Tips from the Nest: How to Pack When Travelling Across Different Climates
If you’re heading on a tour that takes you through a variety of climates, it can be quite overwhelming to know exactly what you need to pack. I learnt a few valuable lessons when I travelled on the An Alpine Adventure Tour. The trip started in Paris in spring, moved onto mountains boasting almost 4,000-metre altitudes, and concluded in Italy, where the temperatures were in the late 20s. Take a look at the following tips to see how you can avoid any packing headaches on your next trip.
1. Invest in Layers
Layers are an invaluable addition to any trip, and can quite often save some space in your luggage. On the French Alps leg of our An Alpine Adventure Tour, we travelled up the Aiguille du Midi in a cable car. While we were outside, I realised my thin layers were just as effective in insulating my body temperature as one, incredibly bulky jacket. When heading out to mountainous regions, pack light with thin layers, including a thermal singlet, a woollen throw and only one or two warm jackets. Also bring along a thick beanie, as a large percentage of body heat is lost through the top of your head.
Light layers not only work together to keep you warm outdoors, but they will also prove to be extremely versatile in heated restaurants, hotels and warmer countries. As all accommodation in the Alps is well-heated, we found we only needed these layers under simple jackets. When we concluded our Alpine tour in Italy, the temperature was very mild. This was when we only wanted to wear a light top or singlet.
2. Bring Comfortable, Sturdy Shoes
Waterproof hiking shoes are fantastic in protecting your feet during unpredictable weather (which is extremely likely in Europe) and frosty meadows and hills. During the Alpine Adventure Tour, we explored the likes of Chamonix, Zermatt and Grindelwald, so wearing a quality pair of shoes was extremely important. I noticed that a lot of fellow travellers wore shoes from popular brands like Merrell, Kathmandu, Gondwana and Columbia. Unique European brands such as Salomon also had walking shoes at relatively cheap prices compared to Australia, so you can always consider upgrading on your trip!
3. Pack a Medicine Kit
Prepare for any coughs, runny noses, sore muscles or blisters by packing a compact medicine kit. This is extremely useful on any tour that involves a lot of walking, hiking and travelling through different temperatures in a short period of time. I found Vicks Vapour Rub, Panadol, lip balm, Band-Aids and lozenges very handy during my trip.
4. Consider Sending Winter Clothes Homes
Once you’ve moved from a cold climate to a warmer destination, it may be worth posting some of your bulkier winter clothes homes if you have plenty of travelling left and you want to make room for new purchases such as souvenirs. On our trip, several people decided to this when we reached Italy. Be prepared to pay though – it will cost you around €55 for five kilograms.
Packing for different climates can be tricky, but if you plan, talk to your tour guide and make the most of your luggage space, the whole process becomes a whole lot smoother.