As a girl who has always traveled with a piece (or two) of checked luggage, I’m proud to say I have finally packed for a winter adventure in a carry-on! I packed 18 days worth of winter travel necessities in my suitcase. Using minimalist carry-on packing techniques, I chose a sleek and smart piece of luggage that matched this packing style. When you’re slushing through snowy streets, you want a hard case – easy to wipe down and clean off.  

Raden smart Luggage, best winter carryon

Raden sent me their carryon back in December to test out. After traveling with my Raden in tow to seven different countries, I can happily say I’m in love with this bag.

Raden smart luggage has the ability to charge two devices via USB ports built into the bag. It also comes with a powder gray laundry bag and matching eye mask. And, if for some reason you do need or want to check it in at the counter, you’ll never worry about having to find a scale or spending a fortune in overweight fees because (drumroll, please)– there’s an app for that. Just download the Raden application on your phone. Wait for your scale to calibrate, lift and viola!

Raden Smart Luggage, luggage plugged in, Best travel luggage

Also within the Raden app you can track your bag — no more waiting at baggage claim. Rest assured that you can always check on the location of your bag no matter where it may be.

Winter packing guide in carryon, Raden Samrt Luggage, Best smart luggage, charging suitcase,

Who knew a piece of luggage could bring so much joy into my life?

Okay…Back to what I put INSIDE my smart luggage, from the city to the slopes.

best smart luggage, Raden luggage, packing guide winter carryon

Whether you are adventuring up north to Quebec City with a few days in the mountains or jetting off to Europe to explore the winter outdoors in the Swiss Alps and the grandiose European cities, here is a no-fail packing list for your next winter adventure.

Here’s what is in my bag:


It’s nice to keep yourself pumped with good, healthy nutrients while on the go. You never know what coughing passengers or airborne nuisances you might encounter while in-flight.

My sister Jenna is a die-hard essential oil advocate and has me convinced that they work wonders, especially after she helped me kick a terrible cold over the winter. She gave me a great 2 drop-blend of each oil including oregano, frankincense, lemon, and peppermint in veggie capsules and it knocked out my cold over the holidays. I highly recommend packing some capsules as a preventative to take along on your adventures just in case you start feeling a little down.

After a few nights out enjoying long dinners or wine tastings, my friend Lacy saved us during a few of our early-morning wake-up calls. Charcoal is a natural way to quickly pull toxins (or anything adventurous you may have eaten on the streets) from your system.

Great for helping beat the dreaded jet lag. I swear by this stuff when I can’t fall asleep. Two sprays under my tongue and I’m out like a light within minutes.

As I always say, keeping your skin hydrated is very important when traveling! Long flights already leave the body dehydrated, and spending the days outside in the dry winter air doesn’t do much for replenishing that hydration. I tested out EXO for the three weeks I spent exploring and I’m a fan of this lightweight yet super-hydrating moisturizer.

I’m a big fan Piper Wai and their new roll on deodorant because they omit the bad stuff and use activated charcoal instead, which naturally balances your ph.


To save on space, I put my COOLA BB cream into a small travel container. Extremely efficient and an easy way to travel!


While almost all hotels have soap and shampoo, in Europe you’ll rarely find conditioner. Be sure to bring an airline-friendly sized travel conditioner, like this one from Follain, with you to keep your hair shiny and healthy!


Exploring the altitudes of the Alps can be really cool (literally) but don’t let that fool you out of wearing sunscreen! The sun is strong up in the mountains, so it’s important to use SPF to protect your skin. I rely on my travel-size COOLA organic face sunscreen.


Skip having to pack bottles of lotion and all those chapsticks and go with coconut oil to stay moisturized. Not only is it organic and rehydrating, but it’s extremely versatile and can be used for many different situations!



The difficulty about traveling to a winter destination is that winter clothes are bulky. So I highly recommend wearing your snow boots on the plane. I bought a pair of Sorel’s, which are perfect for keeping my feet warm on the ground, but not so great at saving space in the air. I suggest buying something a little on the lighter side, but with just as much grip to get you through the snowy mountains, such as the Columbia Omni-Heat Organza or the North Face Shellista II.


Have a comfortable and durable shoe that you can wear mountainside or around town for après-ski and dinner is key for winter. I relied on my Blundstone black boots to take me from outdoor exploration to evenings on the town during all my winter adventures. It’s been tough to get me out of my Blundstones since I discovered the brand last fall!


I found my Obermayer jacket to be the perfect transitional outerwear. Functional enough for a day on the slopes, but stylish enough to hit the town.


Comfortable black leggings are a travel staple while getting from one destination to another. Being stuck in too-tight pants that leave you no stretch room for hours on end is the last thing you want when traveling.


One pair of sweat wicking workout pants can double as a go-to for your yoga class and for layer under your ski gear.


I wore these on a few occasions to keep warm, such as when we went up to the Glacier Matterhorn on my Swiss Ski day in January and just trekking around in the snow. When you shop for a ski pant to travel, look for something less bulky that will still keep you warm. For added cold protection, add a layer, such as a workout pant, underneath. I own a nice, lightweight pair of ski pants from Burton.


REI has a great selection of 2 in 1 gloves that are perfect for keeping your hands warm during long outdoor winter adventures.


One with fur or a fleece on the inside will help bring additional warmth. Buy one abroad and bring it home as a memoir.


Great for layering under ski clothes, hanging around the hotel or wearing into town for Apres Ski.


Socks that are sweat wicking and quick dry are essential in cold, wet climates.


If you need goggles on the slopes, don’t assume you can rent them (I learned my lesson the hard way). While helmets, boots, and skis are common rentals, goggles can be harder to find. Be prepared, whatever the case, and pack your own.



It can get cold up in the mountains, or exploring the outdoors of Norway, so handwarmers are essential to keep you going throughout the day.


I purchased a compact aluminum Manfrotto tripod before my trip and it is now my new favorite travel tripod! Lightweight and compact, yet durable for heavy DSLR’s makes it the perfect tool, especially when photographing luxury hotels.


For some reason I still always seem to get it wrong on adventures with the adapter. You’ll need one for sure for computer chargers, camera chargers, etc.


Finding a laundromat can be difficult and using the hotel can get expensive on the road, so with travel size laundry liquid like Dr. Bronners, you can wash your clothes in the sink wherever you may be! Picked this one up from my friend Lacy.


REI sells a Braided Travel Clothesline that comes in handy when it’s laundry-time on the road.


Never forget to bring along the essentials: Copy of passport, Drivers License, Birth certificate, train passes, and any other printouts.

What I packed and could have done without:

You can skip an extra middle layer jacket, a heavy sweater, and even a scarf if you make sure you have a coat that zips all the way up to your chin. While these are nice extras to have, I found that I left them sitting in my bag and just taking up space.

City + Ski: The Ultimate Carry-On Packing Guide for Winter