Answering Readers’ Questions: Traveling to Rainy Destinations

Recently, I received an email from a reader:

“I recently started traveling for work on a weekly basis.  The travel is mostly to northeast cities, such as NYC. I’m wondering if you have any suggestions as  I am struggling with what  to bring during the rainy and snowy months that won’t weigh down my luggage.  Also, if there are any tips for dredging a suitcase through snow or puddles that would be helpful too!”

I completely understand your pain! Last winter I had to travel to the northeast multiple times, and this Texan had no idea what to take. After some research, and trial and error, I think I mostly have it figured out.

The necessities for fall:

  • A great raincoat.  The best raincoats have long sleeves, a hood, and are long enough to cover your outfit. I really like this one from London Fog. Of course, the classic Burberry is always a winner as well.
  • Boots. I will be very honest. I love rainboots. So picking my favorites was difficult, but pick I did. I love these Sperry Top-Siders. A good pair will be very waterproof, preferably made of rubber, and come up tall enough to protect your legs. You can tuck your pants inside them.
  • Hat and gloves. You can get these anywhere, or make them yourself. If it is especially rainy, a good pair of waterproof leather gloves will make your day much better.
  • Umbrella. Travel size umbrellas are not hard to find. Good travel size umbrellas unfortunately are. Luckily, REI has made one that can withstand the fiercest of windy storms.

Add for winter:

  • A great winter coat. The raincoats mentioned above, while wonderful, won’t do it for winter. I love my winter coat, which is a bright red Calvin Klein, similar to this one. You can find a winter coat anywhere though.
  • Silk underwear. I love the REI silk underwear. It is reasonably priced, compresses into a tiny package, is very comfortable, and will keep you super warm.
  • Wool socks. Critical for keeping your feet warm, and can be bought anywhere.
  • Boots. Your rain boots may or may not be warm enough for winter. I really like these from La Canadienne. They are warm and will protect you against salty slush.

A couple of tips:

  • Wear your outside boots, such as rain boots, snow boots, or, as in my case, super cute (waterproofed) knitted boots outside. Bring your inside shoes in a cute, professional looking tote. Once you get inside, change shoes and put your boots in the tote.
  • Roll up your pants so they don’t drag on the ground. Then reverse the process when you’re ready to leave. I have heard of using binder clips to secure your pants, but have never actually tried it.
  • Scotchgard your suitcase so it repels water when dragging it through puddles.

Readers, any additional tips?


  1. From my experience you also need to make sure you boots give you enough texture to keep you from slipping on any ice or rain slick surfaces. If you absolutely have to use those water proof, warm, cute, but completely smooth soled boots/shoes… or if you want to give your rain boots better traction for the snow and ice, might I suggest Googling “Yaktrax”

  2. If the weather is especially yucky I go for opaque tights and a knee length sweater dress with an overcoat rather than try to pin up or stuff a pair of pants in rain boots.

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