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What to pack for a Christmas markets cruise in Europe

I started writing this post while on a river boat crusing along the Danube, about half way through our Christmas Markets river cruise from Vienna to Nuermburg.

I’m hosting a small group of Christmas lovers and we started in Frankfurt for a couple of nights in a hotel to get our game faces on for the wonders of Christmas in Germany, Austria and France.

Being from New Zealand, we’re not used to freezing Christmases, but having been singing wintery Christmas carols and jingles all our lives, it kind of feels like a homecoming of sorts.

I’ve now been to several and these are my picks for the best Christmas markets in Europe – that I’ve seen so far!

Megan with Christmas mug
The first of my Christmas mug collection!

But the biggest concern I had before coming here was what to pack? How cold will it be? What sort of shoes are essential for wandering around markets. Then of course, we have the cruise ship where winter boots are an over statement.

I loved our river cruise so much, I’m planning to host a later summer tour in 2025 again. I interviewed our cruise director, Bram, on my podcast and got his recommendations for where to cruise next. You can listen to my podcasts here if you like!

If you’re interested in looking at some Christmas cruise itineraries in Europe, or any other time of year, for that matter, check out Avalon Waterways, who I sailed with and who have the large suites with Juliet balconies, and Uniworld which also have lovely ships cruising European rivers.

So this list is my top tips for what to pack and what to wear at Europe Christmas Markets, and some links where I can, so you can easily buy what you need from Amazon.

Footwear for Christmas Markets

Outdoor boots

I wear Mountain Warehouse boots. These are ones I also use at home in the winter when I work at my own Saturday market. You need super comfy and super warm boots with good tread because most of the streets are cobblestoned and it can be slippery if it’s rainy or snow, mist, frost, fog.. etc!

I also bought some sheepskin insoles for mine when I got to Frankfurt, and along with my merino wool socks, my feet were never cold and they were very comfy for up to 16,000 steps a day. (You don’t have to do that much walking, but I did!)

I’ve selected a few of my recommended boots below which you can buy from Amazon. My friend, who is on this trip with me, is wearing Sorel leather boots which have a nice look for wearing inside too with your normal clothes and she’s found them to be super comfortable for our 20,000 steps per day too!

Mountain Warehouse Adventurer Mens Waterproof Hiking Boots Khaki 9.5 M US Men
  • IsoDry – Waterproof & breathable material allows moisture out & prevents rain getting in
  • Waterproof – constructed of a water-resistant upper and waterproof membrane
  • Synthetic Upper – durable and lightweight, great for active feet
  • Mesh Lining – Improves breathability to help keep your feet fresh whilst out and about
  • Deep Lugs – Traction on the sole for sturdy grip & stability
Sorel Women's Tivoli IV Waterproof Boots - Black - Size 8
1,696 Reviews
Sorel Women’s Tivoli IV Waterproof Boots – Black – Size 8
  • Well-Designed Waterproof Boot: Upgrade your winter wardrobe with these women’s Boots that are perfect for pairing with snow pants, tights, or jeans
  • High-Quality Winter Boots: These Boots are made with waterproof suede and PU-coated leather; the winter Boots are completed with a faux-fur collar, ensuring warmth
  • Stable Women’s Boots: Walk confidently with these women’s Boots, which provide extra traction support and stability with their molded rubber construction
  • Durable Rubber Outsole: The molded rubber outsole is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and provide stability, keeping your feet warm and dry
  • Comfortable Winter Boots: Enjoy unparalleled all-day comfort with the microfleece lining that make these perfect for walking to work or playing in the snow
DREAM PAIRS Waterproof Snow Boots for Women, Faux Fur Cozy Warm Insulated Winter Boots Lace Up Mid-Calf Outdoor Shoes for Walking Hiking SDSB2305W BLACK Size 7
567 Reviews
DREAM PAIRS Waterproof Snow Boots for Women, Faux Fur Cozy Warm Insulated Winter Boots Lace Up Mid-Calf Outdoor Shoes for Walking Hiking SDSB2305W BLACK Size 7
  • STYLISH & COZY DESIGN: Elevate your winter style with fashionable and cozy women’s snow boots. Experience comfort and warmth without compromising on style. The faux fur collar keeps your feet snug and protected from the cold winter elements.
  • WATERPROOF UPPER: Made with waterproof microfiber and abrasion-resistant Oxford fabric, these winter boots ensure durability. The gusset design is windproof and snowproof and effectively locks in the temperature keeping your feet insulated.
  • EASY TO WEAR: Putting on and removing these boots is a breeze, thanks to the convenient lace-up closure that allows easy adjustment.
  • GRIPPY OUTSOLE: Stay safe on slippery surfaces with the 1.37-inch color contrast TPR slip-resistant outsole. These snow boots provide grip and traction and ensure a steady and confident stride. Walk through wet and icy terrains while maintaining a stylish look.

Indoor boots/shoes

You’ll also want some comfortable boots or shoes for wearing on your cruise ship if you’re doing the markets this way, or for restaurants, in your hotel, etc. I have a pair of winter-white flat leather boots with cute zips up both sides. These can be worn with everything.

