Going to Sweden, Denmark, Norway and exploring the Arctic Circle in winter was quite a bold decision, and I am sure I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself if I didn't pack wisely. I still had a couple of days, where even though I was bundled up and had layers of clothes on me, I was shivering and freezing. I learnt a lot of what works and keeps me warm, and what I should never bother taking with me on a vacation with extremely cold weather conditions.
I have created this little What To Take To A Very Cold Destination list for you, and hope it will be helpful. I wish I read something like this before we flew to Scandinavia!
I think I spent two hours trying to find heattech pants and tees in my size in the UNIQLO store. XS was simply sold out everywhere, and S was way too big on me. At the end I managed to find two XS tees, and had to buy a sample heattech leggings they give you to try in the fitting room! Yes, they were that good!
There are three types of Heattech: Normal, Extra Warm and Ultra Warm. I have tried Extra Warm, but nothing compares to soft, super warm Ultra Warm heattech. I have been wearing my heattech tees almost all my trip in January, and they were warmer and more comfortable to wear than any layered sweaters.
They are super cheap, so if you find Ultra Warm heattech in your size, grab it before it's gone. I even wore my heattech set in the Ice Hotel (read our review here!) to sleep on bed made of ice in sub-zero, and felt almost (I said almost) cozy and warm :)
My impression is that UNIQLO runs large, so take a size smaller if, you like me, like your clothes a little bit snug.
2. Protect your hair
Usually people never forget to protect their hair from the sun, and wear cute straw hats or snapbacks and spray their locks with an SPF hair protecter. But not a lot of people think of that icy weather can damage their hair!
After our first night on the Arctic Circle, my hair, that was getting wet from snow, and then getting frozen right after, was a total mess. It was hard to touch, and afterwards I could feel how easily my hair started to break.
The moment we flew to Norway, I purchased a bottle of an argan oil for my hair, and always wore my hat when outside.
3. Don't get cold feet
Please don't pack suede boots like I did. It was a stupid decision! I wore them only once for a New Years celebration to a restaurant, but most of the time I was wearing my snow boots and warm booties. I also wore warm Oroblu tights, and wool socks to keep my feet "safe".
Your skin will get dry, so buy a little body lotion or a hand cream to carry around all day.
5. Sweater Dresses
On our vacations with my hubby, I love wearing gowns, and sexy dresses, however I had a very limited choice in Scandinavia due to severe weather! I did have a few sweater dress, but I think next time I will try to find more warm dresses for the evenings in "Winter Wonderland"
When it's so cold outside, but you still want to take a beautiful photograph of some sightseeing, you need to have a coat with big pockets!
What I did is that I had my phone in one of the pockets, and when I wanted to take a photo, I would take off my gloves, quickly shove them in another pocket, take a shot, and quickly put away my phone again, and wear gloves. Fast and easy! When it is so freezing, that your fingers start hurting and getting icy blue after only 30 seconds of being bare, you will appreciate my pocket tip. :)
7. Few of my favourite things...
And here are some other things you would love to take with you on a Winter Vacation!