Winter Checklist: 5 Tips To Help You Overcome The Cold Season

Winter Checklist: 5 Tips To Help You Overcome The Cold Season

Find out how to best equip yourself for the chilly weather!

Winter is always daunting, especially for those who haven’t experienced it before. We’ve all heard horror stories of how crippling the cold can be, and how easy it is to fall sick or to get the winter blues. But don’t let that scare you! The winter of your dreams can easily be achieved if you know the right tips and tricks to overcome the cold season. Snowball fights and a dreamy winter wonderland can be a reality if you read on and find out how to best equip yourself for the chilly weather!

1. Pack vitamins and medicine

Prevention is better than cure, so pack what you need to nourish and protect your health!  A few of our must-have items are: Effervescent Vitamin C tablets, paracetamol and Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa!

The Vitamin C tablets work wonders in supporting your body’s immunity to stay healthy, so take it throughout your trip to stave off any illnesses! However, the deadly combination of frosty temperatures and dry weather can make even the most prepared travellers fall ill. If your throat is feeling irritated or particularly phlegmy, it’s often a tell-tale sign of an upcoming flu.

Combat it with Pei Pa Koa, a remarkable herbal syrup that soothes the throat and eliminates phlegm. And if you’ve already fallen prey to the flu bug, Pei Pa Koa can also help to relieve coughs and sore throats.

We like it best when the sweet peppermint syrup is mixed with hot water, creating a piping hot drink that can be carried around in a thermal flask the whole day for continuous relief in the wintry weather.

But if you think that is too bulky, Nin Jiom has come up with Pei Pa Koa in nifty travel sachets that are perfect for carrying around! Remember to pack them in a Ziploc bag, just to be safe.

2. Become an onion: layer up and stay warm

Buckle up folks, you’ll want to start taking notes here! If you don’t already know, the trick to keeping warm throughout the winter is to become the living embodiment of an onion and layer! And by that, we don’t mean wearing thick wool sweaters on top of one another. But instead, several thin layers that help trap heat – ensuring you keep both your mobility and warmth.

We’ve come up with a nifty and fashionable layering guide to prevent you cold-weather virgins from freezing! This guide is meant for temperatures ranging from -15°C to 5°C, so you’re free to remove or add layers as you see fit if you’re facing temperatures outside of those numbers.

First layer

Image credit: Uniqlo

Like all things, it’s important to start with a strong foundation, and layering in the winter is no different. Not only will your base layer help retain body heat, but it also aids moisture control! Trust us, nothing is more uncomfortable than sweating in your winter wear and having it remain damp for the rest of the day.

Pick something thin and warm, such as the tried and tested Uniqlo HEATTECH, or something that increases breathability and wicks moisture away, like merino wool.

Hack: After slipping on your thermal wear, pull on a pair of knee-high socks and tuck your bottom layer into them. This not only helps to prevent your bottoms from riding up when you pull on pants later, but it also prevents any wind from entering your body from your pant’s leg opening! It also acts as an extra layer that will help to keep your shins warm, as most coats fail to cover that area.

Second layer

Image credit: (left) Uniqlo (right) Nordstrom

Now that your first layer is settled, it’s time to insulate your body! You can’t go wrong with a good fleece top, and we definitely recommend donning a turtleneck if the weather is particularly chilly or windy. The high collar helps protect your neck from frigid temperatures while the fleece keeps your body heat in.

If it isn’t freezing outside, we find that a fleece turtleneck alone is sufficient as an inner layer, even without the thermal wear base. Popular Japanese brand Uniqlo has some basic but definitely adequate warm clothing such as the fleece turtleneck from its Heattech series – a must-pack in our bags!

Image credit: (left) Dick’s Sporting Goods (right) Sock Dreams

As for your bottoms, it would be wise to invest in a pair of fleece-lined leggings that you can wear under your pants if you’re facing sub-zero temperatures. This guarantees that your legs stay toasty, even if your coat doesn’t cover the lower half of your body. You can even wear these leggings on their own while you lounge indoors as they’re incredibly soft and comfortable. But be warned! These fleece-lined leggings can be a little thick, so you’ll have to check if your pants can be pulled over them before packing. For girls who wish to keep their skirts and dresses on throughout the winter season, this is perfect for you!

Image credit: (left) Amazon (right) The North Face

Otherwise, if the weather isn’t too harsh, opt for tights instead. These tights not only help to provide an extra layer of warmth under your pants, but they reduce bulkiness and hold everything together since they tend to be fitting. Tuck your long-sleeved shirt into your bottoms, and you’re done with your inner layers!

Third layer

Image credit: (left) YESSTYLE (right) YESSTYLE

Throw on your favourite hoodie or sweater. This is the chance for you to spice up your outfit! You could be wearing the dullest looking innerwear, but the rest of the world will only see this outer layer. Bust out those cosy, oversized hoodies for maximum comfort, or channel the sports luxe look with stripes. Whatever it is, this is your chance to style your outfit!

Image credit: (left) HCCR (right) macy’s

For bottoms, wiggle into a pair of pants! This could be anything from jeans to sweatpants. If frolicking in the snow is on your itinerary, put on some waterproof snow pants so that you stay dry throughout!

Hack: If you wish to cut back on your layers, why not put money into a pair of flannel jeans or fleece-lined joggers?