Athlefit Women’s Chelsea Platform Ankle Boots Elastic Chunky Heel Lug Sole Nude Booties Size 9
  • 【FEATURES】: The boots feature a 2.3” chunky heel perfectly balances the heel height and fashion, enhancing the charm and elegance.
  • 【DESIGN】: A unique combination of socks and boots, the soft, stretchy sock lining is breathable and dry to keep you comfortable all day long.
  • 【MATERIAL】: Use leather/suede upper wraps your feet, elastic side panels, and back pull tabs are easy to put on and take off, allowing you to travel comfortably.
  • 【NON-SLIP】: These fashion lug soles boots have excellent support and grip, reduce impact relieve foot and leg fatigue, and maintain stability in every step.
  • 【OCCASION】: Our chic chelsea boots are suited for autumn to spring, making people shine in leisure, travel, wedding, Christmas, shopping, beach, dress, and party.
Athlefit Women’s Chelsea Wedge Boots Elastic Platform Lug Sole Slip on Wedge Ankle Black Booties Size 7
  • Material: Chelsea wedge boots feature premium vegan nubuck leather and soft suede, which is comfortable and lightweight with good stretch, meeting your various needs.
  • Style: These ankle boots combine the classic Chelsea look and wedge to create an avant-garde style, 2-inch wedge height allows you to grasp the fashion sense on the basis of comfort easily.
  • Feature: Slip on design with good quality elastic gores on both sides of the wedge sneakers for easy on and off, and heel loop for assisted entry, convenient for you to go on travel or daily shopping quickly.
  • Design: Wedge ankle booties feature thick lug soles, strong grip, and good anti-slip performance, helping you stand on your feet in slippery conditions and improving the safety of walking.


I know, I sound like such a nana, but I always pack slippers for the long haul plane ride, and this time I brought my fluffy Birkenstock sandals that I can wear with or without socks. Actually mine are Birkenstock wannabes for under $30, so I’ve added that link below, as well as the real thing – if I could only justify the price!

FITORY Womens Open Toe Slipper with Cozy Lining,Faux Rabbit Fur Cork Slide Sandals Size 8
  • Faux Fur Upper:Skin-friendly thick plush is breathable,gentle touch can care for your feet.
  • Double Straps:Two stylish buckle designs, one of them is adjustable,suitable for different foot shapes.
  • Soft Sole:Furry fur cork footbed has enough arch support provides support and reduces your feet fatigue,extremely comfy .
  • Durable EVA Outsole: Lightweight and flexible, suitable for long-term wear. Pattern sole can increases friction and grip,non-slip.
Birkenstock Men’s Arizona Shearling Sandals, Mink Natural, Tan, Off White, 11 Medium US
  • EVA sole
  • Natural cork footbed, Regular fit
  • Double buckle closure
  • Slide sandals
  • Open toe

Outer wear for Europe’s Christmas Markets

Warm puffer jacket

Essential wearing, make sure your jacket is big enough to wear a couple of merino layers underneath, and long enough to cover your backside. I have a down jacket which is super lightweight and can be squished into my suitcase taking up very little space.

Bellivera Puffer Jacket Women,Lightweight Padding Bubble Hooded Coat with Fur Collar Warmth Outerwear 23707 Taupe XS
  • Warm: The cozy liner provides lasting warmth against coldness, great for cold spring fall and chilly winter weather. Oversize removable hood, attached Non-detachable faux fur collar. Womens trendy casual fluffy puffer jackets suitable for all weather, whether it is raining or snowing.
  • Windproof: Polyester fabric, Acrylic (Fur Collar), The surface of the fabric is smooth and soft, wind resistant, good quality and can maintain body temperature outdoors. For Faux fur collar care, lightly tap or use a hair dryer (do not use very hot wind) to blow in the direction of the fur.
  • All-match: Puffer jacket women, long sleeve coat, lightlweight, not bulky, big zipper front closure, perfect to match with jeans, sweater, T-shirt, leggings, crop top, black slacks, shorts, skinny pants, bodycon dress, vest, blouses, shacket, knee high boots or high heels for a glamorous look.
  • Comfortable: Long length fashion slim furry bubble coats, two side pockets with sturdy zippers. Breathable and very comfortable to wear. Slim fit can easily show a charming and elegant figure, will make you more stylish and beautiful.
Barbour Women’s Woodhall Quilted Jacket, Sage/Ancient (US, Numeric, 16, Regular, Regular)
  • Outer: 100% polyester
  • Inner: 100% polyester
  • Collar: 100% cotton
  • Filling: 100% polyester
THE NORTH FACE Women’s Arctic Parka, TNF Black 2, Large
  • ADVENTURE READY. Featuring waterproof, breathable DryVent 2L, this thigh-length Arctic Parka is insulated with 550-fill down and 150g Heatseeker Eco for a flattering fit and a great warmth-to-weight ratio. RECYCLED DOWN INSULATION. Take on the cold with superior warmth thanks to 600 fill goose down. Including 150 grams of Heatseeker Eco 70%-recycled polyester insulation, you’ll easily stay warm — even in wet weather.
  • WATERPROOF FABRIC. Made with DryVent performance tech and coated with a Durable Water-Repellent (DWR) finish, this waterproof, windproof and breathable jacket delivers cozy comfort for casual nights or adventure days.

