Five Tips for Packing for the Heat When You Live Where It’s Cold

December 26, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

When you live in the cold winter weather and head to a warm destination for the holidays, packing can be a little difficult. Since you’re so used to wearing sweaters and multiple layers, you might be tempted to pack similarly, “just in case” it gets cold.

Or, you might be tempted to take nothing but shorts and short-sleeve shirts because it will be warm.

I’ve done both of these things when I traveled from Indiana to Florida for a winter vacation.

Many first time snowbirds have trouble packing properly and end up taking too much or being chilly and miserable for the entire trip.

I lived in Indiana for 45 years before I moved to Florida, and I can tell you that if you’re used to Midwest winters, you’ll just laugh and shake your head at what passes for “winter” in the south. I’ve seen people who put on coats when it’s still in the 60s, while that’s still “let’s eat outside today” weather in the Upper Midwest.

Still, it helps to know how to pack for a week or two in a warm-winter climate. Here are five tips to help you plan for your next southern vacation.

An old suitcase packed with sand and a blue sky on the lid. Packing for heat when you live for the cold can be a bit tricky.

  1. Don’t pack heavy coats. For one thing, it’s doubtful you’ll need your northern winter gear unless there’s a freak cold wave heading through, so be sure to check the weather forecast right before you leave. But if a cold front is heading toward your destination, I stand by the original statement: Don’t pack a heavy coat. Instead, save your luggage space and wear/carry your big coat onto the plane. It may be a hassle, but you don’t want to run out of space or pay overweight luggage fees. (Better yet, just take a couple extra layers with you.)
  2. Take along a light sweater when you’re inside. Even in the middle of summer in Florida, I see people wearing light sweaters. Not because this is the land of fire people and anything below triple digits is freezing. Rather, it’s because we keep the AC cranked up pretty high down here. There have been many days I’ll be working in a coffee shop or my office, and I actually get cold after a few hours. Getting into my car is a relief and I warm up quickly (and then I burst into flames because I forgot to put up the sun shield). So keep your sweater handy, in case you’re in a place that keeps the inside temperature pretty low.
  3. Take a sweatshirt in case the temperature dips. It can still get pretty cold in the middle of winter down here. Some nights will hit in the 40s, and legend has it, we once had frost here in Central Florida. (I’m exaggerating, but only a bit.) Even if you have visions of palm trees dancing in your head, you’ll still want something for a chilly evening.
  4. Take a taxi or ride share to the airport. If you’re trying to travel light, the one issue you have is getting to and from the airport. Since it’s still cold, you’ll be tempted to wear a coat and heavy shoes as you travel from long-term parking to the gate. You can skip all that if you can get a ride directly to the airport, like a taxi, ride share, or easily-bribed friend. They can drop you off right in front, so you can sprint inside without getting too cold.
  5. Don’t forget the rain gear. It still gets rainy here during the winter, and that can put a real damper — pardon the pun — on your plans. Consider packing a rain jacket and an umbrella, in case the skies open up. As an added tip: If you’re visiting a theme park, just know that the rain probably won’t last that long, and it usually drives people back out. So tough out the rain and you’ll be rewarded with shorter lines and waits.

What is your packing stragegy to make sure you stay comfortable on vacation, especially if you’re heading from the Midwest to Florida or Arizona? Share your suggestions with us on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: Dorothe (PXHere.com, Creative Commons 0)

About 

Erik Deckers is a travel writer, as well as a content marketer and book author. He is the co-author of Branding Yourself, No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine. Erik has been blogging since 1997, and has been a newspaper humor columnist for over 20 years

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