Tips from the Nest: Packing for the Snowy Season

Heading to Europe this snowy season and have no idea what to pack? If you’re travelling from the southern hemisphere in summertime to the northern side of the globe, it can be tricky to know just how cold the frost will be and how to properly prepare for it. Luckily, I have put together the following tips to help ensure that you won’t be caught out in the cold on arrival.

The Difference in Temperature

Snow in Germany, courtesy of Shirley Makin

If you’re coming from the heat, it can be hard to physically prepare your body for the extreme cold in some regions of Europe, but it’s a good idea to be aware of the temperature difference. In wintertime, weather across the European continent can be varied and very unpredictable. For example, in the month of December, Amsterdam, Germany, Hungary and Denmark are among the cooler of the countries with temperatures ranging between -1° and 6 to 7°. Warmer countries, such as Turkey, Greece, Spain and the United Kingdom are slightly toastier with temperatures ranging between 7° and 14°. However, European climates can be unpredictable, so for a more accurate forecast of your tour’s snowfall and climate, I recommend checking online or with your tour guide closer to departure.

Buy on Arrival

Munich, Germany

If you’re heading off with Albatross Tours for a Christmas tour and landing in a major capital city, it’s sometimes easier to purchase the majority of your bulky winter warmers once you have landed. I discovered this tip after travelling from Australia to Munich for the Austrian White Christmas Tour.  Because the tour kicked off in Vienna, we had a few days up our sleeve to do some shopping in Munich. We stumbled across some of the city’s department stores, which stock plenty of snow and winter gear at discount prices. Many of Albatross’s winter tours land in Munich as a first stop, so if you’re staying in one of the city’s more central hotels (such as the Munich and Maritim hotels), you’ll be within a 10-minute walk from the closest H&M department store.

Don’t Forget Your Snow Gear

Mountaintop scenery, Innsbruck, Austria

For first-time snowbunnies, the task of buying the right snow gear can be daunting. Most Australians won’t have use for snow gear at home (even in the winter months) and are confused by the choice to either rent or buy outerwear for the slopes,  particularly as quality winter clothes can be pricey.

The essentials for any adventure in the snow include a water-resistant jacket and pant set, goggles (which may sound silly but protect against the harsh glare of the snow), protective gloves or hand warmers, and warm woollen socks. If you know you’re likely to feel the bite of the cold, self-heating crystalised or ‘magic’ hand warmers might see you through – they heat up after being dunked in hot water and are completely reusable.

When it comes to packing for the cold, it’s best to know what you’re up against and consider buying winter wear at your destination, rather than before, so you can save time, travel light and overall, enjoy a smoother, warmer trip.