Packing for two different climates

The weather across the US is wild right now. This week in parts of Texas the high was 82 degrees, while my colleague in New Jersey was dealing with a snowstorm. Any business trip that includes more than one city will very likely include wildly disparate weather.

The packing challenges this creates! Don’t worry, packing for two different climates while carrying on is absolutely possible–it just requires some thought. Here are some tips to get your started:

  • Wear layers–they are great for packing for so many reasons. They add interest to your wardrobe, you can create more outfits with the same pieces, and (most importantly for this scenario) you can adjust your temperature by adding or taking away. Some suggestions for making outfits that can handle multiple climates:
    • Short sleeved dress with flats; add cardigan or blazer, tights, and boots (pictured)
    • Light sweater and slacks; add button-down blouse underneath
  • Figure out your shoe situation. Do you need snow or rain boots? Will you be walking outside? For most trips I bring two pairs of flats but for colder climates I exchange one pair out for boots.
  • Bring extra packing cubes. If I need my winter coat or other special gear for only one portion of my trip I put it in an extra packing cube. This way I can compress it and keep it in my suitcase when I don’t need it.
  • Pack silk long johns. If it’s really cold or you will be commuting outside on one leg of your trip bring silk long johns to add to your layers.

Bonus tip: Plan your outfits using the free Road Warriorette packing checklist!

Readers, do you have any upcoming trips with multiple climates? What are your packing strategies?


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  1. Cool post. My wife and I are going for 2 climate trip in June. First Peru, Chile and Tahiti and then New Zeland and Australia. We always travel with carry on backpack only

  2. Seems like I go through this exercise every time I take a trip to Japan in the spring/fall. (Another one coming up this weekend) Honshu is usually bordering humid/hot around 70-80 degrees while Hokkaido is still freezing near 30-40 temps.
    I usually pack my standard khakis/jeans and polo/tee shirts which I can wear in any climate, then a pair of shorts and a light jacket.
    Hokkaido has a thing where they’ll crank the heater to 80+ in the winter, so wearing short sleeves under a jacket you can take off when indoors saves me from being too hot, even in the middle of winter.

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