Spring is a strange time for weather. In some parts of the country, it’s T-shirt weather. In other parts, blizzards are still going strong. Depending where you live and where you’re traveling for spring break this year, that could make packing difficult.

If you have a love for cold weather, winter sports or getting great deals on vacation rentals, you might be traveling somewhere a bit colder for your spring break trip. Popular destinations include mid- to northwestern regions, like Colorado, or the mountains in northeastern states, like New Hampshire or Vermont.

So, how do you pack for a cold-weather trip? Here are four helpful tips.

1. Prepare Your Airport Bag

Even if it isn’t quite roasty-toasty at home, chances are it’s a bit warmer than wherever you’re going, and you don’t want to wear your parka on your way to the airport. So, what do you do?

If you’re checking your bag, you’ll want to put your winter coat at the top of your suitcase — like, make it the last thing you put in there — so you can easily access it after grabbing your luggage from baggage claim. This way, all you’ll have to suffer through is the slight breeze you might catch as you exit the plane.  

To make even that part a bit more bearable, we recommend packing a lighter layer in your carry-on item, such as a denim jacket or a fleece zip-up. It’s also wise to throw in a hat, scarf and a pair of gloves if you have the room — just in case you must wait a bit to get to your luggage.

2. Know Your Destination

If you check the weather of your destination when you’re searching for vacation rentals months prior to the trip, chances are it’s going to change by the time spring break rolls around.

You should be checking out the conditions right up to the morning you leave for the airport — you never know what’s going to change. And remember, the weather in one part of Colorado could be completely different from another part of the state — don’t just assume it’s frigid all the time.

Make sure you’re checking out the temperatures of the city your group’s vacation rentals are in. What you learn the morning of your flight could affect the extra layers you pack in your carry-on bag.

3. Bring High-Quality Clothing Items

You’re already treating yourself to a spring break trip. Make it worth it by traveling in style and comfort. While it may seem risky to bring your best or favorite clothes on a trip, it will be worth the reward when you’re the perfect temperature — not to mention looking cute and feeling comfortable for the entire duration of your journey!

Remember, staying warm should be a priority on your cold-weather excursion, and high-quality clothing is the best way to accomplish that. Well-made clothing usually has better insulating properties, thus keeping your body warmer with less material.

Staples for your cold-weather travel wardrobe include materials that are durable and versatile such as a leather jacket, comfortable shoes, wool accessories and a well-insulated winter coat. The best part about these items is that you’ll be able to wear them even after your trip is over, once the wintry weather rolls back around next year.

4. Pack Your Gear Properly

If you’re traveling to Vermont or Colorado in March, chances are you’re hoping to shred the gnar on your skis or snowboard — but how do you bring your equipment with you?

The first step is to invest in a well-made ski or snowboarding bag. Then, it’s all about fitting as much of your warm clothing and other equipment in it as you can. Cramming long underwear, sweatshirts, and other layers are perfect doubles for protecting your board or skis.

Wrist guards, your helmet and any other small pieces of equipment will likely fit in your snowboard ski bag, but you probably won’t be able to cram your boots in there. A solution to this is to take your boot bag as your carry-on item, stuffing as many necessities as you can into it!

If you have any other excursions or adventures planned that require specific gear, make sure to pack those items with the same care, too.

Stay Warm While You Chill This Spring Break

While most spring breakers are thinking warm thoughts in the days leading up to the trip, you’re probably thinking about all that beautiful snow up north or out west. By following these four tips for packing for your cold-weather spring break trip, you’ll be able to enjoy the wintry weather without your fingers and toes freezing. Hold on — the stress of preparing and packing will be over before you know it!