Waterproof jacket

We’ve struck blue-sky fine days (albeit of 1 degree), so I haven’t needed my waterproof jacket yet, but I did bring one. I bought it specially for this trip, as I don’t own a raincoat. It has been a bit drizzly some days, and the fog is quite wet if you’re out on a walking tour before it lifts.

I just brought a reasonably lightweight rain jacket and big enough so that I can wear it over my puffer jacket if I need the warmth too. It’s still quite bulky though and now, having finished the trip, I didn’t need to use it after all.

Don’t bring an umbrella. I did, but just a small one and never used it. No one uses them and you definitely wouldn’t be able to use an umbrella in the markets as it’s too crowded and the little huts have awnings, so you’d be forever bumping their dangly displays. I also have a hood on both my puffer and rain jackets.

OTU Women’s Waterproof Rain Jacket Lightweight Hooded Raincoat for Hiking Travel Outdoor Light Green L
  • 【Waterproof & Windproof】 Superior water resistant shell fabric feature with Watertight Ⅳ. This softshell rain jacket for women performed well in windproof and waterproof, keep you all-day dry in overcast and rainy. Lightweight mesh lining used in core body to wick sweat away from the body.
  • 【Breathable & Lightweight】100% Polyester fabric provides good breathability and is very light.
  • 【Adjustable Fit】①Attached tuck-away hood with adjustable drawstring is highly adjustable and adds extra guard and warmth. ②Adjustment drawcord hem and hook & loop cuffs seal out the cold wind and offer a flexible fit. ③Detachable hood provides different ways of wearing.
  • 【Large Capacity】This women jacket has 2 zippered slash hand pockets with flap overlap, 1 inner chest pockets guarantee enough room to essentials.

Rain poncho

If I come back, I would just bring a rain poncho rather than a waterproof jacket. I still need the puffer jacket, but in the rain it’s easy to throw one of these ponchos on, and they take up minimal space. You could buy the disposable or reuseable ones, and could even give it away when you leave!

Hagon PRO Disposable Rain Ponchos for Adults (5 Pack)
  • 💰 STOP WASTING MONEY ON CHEAP, FLIMSY DISPOSABLE RAIN PONCHOS – The Hagon PRO 5 Pack DISPOSABLE RAIN PONCHO is the PERFECT CHOICE as it is made from 0.035 mm thick PE plastic that is the THICKEST you will ever find that also fits in your pocket.
  • 👍 Carry it in your POCKET, PURSE, BACKPACK or WALLET, and you will thank us when it comes in handy in those emergency situations when the rain or snow starts out of nowhere.
  • ☔ ENJOY YOUR ADVENTURES WITHOUT WORRYING THAT IT WILL START TO RAIN – our heavy-duty rain ponchos are great when you pack light and you don’t want to carry around an umbrella or heavy, space-consuming raincoat. Ideal for Disneyland, concerts, hiking, fishing, sporting events or any great outdoor activity that you love
  • ♻️ PROTECT YOURSELF FROM NATURE WITHOUT HARMING IT – made from the THICKEST PE material, the 100% WATERPROOF Rain Poncho will keep you dry and enjoying all your outdoor activities
ANTVEE Reusable Adult Rain Ponchos 2 count (Pack of 1) for Women and Men with Drawstring Hood
  • ✔Eco-friendly and Waterproof: The rain poncho is made of enviroment friendly EVA material that is soft, quick drying and non-toxic. It is completely waterproof yet comfortable. It will keep you nice and dry. Welded seams poncho with drawstring hood well protects your head, face, and neck. Its fasteners along the sides ensures the perfect fit and keep your arms dry in rain.
  • ✔Breathable and Comfortable: Don’t worry it will make you very hot because the arm holes & bottom are loose enough to allow air circulation. The display size of this poncho is 50.8″ X 39.4″. The size is large enough to cover up a backpack as well. It offers excellent freedom of movement, which makes it very comfortable to wear.
  • ✔Lightweight and Packable: The rain poncho is lightweight (6oz per unit) and foldable into a small size. You can easily keep one in your handbag, backpack, house, office, or car for emergency, with ease saving you from carrying around a bulky raincoat.
  • ✔Reusable and Practical: The rain poncho is durable, tear resistant and quick drying. It can be repeatedly used for a long time. The arm holes & bottom are loose enough which make it easy to put on and take off. Helps you stay drier from those annoying pop-up showers.

Tops and sweaters

Cashmere is not only warm but lightweight and breathable. I wish I’d had one of these turtle neck cashmere sweaters as they are great for when you’re inside and have stripped off the outer layers.

But I’ve also selected an acrylic jumper/dress as they are warm, and providing you’re not of the disposition to burst into hot flushes every few minutes, this will be ideal over the fleece leggings and add an outer jacket. I did bring an acrylic long jumper with me and wore it several times. And you’ll also find a lovely fine merino wool jumper here too if you’re looking for natural.

JENNIE LIU Women’s 100% