What to Pack for a Family Winter Holiday

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When most of us think of packing for a family holiday, we tend to think t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops – but what about a winter holiday?

Packing for a winter holiday is a completely different ballgame, and requires a little more thought upfront if you want to avoid having to buy extras at the airport or destination – which can often be more expensive. Check out more details here, especially if you are traveling with the family.

The exact items packed for a winter holiday will tend to differ from family-to-family, but check out our top 5 must-have items below:

Thermals and base layers

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All members of a family will benefit from wearing multiple layers, so start with underlayers first to ensure you pack the correct clothing to keep everyone warm and cozy.

Vests and thermals are practical and space-saving items, allowing you to pack lots of much-needed base layers without taking up too much precious room in a suitcase.

Specialist clothing

If you are traveling to a ski destination, it may be a better idea to buy as much of your specialist clothing as you can prior to leaving. This will include items such as a ski mask, snow pants, and a snow jacket. Purchasing these items on arrival or at an airport will offer less choice and could be considerably more in price.

Warm accessories

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This may seem like an obvious choice, however, if you forget to pack a hat in a cold climate, you would definitely know about it. Our accessories list would include the traditional hats, scarves, and gloves, but you may also want to consider taking ear muffs and balaclava for children or those that tend to feel the cold more than others.


Hiking boots would offer a stable grip if traveling to snowy climates, however durable boots or leather shoes will be more than enough in a cold climate without snow. A top tip when buying shoes or boots for colder weather – always buy at least one size bigger than your shoe size. This will allow you to add an extra pair of socks or very thick socks to ensure that your feet stay warm and dry. (Do try them on with your thick socks beforehand though, you don’t want a surprise of shoes that don’t fit on holiday).

If the climate is quite mild you can swap the winter boots for walking or sports shoes, to save the suitcase space.

Coats and jackets

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Possibly the most important item to pack is a durable coat or jacket. This will be the item that is facing the elements in the most top layer of your clothing. There are many variations to choose from, including jackets that have built-in fleece fabrics to ensure you keep warm at all times.

They don’t have to be huge items that take up your whole case, you can purchase thin jackets and coats that can insulate very well whilst offering waterproof protection. If you have chosen a large coat or jacket, however, wearing this item to travel in will ensure you stay warm whilst saving all-important space in your case.

So there you have it, all of the items which we would consider to be the essentials when traveling to a cold climate. Every family is different, however, hopefully, our guide will offer some items you may have overlooked.

There is one last thing that may sound crazy, you should always pack a pair of sunglasses when visiting a snowy destination. The reflective white snow, however beautiful can damage your eyes.