The Ultimate Paris Packing List For When It’s Cold

So you’ve got a ticket to Paris! The deal was hot but the weather will be cold! You’re probably wondering what to include in your Paris Packing List in order to enjoy Paris despite the chilly temperatures.

I’ve got you because I was in the same situation just this year.

To give you some background:
I don’t ever travel to cold places during the winter. Last year, hubby and I went to Aruba in the winter. The year prior, I was in Mexico. I just figure that it makes absolutely NO sense to go from freezing in Iowa to freezing in another country’s cold.

In case you haven’t caught on, I HATE THE COLD!

I’m West Africa-born and California-raised- my DNA just isn’t wired for temperatures under 70. I saw someone write that “there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” Lies, I say! There is definitely bad weather. Appropriate clothing just helps you cope with it.

Anyways, all of this is to tell you that I broke my rule about winter traveling this year. I found a deal to Paris that was just way too good to pass up.

(Get the FULL details on how I achieved a one week trip to Paris, including airfare, lodging, food, activities & more, for less than $1000 HERE)

Paris Eiffel Tower

The forecast predicted snow, wind and rain and I was really worried about how I would stay warm enough to enjoy Paris. 

To prepare for this trip, I read a lot of different posts about winter travel in Europe (thanks internet!). In addition, it was my second winter living in the Midwest so I’d accumulated a good collection of winter gear (and winter knowledge).

That being said, I came up with the following Paris packing lists to organize exactly what I’d wear to the airport and pack in my handbag and suitcase. (Oh! Did I mention I only took a carry on?  Ha!)

Read on:

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Airport Attire:

visual list of what to wear to the airport for winter travel to Paris or Europe

It is so important to layer your airport outfit. You may encounter many different climates while wearing this one getup so you want it to be flexible. The airport, the airplane, your destination- they might all feel different. 

  1. Prescription Glasses – because seeing is super important
  2. Light Top – a light top gives you the opportunity to shed your layers if you’re feeling too hot
  3. Sweater – a layering piece that helps you adjust your outfit to your comfort level
  4. Coat – to withstand the roughest and coldest temperatures
  5. Fleece Leggings – I chose fleece for warmth and chose leggings for comfort during the long ride
  6. Socks & Comfortable Sneakers

Paris Packing List for A Handbag:

visual Paris Packing list of what to pack in your handbag when flying to Europe in the winter

  1. Passportcheck to make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the last day of your trip. Some countries won’t let you enter otherwise!
  2. Phone (+ charger)
  3. Wallet – don’t forget credit cards, cash, flight and health information
  4. Earphones – I download movies and shows onto my phone for free using Amazon Prime before leaving and then watch them in transit. If you don’t know about this, you are welcome! It’s a life saver.
  5. Pro Lens Kit – I don’t have a fancy camera so I bought this to help my phone take nicer pics! [Loved it! Check out my review HERE]
  6. Sunglasses
  7. Water bottle – leave it empty before boarding of course. But this will save you from buying water
  8. Snacks – because hunger!
  9. Gloves
  10. Scarf – so versatile- you can use it for warmth, a blanket or scrunch it up for neck support
  11. Change of clothes and undies – if you ever lose your bag or end up in an unfortunate situation, you will be SO thankful you packed this
  12. Travel Umbrella
  13. Toiletry Bag – all the essentials you need for refreshment (toothbrush and paste, mouthwash, body & lip moisturizers, etc)

Paris Packing List for A Carry On Bag:

visual Paris packing list of carryon essentials for winter travel to Paris

  1. Wind & Water Resistant Long Coat
  2. Sweaters
  3. Light Tops & Blouses – for layering (and style) under my sweaters and coats
  4. Dress & Thick Stockings – for dressier outings
  5. Jeans & Thick Pants – I recommend packing about 3 and making each one a different color or style (e.g. denim, black & colored/printed)
  6. Underwear Sets
  7. Pajamas
  8. Fleece Leggings – if you wear these under your pants, you won’t feel a THING! Iowa has taught me
  9. Wool Socks
  10. Tall Boots – waterproof! Avoid suede and materials that can soak up water
  11. Ankle Boots – same as above
  12. Shower Sandals
  13. Scarves – Mix it up! This will be the one accessory that really makes your outfit look different when you’re all bundled up
  14. Hats/Beanies – I will be taking a beret and yes I know I will look like a nerd. Don’t try to stop me!
  15. Toiletry Bag – for all the extra things like hair bonnets, shower caps, q-tips, etc
  16. Packing Cubes – this will be my first time using them but I hear they perform magic in terms of compressing your items and fitting a lot into a little space

That’s it!

