Long Term Travel: How to Pack for Hot AND Cold Weather

A few months into my longest travel stint (12 months), I departed the cold climates of Scotland and found myself in Barcelona. Despite both being in Europe, the two were dramatically different in terms of climate. Scotland was cold – harshly cold – the bitter kind of cold that sends a shiver up your spine! Whereas Barcelona was starting to heat up leading into the summer and whilst I still wouldn’t have dipped more than my ankle in the ocean at this time of year, it was warm enough weather for a dress and sandals… and sunny enough for a hat!

There was no denying it: these two countries required a completely different wardrobe.

Packing for long term travel often requires packing for both hot and cold weather. There are a few tips of the trade I had to learn through trial and error, each of which are outlined here for your benefit (don’t make my mistakes!)

The Secrets to Packing for Hot and Cold Weather (in one suitcase)

The first secret is simple: Only pack what you need and buy anything else you decide you need there.

The second secret is to stick to neutral tones (or be that person in a tropical singlet in winter ‘cos you had nothing else to wear that day). Neutral tones suit both summer and winter, as well as the in between seasons.

The third secret is to pack clothes that suit both climates, such as plain coloured t shirts (by themselves in the summer, layered in winter), comfortable shoes (converse are a great options), and sandals (perfect for all climates apart from winter, making them 75% useful – not a bad ratio).

The fourth secret is Primark, H&M, Forever 21, and Zara. These are cheap worldwide chains (ranging from cheapest to more expensive but still moderately priced) that follow trends and always have clothes that are in season, stylish, and for a discount price. Don’t blow your budget on clothes when you could spend that money on more adventures!

So, How to Pack for Hot and Cold Weather?

Pack less;
Pack light garments and layer in the cold;
Pack neutral coloured clothes for versatility;
Buy what you need there; and
Know where to buy to stick to your budget!
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Brooke Saward
Brooke Saward

Brooke Saward founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen, with a particular weakness for French pastries.

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