The packing guide for your winter holiday

We had a great summer of sunshine in Britain in 2018. However, it’s now time to welcome back the dark nights and grey skies into our lives that come along with winter. Because of this you may be pining for the sun once again. Or, maybe you want some proper cold weather around Christmas time.

Whichever sums you up best, you might decide to sort out a winter holiday to get you out of Blighty. Check out our guide below for the best destinations for walking through the cities, lounging on the beach, or dashing through the snow!

For winter sun-seekers

Sri Lanka

Hiriketiya Bay in Sri Lanka has been named as one of the top holidays destinations that serve up a little sun over our winter months, according to The Guardian, and it’s easy to see why. The bay is a beautiful, secluded spot that sets itself apart from the usual hustle and bustle of tourist destinations. Sri Lanka in general serves up gorgeous sunsets, and no doubt you will want to wander along the sand to take in the sights.

Don’t forget to pack…

Clothing that allows you to cover up. This is both to protect your skin from the sun and to respect local customs. Culture Trip advises that bikinis are fine by the pool or on the beach, but elsewhere, it’s better to cover up. Shawls are not only great for this, but also double up as an extra layer of protection from the sun. Don’t skip the sunscreen though!


If you’re not fussed about being a beach-goer, how about a city escape to Dubai? With average temperatures in November between 21°C and 31°C, the city won’t let you down for seeking that summery feeling, and there’s so much to do here beyond heading to the beach. Take part in the ultimate shopping experience at Dubai Mall, the biggest shopping mall in the world by area. Or, book in early to take a trip up the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Don’t forget to pack…

It’s sure to be warm outdoors, but you’ll still need to pack something to cover up in. The Telegraph advises that the shopping malls can actually get a little chilly with their powerful air conditioning, so you will want something to cover up with when you head inside.


For the traditional sun-and-sand winter escape, look no further than Barbados. This island has a tropical climate throughout the year, so you can spend your winter months lounging on its pristine beaches and soaking in its crystalline seas.

It’s true that realistically in Barbados, you only need to leave the beach in search of dinner, and this location has that covered too! The island is renowned for its amazing cuisine, particularly its super-fresh seafood selection. Notable Barbadian food orders include flying fish, fish cakes, and macaroni pie.

Don’t forget to pack…

An umbrella or a raincoat, because winter sees the start of the rainy season. As an aside, be aware that it is illegal for non-military to wear camouflage or army gear in public in Barbados. So, no camo-prints!

For spectacular winter snow


For picturesque winter scenes, head to the capital city of the Netherlands. If you’re lucky, the temperature will drop far enough for the canals to freeze over into a spectacular ice-rink too! With winter markets galore and the magical Sinterklaas parade, you can’t possibly visit Amsterdam in the winter and not come away ready for all things Christmassy!

Don’t forget to pack…

Comfy shoes. It’s going to get cold, and you’ll no doubt be doing plenty of walking, be it through the winter markets or strolling through one of Amsterdam’s museums. A good, sturdy pair of pewter ankle boots can do the trick.


Vienna, just like Amsterdam, offers a vast selection of winter markets. Christkindlmarkt, held at City Hall, a definite must-see. Vienna can get very cold in the winter months, but there’s options to warm up from silky hot chocolates in a quaint café retreat to…butterflies?  Yes, the city is home to the Imperial Butterfly House, or the Schmetterlinghaus to give it its proper name. This amazing spot is home to approximately 400 live butterflies, which enjoy a year-round summer temperature, perfect to thaw out chilly cheeks and frozen fingers for a while!

Don’t forget to pack…

A raincoat to accompany your winter woollies! No matter what time of year you visit Vienna, there’s a chance of rain, but more so over the winter months.


This city was recently made a World Heritage site by UNESCO and is  If you want to sound truthful to your friends when you tell them your reasons for visiting Bruges: Choco-Story Museum. This museum will guide you through the history of Belgian chocolate, as well as showing you the process of how chocolate is made. Plus, the museum houses incredible statues made from chocolate! Don’t eat them though — the end of the tour allows for chocolate tasting without destroying works of art.

Don’t forget to pack…

As Bruges is a city of sights, a portable charger is recommend because you’ll be snapping plenty of photos as your wander through its gorgeous streets. Be sure to keep that camera and phone (sometimes one in the same!) topped up with a handy portable charger.