Packing for Europe in the summer is easy. Hand luggage only is no problem when you’re packing smaller items like shorts and flip-flops.
But with a one-bag restriction, a cold weather packing list can be a bit more complicated.
With friends out in Munich, we’ve been lucky enough to head out on a couple of winter weekends in Bavaria and, after a couple of false starts, this time I got the right balance between space and warmth.
Here is the list of what I took, and a few suggestions of specific bits of kit that are perfect for a winter weekend.
Full Packing List
Just a quick note, we were away for four days, flying out on a Friday afternoon and leaving on a Monday evening. The weather hovered between -3 degrees and +5 degrees whilst we were there, and we even got some snow! We did a mix of things, which included hiking in Schliersee and sightseeing in Munich centre, but also heading out for evenings at the fantastic restaurants and bars.
The aim was to have a list that would function in all environments.
I make my packing lists easy by making them repeatable, and constantly update them. Read more in my post ‘A Simple Way to Reduce Your Travel Packing Time‘.
Here I’ve gone for clothes that are easily layered, and can be worn for both hiking and in relatively formal situations..
- 1 x pair of black trainers (these can be used for both hiking and look smart enough for clubs etc)
- 1 x pair of smart walking trousers, one pair of jeans
- 2 x jumpers, one thinner than the other so they can be layered if needed
- 4 x t shirts, again not necessarily because you need one for each day, but so they can be layered. Technical, t shirts which are long enough to be tucked in are good, but also a polo shirt that’s smart enough for the evenings.
- 6 x pairs of socks, a mix of thinner and thicker for layering.
- Enough underwear to survive
- 1 x down jacket. Love these types of jacket as really warm, and also pack down to a small size.
- 1 x Buff. More flexible than a scarf
- 1 x pair of gloves
- 1 x hat
- 1 x rucksack
- 1 x pair of sunglasses
I take a laptop for work and blogging, but this is something easy to leave out if not needed without. We decided not to take a camera for this trip, as we were limited for space, and most photos were going to be in the daytime, which the iPhone is more than capable of handling (see the photo from my Instagram feed below).
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- Laptop (MacBook Pro 13″)
- Charging cables and bag (I’m a bit of a geek with this stuff! I travel a lot for work, so always have a full bag of cables with me).
- Bagsmart Travel Cable Organiser
It’s a bit geeky, but I always keep my cables well organised. This travels with me to work everyday, so I’ve always got everything with me.
- Rhythmz Harmony 3 Headphones
These headphones are great because they have adjustable earbuds, which also block out alot of noise. A often use them as ear plugs instead of headphones.
- 2 x SanDisk Ultra SDHC Memory Card 32gb
- Anker Braided iPhone Cable
- 2 x Anker Braided Micro-USB Cables
- Headphone Splitter
You’ll be amazed how often these come in handy when travelling with other people.
- Folding Dual USB Plug
This is a brilliant idea for travel, a USB plug where the pins fold in to for easy packing. It has 2 USB ports which is a blessing if you only have a single travel adapter.
- Retractable USB Mouse
Sometimes you need a bit more control than a mousepad gives you, so I always carry a USB mouse with me
- HD Cable
If you get a room with a TV, a HD cable is useful to view your photos on a bigger screen
- Sandisk USB Flash Drive
A flash drive is useful to have in case you need to backup key documents, or download something at an internet cafe.
- Bagsmart Travel Cable Organiser
- International power converter
- Hair gel
- Shaving gel
- Clear bag for customs
- EHIC health cards
- Local currency
Nike Free Runs
These trainers are both comfortable for hiking in the mountains, and fairly smart when heading out for dinner. Getting them in all black means they are easy to mistake for shoes from a distance. I wore these right the way round Southeast Asia, and didn’t get pain or blisters once.
Kathmandu Federate Walking Trousers
I spent a long time looking for walking trousers which were fairly stylish, but with all the practical features you’d expect such as zipped pockets and flexible fabric. These ones by Kathmandu are brilliant, with a skinny leg that makes them look like a standard pair of chinos. Again they can be used both for hiking or smart evenings out.
Under Armour T-Shirts
I’ve been buying these t-shirts for a while now. They are really comfortable, and come in lots of colours, but make sure you buy a size smaller than normal.
Ayacucho Down Jacket
I’d been trying to find a down jacket for a while, but found most of the big brands such as North Face and Fab looked really odd on me. Ayacucho is an in-house brand from Cotswold outdoors. I was really impressed with the fit, and these jackets are also cheaper than their branded equivalent. National Trust members also get 15% off!
I discovered buffs when I was doing long distance cycling. I find them much more practical than scarves, and they can be worn in a number of ways.
North Face Borealis Rucksack
I use this for my daily commute, but it is also just big enough for a weekend away. Solid and well made (as you’d expect from North Face), and with another pockets to keep everything safe.
Useful Tools for Booking Your Sabbatical
I always use Skyscanner or Agoda alongside Google Flights to make sure I’ve got the best price. I use Google Flights to save a route and monitor price changes and a combination of Skyscanner and Agoda to get the cheapest tickets.
If you are in the UK I would also highly recommend signing up for Jack’s Flight Club to get incredible flight deals sent to your email inbox every week.
When booking accommodation I always start with Booking.com as they generally have the best range and prices. I also regularly use Airbnb for longer stays and apartments in cities (use this link for £25 off your first stay). For a different experience try signing up to Housecarers for free house-sitting opportunities (get 10% off membership with this link).
Travel insurance might seem like an unnecessary cost, but when a flight gets cancelled, injury occurs or you damage a piece of gear you’ll regret not paying in advance. I’ve used World Nomads for two sabbaticals and (after badly damaging a hire car in Laos!) found the claim process to be simple and transparent.
Getting from the airport to your destinations is an added stress after a tiring flight, so take the guesswork out and pre-book with JayRide.com. Their prices often beat the local taxis and I've found them to be reliable and easy to use.