Flying from somewhere very cold to somewhere very hot is the best kind of problem to have. (The reverse trip... less so.) But it also presents some logistical issues.
What can you wear so that you won’t end up freezing and uncomfortable on one end of your trip? Is there a way to pack strategically so that the boots, coat, and other cold weather accessories you’ll only need once won’t take up an outsized amount of space in your carry-on once you’re through with them? Do you change into a new outfit that suits the climate of your destination, or stick to a one travel-day uniform and just commit to being wildly uncomfortable for part of your trip?
On our Hack the World trip to Costa Rica earlier this year, the Lifehacker team were all travelling from the East Coast of the United States, which had just gotten several inches of fresh, slushy snow, to Liberia, where daily temperatures hovered in the 90s.
No one had an especially brilliant hack, but everyone put at least some sort of strategy to work. Joel and I both wore our bulky clothes on the plane, changed in the airport, and stuffed our large winter coats into our suitcases. (I also changed out of tights and boots and into sandals, which I’d strategically packed on top in my suitcase for easy access.)
Beth was slightly more on top of it. “I had a puffy coat that folds up really small,” she says. “When I got inside the Pittsburgh airport I stuffed that in the bottom of my suitcase. On the plane I wore a tank top, hoodie, lightweight jeans, and sneakers. As soon as I landed I went into the bathroom and changed into shorts and sandals. I took my hoodie off and applied my sunscreen.”
A crucial extra detail from Beth’s strategy: “I had my shorts and sandals packed at the top of my suitcase where they’d be easy to reach.”
Beyond owning (or specifically purchasing) a lightweight down coat—the better to cram it into a small ball in your suitcase - the key here seems to be packing your change of clothes on top of everything else, so you can make the swap as seamlessly as possible when you get to your destination. But surely there are more clever ways to approach this problem?
Tell us: how do you pack for dramatic weather changes, and what tricks have you found to help minimise the hassle of potentially changing (and re-packing your bag) in an airport bathroom?