Cold weather trips equal snowy winter wonderlands, holiday markets, and gorgeous lights—but the downsides of being freezing and it getting dark early mean you need to be prepared.

Your list of winter travel essentials should definitely include some reflective gear. Thr days are shorter in the winter, meaning you’re more likely to be out exploring in the dark (especially if you’re heading to a place like Tromso, Norway, where the sun doesn’t rise from November to January).


Mittens are proven to be warmer than glovesso if you find that your freezing fingers are driving you inside prematurely, pack a pair of Outdoor Research Stormbound Mitts. These mittens surround a layer of 800+ fill down with two layers of Primaloft synthetic insulation, resulting in a not-too-bulky pair of mittens that will keep your hands warm and dry. I love the rib-knit cuff and secure wrist closure, which keeps cold air or snow from getting in the bottom of these mittens.

A Backup Battery

Just like us, Smartphones are also sensitive to cold weather—battery life drains quickly in freezing temperatures. A backup battery like ResQ Battery is one of my winter travel essentials so that I can easily bring my phone back to life in case I need to make an emergency call, navigate back to my hotel, or just snap a photo

Lip and Body Balm

Both flying and cold weather can cause skin dryness, so if you’re flying somewhere in the winter, prepare for a double dose of chapped lips and parched skin. Make room in your 3-1-1 compliant toiletry kit by packing a balm that can work on both lips and skin, like this multitasker by Rosebud.

A Winter Driving Kit

You don’t want to be caught out in extreme winter weather if your car breaks down, so put this Winter Safety Kit by AAA in the back of your car (or in your rental if you’re headed somewhere snowy/icy). This 66-piece kit includes a folding shovel, blanket, flares, and more, so that you’ll be safe even if you encounter an unexpected storm on the road.

Heated Gear

If you really hate cold hands, I recommend splurging on a pair of heated mittens, like these ones by Volt. They use lightweight, rechargeable batteries to provide non-stop heat inside your mittens for up to eight hours. It’s like having a tiny oven inside your gloves! These mittens are also waterproof and are super insulated, even without the batteries.