Fourth layer

Image credit: (left) Stylenanda (right) ezbuy

Finally! Your winter coat is the cherry on top. Last year, long padded coats (top left) were all the rage in Korea throughout the entire winter. It’s easy to see why! On top of being fashionable, the long coat helps block out wind and protects the length of your body from the elements. Try to get a coat that covers your rear, you’ll be surprised at how much warmer your entire body feels!

Though there’s a coat for every occasion, if you’re only travelling for short-term vacation, pack smart and bring just one winter jacket (ensure it’s waterproof in case you end up participating in snow activities!).


Image credit: (top left) YESSTYLE (top right) YESSTYLE (middle left) YESSTYLE (middle right) AliExpress (bottom left) YESSTYLE (bottom right) Dr Martens

Don’t be fooled to think that you’re done dressing! Other than maintaining your core temperature, it’s important to keep your extremities snug too.

Gloves: Remember to tug on your gloves BEFORE you venture outdoors. There’s no point wearing gloves if your fingers are already frozen to the bone because there’ll be no body heat to trap! Use gloves to protect your skin from the harsh weather and prevent them from freezing off.

Scarf and beanie: Wrap up! An exposed neck and head are one of the easiest ways to lose body heat. Be sure to tuck your ears under your beanie to keep the tips of ears warm and to stop the skin from cracking.

Socks: Not all socks were created equal. Instead of your usual ankle socks, grab a pair of socks that go past your ankles. Try out thick cashmere or merino wool socks to keep your feet warm and dry. No one wants their toes to fall off while out and about. Don’t forget, socks can be layered too!

Face mask: We’re not talking about skincare masks! No, we’re talking about the face masks that patients usually wear. On top of keeping germs at bay, these masks help keep your cheeks, mouth and nose warm as well. Don’t worry about getting weird looks when wearing one, they’ve become increasingly commonplace that people won’t even bat an eye!

Boots: If you’re going to a snowy winter wonderland, it’s best to suit up with a pair of boots. Avoid wearing canvas shoes because once they get wet, you’ll be in trouble. Boots offer more grip when traversing across the icy walkways and snow, and they’re sure to keep your feet dry. If you’re looking for a pair, check out winter boots by Dr. Martens, they’re highly raved about!

3. Stay active!

Calm down, we’re not asking you to take up extreme snowboarding!

Although this may sound straightforward, staying active is actually one of the greatest challenges during the winter months. When it’s cold and dark outside, it’s easy to simply stay indoors and laze about, snuggled up with some junk food and a good TV show. In fact, even getting up in the morning and leaving the warm cocoon of your blankets might prove to be difficult. If things spiral out of control, this could easily be a recipe for the winter blues (and some extra weight too!).

Keep yourself in check by staying active – any form of exercise will do, as long as you’re up and about! Research suggests that something as simple as a 15-minute walk can help pump up feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. It’s the perfect way to keep your mind energised and your body invigorated! Not only will being active help stimulate your brain, but it also helps your body warm up AND gives you a chance to shed off your winter pounds.

4. Soak in some light

The winter blues isn’t simply a myth of some sort. During the fall and winter seasons of the year, people become more susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Those suffering from SAD may exhibit symptoms such as feelings of hopelessness, weight gain, oversleeping, lack of energy and so on.

One of the factors influencing SAD is the reduction of sunlight during the winter months, which throws your biological clock off track. As a result, your body fails to produce the usual level of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and sleep) and the lack of light increases melatonin production (a hormone that controls sleep-wake cycles).

The easiest way to combat this and keep SAD at bay? Bask in some light! Whether natural or artificial, the light helps in regulating your body’s serotonin and melatonin production once more. So get out there, talk a walk and soak in some rays!

5. Humidify and moisturise

Image credit: (left) Redmart

The winter air can be extremely drying, and more often than not, this is something most people learn the hard way. But since you’re reading this, you’ll be ahead of the game!

Be sure to slather your body with moisturiser the moment you step out of the shower because that’s when your pores are still open and your skin can easily absorb the moisturiser. Don’t forget to show some love to your heels, elbows, knuckles and tip of your ears – these areas are constantly glossed over and are prone to cracking.

Hack: Save time by using an in-shower moisturiser! Our favourite is the Nivea In-shower Rich Body Lotion Skin Conditioner because it absorbs incredibly quick and doesn’t leave behind any sticky residue.

Another way to combat the dry air is to use a travel humidifier. A humidifier adds some of that crucial moisture back into the air, along with a list of benefits. It eases sinus congestion, reduces static and pumps moisture back into your skin – making the winter season a much more bearable one.

Hack: If you don’t have a travel humidifier, fill a bowl with hot water and leave it to sit in your room, or leave the bathroom door open after taking a steamy bath. Though slower, it works the same way as a humidifier as the water will eventually evaporate into the surroundings.

There you have it, five simple tips to conquer the cold season! Most importantly, remember that health (both mental and physical) come first. You won’t be able to enjoy your vacation if you’re constantly nursing a cough or having a battle with the winter blues. Take advantage of our layering guide to shield yourself from the icy-cold and go forth to live out your dreams of a snowy winter wonderland! There’s nothing to be afraid of, winter is a beautiful season and it will definitely open your eyes to another side of whichever country you’re visiting.

HSA approval number: MAHP1800226

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