly. Costco prices are the best but the colors are limited. You can also find them on Amazon and on their own website where there are some good sales right now. The base layer items do run a tad small.

I also like quarter zip fleece pull overs to layer on top of the T. If it gets windy I add a wind proof jacket. Great sales at Lands End right now especially on outwear, fleece, sweaters, etc.

For pants my spouse has several pairs of "travel" pants made from a blend of fabrics. Lightweight, dries quickly and has zippered pockets. Most of his just look like dress slacks. Again mostly from Costco. I also have some rayon blend slacks for dressier wear and Lands End Active leggings for day touring. The LE Active line has nice, thick fabric that doesn't bag and also dries quickly.

Posted by
10325 posts

People have given good answers regarding what works for them. I notice that many (most?) of those responding live in cold weather climates. Everyone has a different tolerance for cold. I live in Northern California and I am cold most of the time. It’s not that cold here, it’s just me. I found that winter travel in Europe with layers didn’t work for me. I would wear a silk or thermal layer, then another top, a sweater, often a fleece vest and a jacket or coat in a mostly futile attempt to stay warm outside. Also a hat, scarf and gloves. When I would go indoors to museums, restaurants, shops, etc. I felt uncomfortable stripping off so many layers in order to not be overheated. In the metro it was so stifling hot I sometimes thought I would pass out. I decided that I would try another system on a December trip to NYC. I wore a very warm waterproof down jacket with a hood over a silk or thermal under layer and a thin pullover sweater. On the coldest days I wore a cardigan sweater as well. I of course had a hat, scarf, gloves and warm socks. Having the warmer outer layer that I could easily remove was key for me. Again, I get cold easily and this system was for very cold (for me) weather. I was in Paris for a week in early November and did not need the heavy jacket. I took a packable down jacket and a rain jacket to wear over it when needed and I was fine.

Nordstrom is having their Half-Yearly sale now and I just ordered 2 pullover cashmere sweaters in anticipation of a trip next winter that would include some Christmas markets.

We travel with carryons, though I often check my bag on the way home. I wear my heaviest shoes and my jacket on the plane.

Posted by
203 posts

@janet - “Fog enveloped” started out as “already made” - people have already made some good suggestions... how autocorrect went there and how I didn’t catch it is a whole other story...

Also - I see there’s a lot of discussion about what climates people are coming from. When we took our trip last Christmas, we had been living in Hawaii for 6+ years. So those were recommendations of someone going from very warm to very cold climates.

Posted by
2210 posts

In some ways, I find it’s easier to travel in cold weather than warm weather. I always wear a scarf, footwear that I know does leak, and a long coat and a hat. What I wear underneath doesn’t really matter, since I’m wearing the coat most of the time. Usually, you can check your coat ina museum and walk around comfortably.I’m also a fan of silk long underwear since it doesn’t add bulk. But, since you live in a climate with cold winters, whatever keeps you comfortable when you’re inside will work on your trip, you just don’t need many changes of clothes.

My winter luck with umbrellas has not been good, so I don’t take one. Too many end up in the gutter.

Posted by
327 posts

It will be freezing cold-- I was there Munich to Vienna. Go to the website "travel fashion girls" It is loaded with great ideas and even has what to wear for seasons in various cities/places around the globe.

Bring:
Patagonia long underwear-- you can easily rinse out if necessary and it dries quickly.
Merino wool undershirt-- in case your long underwear top isn't completely dry, plus it can be a nice warm top. Ice Breaker brand is perfect.
Hat-- knit hat that covers the ears and head.

Mittens or gloves and buy a merino or silk glove liner to help keep hands warm.
Fleece type tights that can be worn as pants or under a skirt or dress.
Black travel pants-- Anatomie has great styles and designed for travel
Ski socks -- like Smart Wool brand.
Boots-- water proof walkable-- I brought two pairs to give feet a break from all the walking-- Uggs and a brand from the Walking Company. No heels-- decent tread.

Coat-- a great 3-1. I ended up buying a Jack Wolfskin coat in Munich --fabulous coat and well worth it. I love the inside pocket for my wallet. It was safe, accessible, and I didn't have to carry a purse if I didn't want to. Jack Wolfskin is now available in the US--Callaway golf bought them.

Pashmina type scarf for around the neck. Warm and Fashionable

You do not need to bring alot of clothes- you will be able to do carryon quite easily. Good for you to plan in advance!!!

Posted by
12172 posts

My pack light list always includes a waterproof rain shell, a warm layer, a couple pairs of pants and a combo of button up and tee shirts.

When it's cold, I keep most of my pack list the same but add some warmth:

Instead of just one light sweater that I can layer under my rain shell, I'll bring a couple of warm items that can be layered themselves. I still go for nothing heavy or bulky so a lighter wool sweater and a packable down jacket (used to bring a vest but decided something with sleeves can also be used as decent looking outerwear). If I layer a tee shirt, button up shirt, light wool sweater, down jacket and rain shell, I can handle freezing weather pretty comfortably.

A knit ski cap and leather gloves don't take up much room or bulk in your carry on but will accommodate even colder weather. A light wool scarf is the last thing I add. I generally don't pack these unless I expect it to be really cold. In the past I've gone to a store and purchased these as needed, then bring them home as a souvenir.

Socks and shoes change somewhat when I plan on cold. I go with wool hiking socks rather than synthetic crew socks. I like the three pack from Costco because they're cheap and work fine. My wife has a bunch of "smart wool" socks but now thinks "darn tough" are better. For shoes, I go for something that can handle water better than I might otherwise. I have a pair of water proof ankle height leather walking shoes from Rockport (I bought for a trip to Ireland) that would be fine in the cold and snow.

I have packed silk thermal bottoms in the past. They're super warm and take up almost no space or weight. I rarely pack them now because my legs are too warm more often than too cold.

I round out my pack list with:
- some light warm up pants and flip-flops for laundry days or just hanging out inside
- a quart ziplock of liquids and a larger ziplock of my other stuff (dry toiletries, first aid, sewing, etc.)
- my phone and charger (usually plus an extra cord and a car adapter)
- adjust as needed for men/women

Posted by
1194 posts

Hi,
Here is a different idea. Schedule a rental that has a washer/dryer. AirBNB is an easy way to do this. Once a week, we usually go for a month with just a carryon apiece, I make sure we have a washer available to us and when that is not possible we book a hotel and ask the hotel if they would do selected items. The last time we asked this, the hotel said, no but one of their employees would take it home and bring it back later that night. She was thrilled to have the extra income. Additionally, I take a ziplock baggie of laundry soap powder He, He = front loaders.

That and LAYERS. I do two; one for warmth and a wind break layer. Often my rain coat is my wind breaker.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
100 posts

All are excellent suggestions. For your husband's carryon bag, look at Red Oxx Air Boss. I have used one for more than 20 years and found it handles three week in Europe vey well.