Pack like a pro these winter holidays

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Pack like a pro these winter holidays


It’s June already and the year is flying by. In South Africa, this is the height of our winter season and many locals head out to enjoy the country’s freezing beauty. Unlike Europe and America, we don’t have a white winter with major snowfall. But we do have majestic scenery and wildlife that will leave a seasoned traveller with an open jaw.


The longest South African school holidays start in June and end in July. This means that the winter season is a great time for an unforgettable family getaway. The rain and the wind might seem unrelenting during this time so heading out on the road could feel precarious but preparation is key. Making sure you have all you need and a safe vehicle is crucial to exploring during this season. And of course, you need to pack accordingly so you are not caught without protection from the bitterly cold winds and icy raindrops.


Packing for a winter holiday is laborious. Unlike a summer trip, you don’t need swimwear and towels but rather winter coats, parkas, boots and even thermal underwear if you’re heading up north. This means your bags are bigger, heavier, and cumbersome. However, you need to plan your packing when heading out in the cold. By doing so you’ll find you won’t over pack your suitcases with items and clothing you really don’t need.


What’s your itinerary look like?


Before you even open your closet, consider what you’ll be doing on your holiday. An adventurous South African safari means you need clothing that’ll help you handle all types of weather. If you’re heading off to a guest farm, you’ll probably be preoccupied with comfort clothing to lounge around in. But if you’re off to a swanky hotel then you’ll need to be able to smarten up when necessary.


Have a good idea of your accommodation


Your accommodation and the surrounding attractions in the area, have a good idea of how cold or not it will be. They’ve been doing this for a while. You should give them a ring to find out what they might consider important to pack. For instance, you will know to pack in some winter boots but if the area where you’ll be staying becomes slushy mud you may regret having packed in your prized leather riding boots. You should have invested in some knee-high Wellingtons.


So give the hotel, game farm, or guest house a call and find out what they suggest. Similarly, if you’re planning on visiting a festival or joining a tour or the like then do some online research to get a better idea of what you’re in for.


Make provisions for sleeping


Being too cold or too hot at night will result in a restless night’s sleep. So you need to find out about the temperature of where you’ll be sleeping. If you’re on safari and staying in a luxury tent, you’ll need to find out if the fireplace is all you can rely on for heat at night, or if they provide some kind of aircon that’ll keep you warm. Whereas if you’re staying in a hotel, you’ll probably find that their indoor temperature is set to comfortable which means your extra thick, insulated pyjamas might be uncomfortable to wear no matter how freezing it is outside.


Thin layers work best


Layers of thin clothing with insulating properties are really your best bet on a winter holiday. This will allow you to remove a layer whenever you’re feeling too warm. Also, thin layers of warm clothing mean you’re not bulky and uncomfortable because you can’t move properly as your jacket, cardigan, jersey, fleece top and vest are suffocating you. Invest in easy-wearing gloves and hats or beanies so you can remove them or put them on quickly and easily.


Pack something fancy and one coat


It’s always good to have the option of a smart outfit if and when necessary. You never know when you’ll be expected to dress up and your jeans and hoodie won’t cut it. Even if you’re out in the bushveld, they might put on a fancy dinner for their guests before you all leave and you won’t want to pitch up looking worse for wear. So pack in something that will work and you’ll be comfortable in.


When it comes to coats, you might want to pack in many for variety but it’s unnecessary. Rather  pack one that will go with anything and wear one. So you end up with an option of two. Perhaps consider taking a short coat for exploring and adventures and a long one for lunch, dinner or other evening events. You’ll likely end up wearing only one most of the time.

Packing like a pro means giving it some real thought. Don’t just reach for the nice-to-haves. Rather pack what’s appropriate, easy to lug around and that will keep you comfortable. After all, your holiday isn’t about your fashion sense but rather about making forever memories with your loved ones.


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