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The Cold: A Travel Checklist

After 13 days of touring our Baltic/Nordic neighbours (check out our insta!) we’re finally back to reality and back to work. It’s been a total whirlwind but we’ll catch you up on that later.

This is our second mutli-city winter trip and we learnt so much logistics wise the first time that we decided to create a little travel checklist to help guide our future trips and hopefully yours too! You can download our cold checklist here!

Before you go

We’re planning to go into more detail about how you book a multi-city trip in the future so we won’t get into that now. But if you’ve booked your flight/coach/train/ferry and know where you’re going then  it’s time to undertake a healthy amount of research. Regardless if you’re jetting off to warmer climes or you’ll be hiring a jeep to chase the northern lights – this is essential!

There are the obvious ways to research,  travel shows like Travel Man or Rick Stein Long Weekend can get your wanderlust going but it’s good to research into things you’ll want to do too. One of our favourite ways to decide on a hotel, a restaurant or find something off the radar is to use geo-tags on social media. It can feel a little stalkerish looking over strangers pictures but in this day and age is the quickest and most honest way to get a feel for somewhere.

Speaking of stalking – stalk the weather too.  It can change daily especially if you’re optimistically looking 10 day in advance.

We’d also suggest starting a Google My Map. They are our essential. Make your own guide so you know you have options and choices and you can see exactly what you want to see and what you want to avoid. It’s so handy! Although bear in mind you’ll need internet to access them abroad.

And the rest…

The finance pointers are all pretty obvious, but it’s good to be reminded – even creating this list we then went to tell our bank we were going away, so the prompts help.

Knowing how, what, where will be a great way to save time once you’re there. We print our itineraries (flights, hotel, transfer confirmation etc) and save a digital copy OFFline. You can never be certain that your carrier setting for your phone will update and you won’t want to be fumbling around on you cached mailbox hoping that e-mail is saved. It probably won’t be – so be prepared.

Electricals can be so frustrating too. You’ve arrived, it’s a sensational sunset on your first evening and you battery is empty and/or your memory card is full. ARGH. Save yourself the hassle and prepare to get snap happy as soon as you step foot in the city.

What to Pack

We’ve left quantities blank so you can fill it in – who are we to suggest you don’t need 15 jumpers when you’re heading somewhere cold. That being said we’d just like to remind you that you won’t wear everything you packed and you will wish you packed XYZ instead. Plan your wardrobe palette for your trip. Think CAPSULE wardrobe. It’s space saving and time saving to know everything you’ve packed neatly co-ordinates. We’ve included other ESSENTIALS for your trip which may seem obvious and they are but you’ll thank us when you’re in a packing frenzy.

Toiletries. They are an unnecessary weight. Sorry. Whilst it makes sense to pack the expensive stuff, the stuff you wouldn’t want to repurchase on holiday – don’t take the full size. Trot along to Boots or Superdrug and get a selection of their travel empties to decant your stuff in to. Shampoo and soap is also, exactly the same the world over. And buying all of those adorable minis, whilst are so darn cute, can cost a small fortune. Be concise – trust us you won’t need it all. That being said – I can’t go anywhere cold without my Weleda Skin Food and yes they sell it also the world over – but you won’t prise it away from my hands.

How to pack can be another issue. Whilst neither of us have read Marie Kondo’s “tidying up”- the internet is awash with the idea of rolling your clothes. And it works. It’s space saving and stops terrible creasing (although not entirely). It also provides lots of handy crevices to stuff chargers, socks and toiletries in. It really has been a packing game changer for us. You need to try it!

On the day

In all the excitement thing can slip your mind. Or even worse, autopilot will kick in and you’ll be on your flight ready to take-off and you question “did I turn off the en-suite bathroom light?” when you know deep down, of course you did. Eliminate that doubt by the conscious action of ticking it off a list – it’s okay we got your back! Working out when you need to leave instead of assuming you know when to leave can guarantee a smooth journey. Use our pointers to prompt you so you know what you need to expect.

Finally, the all important OOTD. As this is specifically geared to cold weather we’d encourage you to layer up. And wear your heavy stuff. Big walking boots. WEAR THEM. Bulky waterproof windbreaker. WEAR IT. If it can save you space and weight in your suitcase we’d suggest you wear it.

Now, you may notice that thermals aren’t something you wear but something you pack in your carry on. We found that if you wear your thermals from your home to the plane and get off somewhere much colder you won’t value the warming, insulating goodness they provide. Instead wear layers on your journey so you can peel off a few or add more (incl. thermals) when you reach the other side.

As we mentioned we’re planning to do a more in-depth post on how to actually plan one of these trips – but if you’re looking for some advice of what to take whether you’re going inter-railing or you’ve booked quick city break – we hope this helped!

The Checklist

You can print or save the pdf to your device so you’ll never have to be without it whilst you’re planning. You can download our free cold checklist here! We hope you find it useful – let us know if you use it by tweeting, tagging us on instagram or using our #dandy_does.

We hope you enjoy your trip!

Andrea & Dan

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  • […] and it was freezing? We were facing subzero (- 13°C) temperatures! At the time we put together a Cold Travel checklist and it’s been super handy for all our trips […]

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