Travelling HK and Taiwan, and soon to Seoul, South Korea in the winter, I’ve realised how important some items are when spending the Christmas season in the northern hemisphere where temperatures can drop to minus degrees- something I’m unfamiliar with coming from Australia but which I’m slowly learning from my time in Europe and Asia.
Here’s a short list of some of the essentials you’ll be needing for your next winter getaway.
Bringing one of these along should be a no-brainer for anyone travelling to a new winter wonderland. While it’s true you can always get one once you’ve arrived (trust me, I’m good with the excuses to go shopping), taking one with you means you’re immediately covered. If you’re looking to save luggage space, consider bringing a puffer coat as they’re lightweight and functional against the cold because of their thickness.
For something more inconspicuous, the classic black trench will help you blend in anywhere you go. And for the fashion conscious, I hear Marsala (a shade similar to burgundy or wine-red) is Pantone’s colour of the year for 2015.
The key is layering other warm items of clothing under your coat, such as sweaters or jackets since there’s no point in wearing one if you’re next to naked underneath.
2. Scarves and Gloves
No matter how warm your coat is, chances are your neck and hands are left exposed to the cold and need protection, too. Invest in a good scarf of warm material such as wool, and a pair of thick gloves.
For the tech-savvy, there are now touchscreen gloves which means you no longer have to take them on and off to use touch-phones and other touchscreen devices.
These will help you keep your head and ears warm. Investing in a good woollen hat when I was travelling in Poland saved me from all the ear aches I was getting from walking around in the the cold weather. For slightly warmer countries in winter, berets do the job sufficiently well and are a personal favourite of mine.
Boots are great for keeping your feet warm and snug from the cold, and are a practical alternative to sneakers which you might find inadequate at keeping the snow or rain from seeping in and wetting your socks. Keeping your feet warm is important since a warm feet almost always means a warm body also.
Personally, I’m loving French riding boots and their classic style (scored one myself during one of my shopping sprees in Taichung, Taiwan!) but I also appreciate how well ankle boots pair with skirt and stockings.
These are what’s going to help you fight back against the harsh cold and the damage it does to your skin. For moisturisers, they should change as the seasons change since what you usually use in summer is lighter than what your skin requires in the cooler months. Do some research and find out what works for you. A hydrating facial mask can also help retain the moisture of your skin during winter. Don’t forget about your hands and lips, too, as these are often exposed to the cold and need all the moisture aid they can get!
Above all, enjoy your time in the coolest season of the year for you’ll miss it when the weather gets too hot (I know I do in Sydney). The idea is to dress appropriately, according to the temperatures outside since you’ll only catch a cold wearing that mini skirt and mid-drift in 2°C.