If you’re from a tropical climate like me, then your idea of winter would probably be boots, scarves and a hot cup of coffee along with romantic snowy scenes from the movies. Truth is, the cold might not be too welcoming for all. For first time winter travellers, here are 5 things to prepare you for the cold.
1. Check the temperature
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Winter in Seoul[/caption]
Check the temperature of the area you’re visiting. Not all winters go down to the negatives. With that, you can choose whether you’d need a down (natural feathers) or a fleece jacket etc. Check the poster below for a rough idea of the type of jacket you’ll need. The temperatures are written at the bottom.
When purchasing a winter jacket, it is good to keep in mind that you’d want to get a size that is slightly bigger since you will wearing more than one layer of clothes underneath.
2. Layers (Heat Tech clothing)
A great layering item would be heat tech clothing from Uniqlo. It is a heat generating fabric that is super lightweight. For super low temperatures, you can use a layer of heat tech under your clothing then your winter jacket over. With layering, you want to be able to remove the layers when you’re indoors where the temperature is not as cold. Depending on the temperature, you could stay warm just by wearing heat tech and a winter jacket. I was lucky to be able to survive -6⁰C just by wearing heat tech leggings and not having to layer the bottom.
Other garments for layering include fleece and long johns (which are both generally thicker than heat tech). Do remember that winter clothes are quite costly especially when you buy them in non-temperate countries. Besides Uniqlo, the country you will be visiting sells winter clothing. Therefore you might want get some there. They might be cheaper as well.
3. Stay Warm
Now that you’ve gotten your heat tech and your winter jacket, here are some smaller factors to help you enjoy winter a little better.
- Scarves/ear muffs/gloves
These are not necessarily a must-have winter item but they help you keep warm. While I find scarves to be extremely warm and uncomfortable, I find myself in need of gloves and ear muffs. I find that using a beanie keeps my ears warm while staying fashionable.
- Socks and shoes
You can settle for heat tech socks or just layer thicker socks. As for shoes,
If it’ll be snowing, you want to get boots that have good friction to prevent you from falling on any ice. You might even need to get shoes that are water proof. Uggs are definitely not the only type of winter boots out there. For me, I buy my winter boots in the country itself. This saves me quite a lot of money since they are again, generally cheaper in temperate countries.
Heat packs are little packs that have some sort of magical beans that heat up to keep you warm. Shake them up and they’ll emit heat and are really handy to be carried around. They are generally sold in convenient stores. In Korea
I was able to get them from Daiso.
Body lotion and hand cream will be your best friend during your time in winter. Do not forget LIP BALM (especially men). Since the skin on our lips are probably the thinnest on our body, they tend to dry up (and start to peel) the fastest compared to other parts.
#HHWT Tip: Moisturise before it’s too late. And stay hydrated of course.
5. Dressing right
Something I find useful is planning my outfits for each day. With the itinerary planned for each day, you want to be dressed for the right activity. If you’re going to be spending time outdoors, dress slightly thicker. If you’re going to spend the day shopping indoors (where it’s heated) you might not want to layer too thick and risk having to lug your winter jacket and your outer layer while shopping. The heater indoors can be quite warm.
The cold is beautiful if you are well prepared for it. With the essentials above, go ahead and enjoy the beautiful season without worry. Then come back and tell us which tip was the most useful!