When you’re prepping your packing list for an upcoming trip, you should definitely take to heart the Boy Scouts’ motto and always strive to “be prepared.”
Whether you plan on being outdoors for most of your adventure — or you’re traveling for work but will have some long walks between the hotel and a local convention center — it’s important you go into your trip well-prepared to handle anything Mother Nature throws at you.
With this in mind, here are a handful of packing tips to help keep you warm and cozy and/or cool and comfy:
For Fluctuations in Temperatures, Consider the Layered Look
It’s not unusual for certain parts of the country to experience wildly different weather conditions — oftentimes on the same day. You may deal with hail and cold temperatures in the morning, only to enjoy beautiful sunny weather by the time lunch rolls around.
To deal with these weather fluctuations, go with a layered look. Rather than packing a huge parka and lightweight jacket plus wool pants and cotton shorts, consider bringing a number of plain T-shirts, shorts, sweaters and pants. If it’s freezing cold in the morning, wear all of the above and then peel off the sweater and possibly the overshirt as the day goes on.
Prepare for Super Cold Weather
If you’re traveling to a location that will be extremely cold from morning until night, you’ll definitely want to pack some outer layers that will keep you nice and toasty. Likewise, if you live in a fairly temperate climate and don’t own a warm jacket, you may want to do some pre-trip shopping to get what you need.
For example, look for a well-insulated jacket that offers innovative features like a silver reflective pattern in the lining. Just like a space blanket, this lining will reflect and retain your body heat, while wicking away moisture so you don’t end up feeling cold and soggy. If you have a preference for certain types of insulation — for instance, synthetic or responsibly-sourced options — look for those features when shopping.
Thanks to the combination of insulation and a reflective lining, it shouldn’t be a problem finding outdoor gear that looks great and isn’t too bulky so it can fit in your suitcase or even be worn on the chilly airplane.
Choose Shoes for Any Weather Conditions
If you don’t have room to pack multiple pairs of shoes and boots, bring along or wear water-repellent athletic shoes and rain boots. Then, pack a variety of socks, which will keep your feet dry and warm and shouldn’t take up much room in your luggage.
On days when temperatures are more mild, wear light cotton socks with your sneakers. If it’s not too terribly cold but is pouring rain outside, wear a lightweight pair of socks to go with your rain boots. And if the weather is extremely cold but dry, putting on a pair of wool socks and some athletic shoes should do the trick.
For Hot Days, Go with Light-Colored Fabrics
To prepare for any potential warm weather on your trip, experts suggest packing clothing made of light-colored fabrics that will reflect the sun’s rays and dry quickly if you get sweaty. Polyester and nylon are both good materials to look for, and to protect your head from the sun, be sure to bring some type of hat rather than a visor.
Bon Voyage, and Have a Great Time!
You don’t have to purchase additional luggage or pay hefty baggage fees to be prepared for just about any trip. Start your packing by focusing on the layered look, and strive to bring a few pairs of shoes that can be made warmer or cooler with your socks. Then, be sure to pack a warm coat and some lighter pieces for warm weather. If you follow these tips, you’ll be prepared for all types of weather conditions and ready to go with one suitcase.
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