If your next trip has you traveling to cold temperatures or in the winter season, these are essential to pack! As a pilot’s wife I have packed for winter trips in only a carry-on bag for over 20 years. I have so many items for

Cold Weather Travel Essentials

Grab a journal to jot down these travel essentials; I have a few travel hacks for winter gear as well!

Pack a winter hat.

My black hat is fleece lined as well as a regular one (unlined) which I prefer to travel with and is in the same link.

TIP: The creamy white looks better in pictures especially if you are taking photos by Christmas lights at night. If you are traveling to a Christmas Market, do not miss my video!

Pack gloves.

Gloves that easily can be used with your cell phone especially so you will not be a target for pick pocketers holding your gloves and trying to use your phone.

TIP: I bought and traveled with a famous brand pair that did not work as advertised. So try yours out if you get a different one than me.


A year-round travel essential for me is a silk pillowcase for 3 reasons:

1. keeps your hair from having static cling or matted sections if your hair is thinning.

2. no wrinkles on your face with silk

3. no hair frizzies with that dry winter air!

TIP: get one that you do not sleep with at home so it will stick out so you will remember to pack it unlike I did with my yellow one. LILYSILK is my favorite for their 100% mulberry silk.

Winter travel means dry skin in 3 places: lips, nose, and eyes.

I pack individual vials of eye drops by Systane. Once the vial is opened, you plop one drop in each eye in the morning and evening to help with dry eye.

Decant just enough Vaseline for your nose while on this vacation. Use this tiny spatula to decant makeup remover balm, Vaseline or ketchup!

So pack what works for you.

Tip: do not try new products on vacation because you are away from your doctor.

See these winter travel essentials in real time if you would get more detail from seeing what I pack in a carry-on.

Winter travel outfits in a carry-on suitcase must be 4 things:

1. Effective in keeping me warm because of their fabric.

2. Versatile for other travel outfits during my trip. HACK: pack a to wear under winter layers of clothing so your sweater does not get sweaty or dirty and in case you do get hot, you can take off that sweater and tie it around your waist.

3. Thin layers

for packing in only a .

4. Quality over quantity. MYTH BUSTER: Thicker does not = warmer.

This gray braided collar sweater is versatile so you can wear it more than once which is a must for travel outfits. I can wear it to tour all day with my . It’s made of 70% merino wool 30% cashmere which is 100% helpful with heat retention but 2 benefits: breathable and lightweight. It is not itchy either!

Then wear it with dark trousers and add the scarf for a dressier vacation outfit look. These

Myth is that winter is harder to pack in a carry-on for, but if you pack efficient fabric tops, you take up less space while staying warm.

For jewelry I suggest a bauble pearl necklace because it can be worn with any color sweater, t-shirt or a blouse. You now have packed only one item (pearls), but because it is versatile, you can wear it with several travel outfits during the vacation.

Look at this hoodie over a gingham shirt and pull-on denim. Talk about versatile!

It is 90% wool and 10% cashmere and still soft!

I must show you this blouse and how casual chic it is because of the matching button!

Silk regulates your body temperature with a thin layer while saving you space if packing in only a carry-on. Silk looks feminine, but it is tough!


For a crossbody bag, the adjustable straps are essential for my winter travel outfits. This black and white striped one is great, but they also have a red and green striped one! These straps are fun gift ideas too.

TIP: wear your crossbody bag under your winter jacket to help prevent theft. Be quick when using your wallet.

TIP: tie your cardigan or jacket around your waist, covering the purse.


Waterproof shoes can be 3 things:

1~waterproof shoes for hiking or

2~waterproof boots

because of their ankle support or

3~waterproof shoes with rugged sole.

My packing tip is to pack at least one shoe that is water-resistant and neutral in color. If you have a rainy day, wear those with one of the versatile tops. These sneakers look like boots and are my favorite pair of .


Read all about my favorite cobblestone road shoes I pack for Europe trips.

Christmas Market Tips

If you are visiting a Christmas market this winter like I am, pack a baggie you can put in your crossbody bag for sticky fingers with a few wet wipes in each baggie.

TIPS: In your carry-on bag, pack 3 bags of 3-4 wipes per bag. They will not dry out, and they do not count as liquids in airport security.

If you need a thin crossbody bag, this one is RFID blocking. That means if a criminal has identity theft technology, it will not be able to electronically get it from your cards in your bag.

Key feature is that the crossbody has slash-resistant straps. It opens wide because the zippers go over the edges.

You may find it easier when traveling to wear this stretchy band like I use daily to walk Aullie. It fits 2 passports vertically in one of the 3 pockets. Size 10 is tight in a Medium. TIP: you cannot wear this in airport security. Many viewers wear it in the airplane during a long flight.

Another travel essential is a winter jacket that is waterproof.

It has built in if traveling in the winter and you get warm.

In the subway during the winter, you can toss the jacket over your shoulder.


Pack in compression cubes in the winter.

They compress the air between your travel outfits. TIP: do not over stuff them, or they will not work at 100%. Fold or roll your sweaters and t-shirts, zip the top zipper then the 2nd.

If your airline restricts your carry-on to a low weight be careful with compression cubes because they help you fit so many more clothes in a suitcase.

Grab this Europe freebie if you are headed there this winter.

Europe Vacation Essentials
Thank you for subscribing!
*Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.