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Tips to Plan and Pack for a Snowy Vacation

Updated on July 14, 2020
Lisha C profile image

Lisha loves to travel, explore new places and share experiences.

Fun times in the snow.
Fun times in the snow. | Source

It's Snow Time

Snow is extremely common. Even though this may not be the case physically in real life, it has always been commonly depicted and discussed. You would think that the majority must have witnessed it at some point in their life. However, this is not the case—many have never had this opportunity. If and when the opportunity does arise, expectations are high; especially when this chance comes a bit later on in life.

One of the main reasons for a trip to the mountains is to experience snow. It is amazing to catch the first glimpses of the faint trails of white running down from the top of distant peaks. The higher you go, the more it looks like something out of a fairy-tale. It is often very difficult to believe how impressive nature can be.

Things to Keep in Mind While Planning

There are various things to keep in mind if you want to make your trip an unforgettable experience. When I say unforgettable, I mean something that you will always cherish and remember fondly. This needs to be clarified because, without proper planning and preparedness, it could very quickly go the other way.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Pick a Scenic Destination: Do your research well. Read articles, recommendations and travelogues, and watch several videos and video blogs. The more scenic the place, the more amazed you will be. To be surrounded by nature covered in snow will leave you spellbound. However, something to note is that many snowy destinations are often overcrowded with tourists during the winter season. You should ideally try to avoid the major touristy places and focus on the lesser-known, unconventional spots. Or, in case your main destination is a tourist hub, research about the slightly more secluded neighboring areas and plan to visit them, too. Their beauty and charm will leave you speechless.
  2. Don't Miss Out on Experiencing Snowfall: If there is even the slightest possibility of witnessing fresh snowfall, take the chance. To see your surroundings completely covered in snow is stunning on its own, but to witness the falling snowflakes is something almost unreal. Plan your trip such that you will get a chance to experience this. If there is no snowfall where you are planning to visit, research or inquire about surrounding areas which receive snowfall. When you are there, you can interact with locals to help get the exact time to visit a place. If you're lucky, you will get a chance to be amazed.
  3. Plan for Snow Activities: You can plan for places which offer activities to enjoy in the snow like skiing, sledding, snowboarding and ice-skating. Snow sports and activities are popular among both the first-timers and the experienced. Everyone should try their hand at such activities—you might even discover some new skills while you are there. Most snow equipment and accessories are usually available for rent at resorts, hotels and tourist spots, so you need not worry in this regard. However, if these aren't your thing, you could just settle for a snowball fight. You can also make snow angels or show off your creative skills by building the perfect snowman.
  4. Weather Can Be Unpredictable: Weather can be highly unpredictable in the winters. Doing your research on weather patterns is one of the most important things to keep in mind while planning the trip. Unforeseen situations can often arise even after careful preparation. In case you are planning to visit multiple places, make sure that you also have alternative locations in mind. Some places might be inaccessible due to heavy snowfall or bad weather conditions. If you have a backup plan ready, there will be no confusion whatsoever; you need not waste time in the same area or visit places which don't appeal to you.

An experience like no other.
An experience like no other. | Source

"There's just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on."

— Carol Rifka Brunt

Things to Pack for Your Snowy Vacation

For those who are not too comfortable with colder climates, there is usually a block towards planning a trip to a cold place, especially in the winter. However, with the appropriate clothing and essentials, anyone could thoroughly enjoy such destinations.

The main thing is to be prepared and pack right. Do not take it lightly and assume that you will be able to manage when the time comes. Spend a little extra on your winter apparel and make sure that you have everything that you need. It's always better to be on the safe side—you don't want to take a chance with such an experience. If done right, the trip will certainly be one of your most memorable times.

Here is a list of things to pack for a snowy destination:

Item to Pack
Why You Need It
Thermal Wear
To wear as an inner layer. It helps to preserve your body heat.
Better to take two—a bulky one meant for subzero temperatures and another lighter one.
Lots of Layers
T-shirts and a couple of sweaters. Great for keeping out the cold when worn as layers.
Hiking Shoes/Boots
One pair of warm, waterproof boots. Preferably those meant for the snow, with a good grip.
Warm and preferably waterproof, to prevent your fingers from going numb.
Woolen Cap/Beanie
To keep your head and ears warm.
To keep your ears warm.
Scarf/Neck Warmer
To keep your neck warm.
Woolen Socks
For daily wear. Extra pairs to wear while sleeping.
Comfortable Sweatshirt/Sweater
To sleep in.
Warm Leggings
To sleep in/as an inner layer.


Item to Pack
Why You Need It
Small Backpack
For daily use, to keep accessories and essentials.
Medicine for common winter ailments such as a cold, cough, fever. Also, altitude sickness medication in case of high altitudes.
A snowy place doesn't mean you can forget your sunscreen. It's still important to protect your skin.
To prevent dry skin due to the cold.
Lip Balm
One of the most important essentials for all. Dry and cracked lips are very common, sometimes even painful.
Water Bottle
Always needed.
In case of rain.
In case of rain.

Other Essentials

Skis, Poles, Ski Boots, Ski Jacket, Ski Pants, Ski Gloves
Ice Skates

Sporting equipment and accessories. (Can usually also be rented at most locations.)

Bonus Tip

If you're one who uses their smartphone a lot, buy a pair of touchscreen-friendly gloves. You would otherwise have to risk your fingers going numb!

Other Useful Suggestions for Your Trip

  • Early to bed and early to rise: In such places, it's always best to go to bed and wake up early. Start your day early to make the most of your trip. The weather might be a problem at later hours and could also be dangerous in some cases. Never venture out too late and always ensure that you are back before nightfall.
  • Be cautious: Icy paths and roads can be risky, especially to those who are not familiar with them. There is a high possibility of slipping and hurting oneself. Be careful with your footing, even if the path is straight and even. One injury and your entire vacation can come to an unexpected halt.
  • Go for a walk in the snow: Explore your surroundings a bit. Go for a walk or a small hike and be one with nature. However, it's probably best to always do so with some company. Even then, don't wander so far out that you can't find your way back.
  • Keep water and snacks handy: It's always best to keep some water, juice and snacks on your person, especially if you are one who loves to explore. The best views and most peaceful places are found when you stray a little away from the crowds. Food and water might not always be readily available.
  • How to take great pictures: You would obviously want to capture and record moments from your time in the snow. Try to do this without removing your gloves, or your fingers and hands could start to get numb. Most smartphone cameras can take pictures by using one of the side buttons, without you having to touch the screen. However, if you are very particular and need to keep changing filters and settings, consider buying a pair of gloves which are suitable for touchscreen use.
  • Appreciate the environment: Don't get too caught up in trying numerous activities and taking too many pictures. Stop for a moment to take in all in and marvel at what's before you—you may not get another chance.

A winter wonderland.
A winter wonderland. | Source

Start Planning!

Snow vacations are one of the best types of vacations you can have (when done right.) Everything looks simply amazing when covered with fresh white snow, and there are several activities for everyone to enjoy.

If you are well prepared, a vacation doesn't get much better than this.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Lisha C


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