July 24, 2014

Thrifty Tips for Traveling Between Climate Extremes

Winter is the time of year when travelers are either searching for the ultimate mountain cabin and ski experience, or scrambling to book the best beach resort package they can find. Packing for a smooth climate transition is no small feat, especially when todayís checked luggage fees place suitcase space at a premium. Here are several transition tips to keep those costs in check, and leave extra vacation monies for on-site adventure.

Clothing: Tunic dresses worn over leggings can be covered with warm sweaters in colder weather, and fly solo as vacation attire when you arrive at the beach. Separately, the leggings can serve as a base layer under lighter slacks or jeans, and fitness attire at your hotelís gym, provided laundry facilities are available. Consider a tankini swimsuit for additional fashion functionality. Swimming pools are typically accessible in hotels at both ends of the climate spectrum, so packing a suit is a great way to take full advantage of free amenities. Additionally, the top portion of the suit can serve as a camisole under a sheer blouse when visiting balmy destinations such as the Bermuda, and provide extra warmth if youíre heading out on a cold-weather ski vacation to Aspen.

Footwear: Wear heavier footwear on days youíll be traveling to or from a warmer climate. This will save luggage room for souvenirs and work-from-the-road gear like digital cameras, laptop computers and tablet devices. Dress boots are my personal go-to form of footwear, while my husband favors casual dress shoes with plenty of tread to handle snowy parking lots with hidden patches of ice.† Beachy flip- flops for the warmer end of the trip pack easily for both men and women, as do a variety of soft adventure sandals.

Health: Changing climates drastically can put you at extra risk for a case of the sniffles. Stay nourished and prepared by using hot water to mix up cups of miso soup, herbal tea, or even a packet of Theraflu if necessary. Hot water is a standard free amenity at hotel hospitality bars, and packets of your favorite beverages and soups take up minimal suitcase space.

Activities: Save luggage space and extra checked baggage fees by renting activity equipment where possible. For example, while packing your own ski boots is recommended for the most comfortable fit, the actual skis and poles are easily rented from the resort. Similarly, bicycles and snorkeling gear are typically available for rent in warmer destinations such as the Bahamas.

Photo Credits: Lorna Watt

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