How to Pack for Two Weeks to Scandinavia In a Carry On

Stay toasty and look Scandi-cool during your trip to Scandinavia with this packing guide.

Some people are intimidated by packing for Scandinavia in the winter, but I'll let you in on a little secret - it is actually so much easier! Yes, sweaters and coats are bulky, but with a little strategy you can still fit everything you need to stay warm and stylish in a carry on. 


Less Is More

Most people think frigid temperatures mean that you need to bring more clothing, but you actually need less than you would in the hot summer months. Since you're not getting sweaty, clothes can be re-worn much more often. There's also much less pressure to bring a ton of different options because 99% of the time your coat is the only thing people will see. 


Forget fancy jackets, the real key to staying warm is layering. On a recent sightseeing expedition, for example, I wore a fitted wool long sleeve t-shirt under a wool turtleneck and layered them both under an oversized cashmere sweater. If you're worried about being warm enough or having enough to wear, add more base layers to your suitcase instead of bulky sweaters. They're the real key to staying snug and take up less space in your bag. 

Black, black, and more black

You know what they say: when everything's black, everything matches! Scandinavian style is all about the neutrals, so sticking to a neutral palette with just a few pops of color not only makes packing easier, it makes you fit right in with all the cool girls. 

these boots were made for walking

Winter in Scandinavia means always being prepared for sudden rain, sleet, snow, or ice. Avoid any boots with a heel or a slick sole, and don't bring anything that might get ruined if it got wet. Spray your boots with a waterproof spray for extra protection from the elements and bring wool or cashmere socks to keep your feet nice and warm.

don't freeze your booty off

On really cold days or days when you'll be outside for longer stretches of time, layer a pair of tights or thin leggings under your jeans. They'll add a ton of warmth without the bulk. 

Invest in a good coat

If there's one piece you splurge on, make it a good coat. A waterproof, down coat with a hood is best because it will keep you warm and dry when its snowy or too windy for an umbrella (which it almost always is!). If you only have a wool coat, try layering it under a lightweight rain jacket with a hood. 

Accessories Are Not Optional

Scarves are a travelista's best friend, especially during Arctic winters. Wear it Scandi style with it wrapped around your neck and the outside of your coat (in between the hood and your back) or Russian style with it wrapped around your neck and head into the coziest hat you'll ever wear. And don't forget a hat and gloves! 

Wear Your Bulkiest Items on the Plane

As always, save space by wearing your bulkiest items and your coat on the plane. 


Do you have any questions about how to pack for Scandinavia in the winter? Let me know in the comments!