Carry-on Essentials for Travelling This Winter

28 Nov 2022 | Travel Tips

With mountains to traverse and snow-dusted cities to explore, travelling in winter can be a fantastic adventure. But how do you pack everything you need for a winter vacation without blowing your baggage allowance? Apart from plenty of layers to stay warm, you will also need to protect yourself from cold, flu and other respiratory viruses, which are back with a vengeance this year. Let’s take a look at your essential carry-on items and some clever winter packing tips for a smooth and safe cold weather holiday. 

Choose the right winter travel bag 

Airline travel has become a chaotic experience as airlines struggle to keep up with the renewed demand. The risk of losing checked baggage is very real, so savvy travellers are choosing to go with carry-on luggage only. But how do you pack for a winter holiday in carry-on-sized baggage? 

The first step is choosing the right bag. Most travel bloggers recommend a max-sized travel backpack because they are lightweight, flexible and easy to carry while you’re on the move. Ensure it meets airline size guidelines, and keep an eye on the weight restrictions once you pack it. 

What to pack in your winter carry-on 

Packing light in winter is possible if you stick to the essentials. Here are a few things you’re sure to use every day of your trip. 

  • Layers, layers, layers: Lots of light but warm layers, like thin wool sweaters, thermal leggings, fleece pullovers and flannel shirts. 
  • A down or puffer jacket: This is the best option for winter travel as it offers the best warmth and most can be compressed in a bag to save space.  
  • Wool accessories: A lightweight but warm hat, scarf and gloves that can be rolled up tight – wool is the warmest choice of fabric.  
  • Socks: A couple of pairs of warm socks that can be hand washed and dried on the go. 
  • Boots: Waterproof winter boots to keep your feet dry in snow and rain.  
  • Trainers: A lighter pair of trainers if you have space.  
  • Hire your gear: If you’re planning to ski, your best bet is to hire all your gear when you get there. 
  • Moisturiser and lip balm: Cold weather can be famously harsh on the skin. Make sure you have a lip balm stick and a rich moisturiser tube to keep your skin hydrated. 
  • An insulated thermos: Keep a constant supply of heated tea or coffee on hand to warm you up when needed. 

Health essentials for winter travel 

Nothing will ruin your winter vacation faster than a cold or a nasty bout of the flu. Experts agree1 that the flu is back this year with a vengeance, and the winter months are expected to be particularly challenging. Your first line of defence should be a flu vaccination, plus there are a few simple things you can take with you to protect against illness. 

  • Masks and hand sanitiser: Most people are used to wearing masks and using hand sanitiser in busy public places and on public transport. Make sure you take a good supply of masks and a travel-size bottle of hand sanitiser to use on the plane, in taxis, on buses, or anywhere else where it will be difficult to socially distance and wash your hands. 
  • VIRALEZE™: Strengthen your armour against illness while on holiday. This innovative new nasal spray is designed to physically trap and inactivate cold and flu/respiratory viruses. Used in conjunction with other measures, VIRALEZE is another powerful tool in your travel kit.2
  • Tissues and wet wipes:  Simple yet effective, it’s always handy to have a small pack of tissues and wet wipes available to wipe down surfaces or deal with runny noses. Make sure you dispose of tissues straight away and use hand sanitiser after. 

Winter packing tips 

Packing is nothing short of an art for some people, especially with carry-on only. Here are some expert traveller hacks for making the most of the small space you have.  

Choose layers over bulky items 

One bulky coat or puffer jacket will immediately fill up half your bag, so opt for lots of thinner layers instead. This means you can put on or take off layers as needed, and you won’t look like you’re wearing the same thing in every single photo. 

Wear your heaviest items on the plane  

Save room and weight in your carry-on by wearing your bulkiest items on the plane. That means popping your heaviest coat on (you can always put it in the overhead compartment before take-off), your scarf, and your sturdiest shoes, like hiking boots or trainers, while you fly. 

Use compression sacks and packing cubes 

One packing hack many travellers swear by is compression sacks. Like vacuum packs, you put your clothes inside and pull the tabs to suck all the air out. This squeezes your clothes into a smaller space, allowing you to fit more in your bag. Packing cubes are another essential for those who like to travel light. These zip-up cubes help you separate and organise your items, like your dirty and clean clothes and healthcare essentials. 

Make it a magical winter 

You want your winter holiday to be memorable for all the right reasons. Don’t let lack of preparation ruin your cold weather vacation. Remember to pack plenty of layers, so you can take them on or off as needed. Travelling in winter also exposes you to the risk of cold, flu and other respiratory viruses. Make your flu vaccination a priority and go armed with all your health essentials, including masks, hand sanitiser and VIRALEZE™ nasal spray.


2Always read the label and follow the instructions for use. This medical device is a regulated health product which bears, under this regulation, the CE marking. Do not use if you have a history of sensitivity to any ingredient in the formulation. Not for use in children under the age of 12 years. See a doctor If you are pregnant or breastfeeding. For information on how to use, and for a list of warnings and precautions, click here.

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