A disclaimer: These things were unobvious for me, but for many of you it might be a matter of course.
These tips are mostly for city wandering, not for skiing in the Alps or tracking, and for those who want to remain in style, despite the weather conditions. Otherwise skiing suit and trekking shoes will solve most of the problems.
Now to the topic.
This year we celebrated Christmas and New Year in a two week trip to Prague, Vienna and Budapest. We spent four nights in a hotel in Prague and rented apartments in Vienna and Budapest. And here is my list of things I realised I should have taken.
As you probably know the weather in Europe is very uncertain. During two weeks it changed from +10 C and sunshine through rain to -10 C and snow, and back. So you basically can expect ANY type of weather. It means that you either need to take outwear for different temperature outside or master a skill of layering.
1. Light down jacket. I saw the light down jackets worn under a coat a while ago in men’s fashion, but never needed one. After this trip I’m considering to get one and to use in such situations.
Depending on the room in the sleeves of your outwear you may prefer sleeved or sleeveless down jacket. It can be packed in a small pouch and takes very little space in your bag, so you can bear it with you and throw it on when you feel like it. If it warm outside the jacket can be worn as it is and give more varieties for outfits.
These are from Uniqlo
These are from Burberry
2. The next things are two pairs of leather boots generously covered with shoe wax. It will protect them from leaking water in case it rains or snows and hopefully will protect from the road salt. And take a shoe sponge to remove the salt marks.
Two pairs because it’s good for shoes when they can “rest” a bit and get dry. I took a pair of leather boots and wellies, but the weather was never right for the latter. Either warm and dry, so I would sweat my feet to death, or cold and snowy, so I wasn’t sure the rubber won’t break. I ended up wearing the same pair of boots during 12 days.
Luckily I took shoe driers with me. This is another thing that was obvious for me, but maybe not for some of you. Anyway, I highly reccommend to get one.
What if you don’t own leather boots, but have a pair of suede? I can suggest you try to apply waterproof product. I’m impressed by this one, after I saw this video (watch from 2.20), but haven’t tried it yet. Of course, there are plenty of other similar brands and products for you to choose.
3. Another unobvious thing I missed in my trip is a pair of simple slip-ins to go to the breakfast in the hotel or use if the floor is cold. My suggestion is a pair of rubber sandals that you can also use in a swimming pool or in a shower if you have germaphobia (in this case you probably already own a pair).
4. The next object I found useful to have during a winter trip to Europe is a compact thermos. There were plenty of hot drinks served outside in Prague and Vienna, but many of them contained alcohol. I don’t mind, but what if you drive or pregnant.. In Budapest I saw only mulled wine which wasn’t that tasty, if you ask me. With your own thermos you can drink what you want when you want.
5. The last tip is not only for the winter or Europe and may not be relevant to most of you, but I will mention it anyway. Just in case. Staying two times in rented apartment we had to buy salt and coffee two times, so the next time we will probably bring our own mini packages.
Do you often travel during the winter? Have your own checklist? Please share below!