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Be Adventurous: What to Pack for a LOCAL Winter Vacation

Be Adventurous: What to Pack for a LOCAL Winter Vacation
Open suitcase with stuff for winter vacation on table against mountain landscape - packing for winter vacation.

By Bailey Stuvland, The Bailey Daily

If you’re like the many of us who stayed home during the holidays and are looking for a little adventure this winter, now may be a perfect time to plan a winter vacation. Also, with many of us working remotely, vacation rentals with extended stays are now becoming more common in some of the most fantastic cold-weather destinations. Even if it’s just going to a secluded cabin in the woods where you can remain as socially distant as possible while enjoying the snowy outdoors with your family, you can still have some fun in nature. Also, these don’t have to be a far drive from home if you live close to any of these areas. So, if you’re itching for a little getaway, I’ve narrowed down a list of the essentials to pack for your extended stay winter vacation! 

Down Jacket

Women's brown down jacket, cashmere scarf, leather shoulder bag, oxford suede boots on a light background, top view. Autumn, winter women's clothing fashion concept

A down jacket is the best option for winter outerwear as they provide the perfect amount of warmth and comfort. Look for ones that are waterproof if you’re planning on being somewhere rainy, snowy or especially if you’re skiing. I prefer a longer, puffer style with the fur hood especially if I’m going to be sightseeing or outside for an extended period of time. Otherwise, I choose my trusty ski parka for any snow sport or activity. The beauty of a down jacket is they come in a variety of styles, lengths, volumes, materials and even have packable versions. So, make sure you choose a jacket that functions well for the environment that you will be in during your winter vacation.


picture of a sweater laying flat which is a great piece to bring on a winter vacation.

Sweaters are the key ingredient to any winter wardrobe, so you have to put a few of these on the packing list. I love an oversized knit turtleneck sweater as much as I love a classic cotton crewneck sweater. Preferably, add a couple in neutral colors like black, grey and off-white as you can mix and match them with the other layers on your list. You may even want to add one fun colored, dressier sweater or cardigan to add to the mix too.  

Layering Tops

Black top with blue jeans. White canvas shoes and pants. Outfit with high collar top. Female clothing on wooden table. Black top is a great layering piece to bring on a winter vacation.

Base layers, such as thermals, are essential for warmth as they trap and use your body heat as insulation. Lightweight turtlenecks, mock necks and long sleeves are excellent options as well. Choose dark neutral colors, either grey or black, as you can wear these alone as well or under cardigans. I prefer the ones with thumb holes as the cuffs stay in place and don’t move around. If you don’t have the need for thermal-type warmth, you can also pack long sleeve cotton layering tops in any color of your choice.


Stylish flannel plaid shirt on wooden shelf. Metal buttons and country pattern. Women's fashion trends. Also a great layering piece for a winter vacation.

Flannel tops are also key for layering and warmth. They also will add some variety to your winter looks as you can mix and match your layering tops under your vests and jackets. For that reason, get flannels in fun patterns and colors so they will make your outfit stand out. I’ve changed my mind about flannels too. Before, I used to think they were only itchy, thick and unflattering. However, I recently found a flannel in the softest fabric, in the cutest crop style which I adore, so I know now that they are an all-around great layering top.

Fleece or Puffy Vest

Combination of down vest and sweater for chill winter weather. New collection items on a wooden shelf. Great combo for a winter vacation.

Having a mid-layer is a wise choice as you can always remove a layer but you can’t always add one if you don’t bring one with you. A fleece or puffy vest is a great way to keep warm and it layers perfectly over your long sleeve tunics and flannels. Especially on a warmer day when you don’t need all the winter gear. Down vests also come in packable versions, so make sure you pack one for your winter vacation.


Black leggings on wooden background. Fashionable concept. Great for layering on a winter vacation.

Leggings and thermal leggings are another idea for a base layer especially if you’re going to be outside in really cold temps. If you’re going skiing, for example, you can layer them under your ski pants. If you’re not, leggings are great for travel, activewear, loungewear or sleepwear. I always pack a pair of leggings wherever I go, just in case. 


Blue jeans on a wooden background. Flat lay of female styled look. Top view. Shopping Concept. Fashion Outfits. Also great for packing on a trip.

A staple pair of denim are a must as they are the base to your outfit (unless you decide to just stick with leggings which is fine too). Jeans are always a great option to have with you especially in winter as they will serve as a layer of warmth and protection. I usually pack a pair of black or dark denim as they are super versatile to wear with any outfit.

Winter Accessories

winter accessories on a wood background. essential for packing on a winter vacation.

Scarves, beanies, gloves, and warm socks are essential winter accessories that you definitely won’t want to forget. I prefer a neutral colored blanket scarf like camel or black that you can wear in a variety of ways. You can opt to match your beanie, go neutral or get one in a bold color! I usually bring a few since they are small, so I can change up my looks. For gloves, I have a small pair of fleece ones I carry with me at all times for traveling. Finally, socks are essential as cold feet are never a good thing. Get some in a warm material like merino wool which will keep your feet warm and comfy all day long! Also, don’t forget to pack those other two important accessories: a face mask and hand sanitizer. Check out a great recipe of how to make your own homemade hand sanitizer here

Winter Boots

Winter boots with fur lining - essential for packing on a winter vacation.

No winter outfit is complete without your fabulous winter boot! So, add a winter boot as the final item on your winter vacation “to pack” list. Obviously, there are hundreds of styles, but when braving colder temps make sure you are choosing boots which are waterproof, that will hold up in snow and rain. Having a lined boot and one with traction would be an added bonus. I would also suggest bringing another pair of casual boots or ankle boots as another footwear option. 



About The Author

Bailey Stuvland

Bailey Stuvland is a California girl who loves talking about all things fashion. With more than ten years of styling experience for personal clients and with brands like Stitch Fix, she enjoys helping others find what they love to wear. Her mission is to help people not only look good on the outside, but feel good on the inside by having fun with outfits, accessories and beauty. You can find her blog at .

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