What do you guys think? Do you share the same rule about winter traveling?

UPDATE (2/23/19): Now that I’m back, read about THE 6 THINGS I WISH I WOULD HAVE PACKED AND WHAT I WISH I DIDN’T.

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For expert traveling tips, check out Tips From Above-Average Travelers: 28 MUST-HAVE Travel Items


  • Scott DeNicola

    Regardless of the weather I’m sure you will have an unbelievable time. I imagine it’s beautiful in the snow as well. Paris is on my bucket list (but when it’s warm). I hate the cold too. 😀

  • Trish Veltman

    When I lived in the north of England, I wouldn’t go outside in winter without three layers under my coat. I think Paris will be amazing no matter what time of year though – have a fantastic trip.

  • Lindsay Brown

    This is an awesome post! I love the way you formatted your lists into picture form! I was sure to pin this post becasue I’m positive it will come in handy next time I’m packing for a trip!

  • Lene

    I was in Paris once, but thankfully during the summer. Because you are right: there is bad weather and I resent it all. Paris is incredible, though, at any time of year. I hope you have a fabulous time — your packing list will make sure that you’re dressed to enjoy it all.

    • Deze

      Oh I definitely do the same Nancy. But, since I can only take a carry on bag, I had to get a lot more organized this time. Thanks for commenting!

  • Lauren | My Favorite Job Title Is Mom

    Your packing plan is WAY more organized than I ever am (and I travel a lot). My biggest clothing issue while traveling is that I never can decide how to dress for the plane. Some planes and airports are freezing and others are hot. I seem to always be either too hot or too cold, and I am not a fan of dragging a bunch of layers around.

    • Deze

      Thanks Lauren! I 100% agree about the inconsistency between plane and airport climates. You’d think they would standardize that kind of thing right? I’m also either freezing or burning up- hence the layers! Thanks for commenting.

  • Kat

    I don’t mind the winter where I live because it is so mild. But I really struggled when I lived in Europe. This is a really helpful packing list!! It’s great that you have items on here that are versatile and can be worn with different outfits!!

      • Laurie

        Hi. I noticed that you did not check your luggage. U.S. in flight rules are pretty strict with regard to liquid toiletries. Did you purchase items like shampoo & toothpaste once you arrived in Paris? I found the Monoprix to be similar to Target. Also, which arrondisement was your apartment located in? And last, what is a “tram”? I didn’t notice those in Paris. Thank you!

  • Shereen Rayle

    We’ve gone to Paris in both October and November and it was fairly cold both of those times. I have learned to layer, layer, layer, because then you can pack light and also be ready for any weather, since the first time we went, we had just been to London the week before and it was unseasonably warm, so sweaters were out. Almost all my pictures showed me in a coat, hat and scarves when it WAS cold, so taking minimal tops was fine, even if I had to wear 3 at one time 🙂 Have an awesome time!

  • Kristen Frolich

    Paris is a place that is on my bucket list one day! It looks like such a beautiful city. Your tips are really great though regardless of where you are going. Sometimes we are so rushed that we forget common sense things.

    • Deze

      It’s so true Kristen. I made these lists partly because I am so paranoid about leaving something I need. Another continent is not the place to realize your forgot something. Thanks for commenting!

  • Lorean

    Loved this! Being from Miami, I can relate to your disdain of cold weather. I’ve been trying to adjust to Atlanta for almost 4 years. Packing for winter weather can be challenging, but looks like you have it down to a science! Packing cubes have changed my life. Enjoy Paris!

    • Deze

      Oh man Miami?? I’m sure everywhere feels like it has subpar weather when you come from Miami. I come from San Diego and adjusting to other climates feels like a full time job sometimes. Thanks for commenting Lorean!

  • Jill

    This seems like a reliable list for sure. I love challenging myself to pack light on vacations lol. I’m also dying to use packing cubes. I can’t wait to hear about how your trip goes!

    • Deze

      Thanks Jill! I will try to do a post after I return talking about what worked for me and what didn’t. So keep an eye out for that and I’ll tell you all about the packing cubes!

  • Kay

    My very favorite trip to Paris was in January. I was by myself and had Paris to myself!
    The thing that everyone should keep in their carry on is a simple extension cord. I travel a lot and it is the first thing I pull out. There are never enough plugs, especially in old hotels, plus you can the plug many things into your converter should you need one. Another tip for France and Italy always order the house wine. Restaurants and bars take pride in having great house wine. Plus it is usually less than a soft drink.

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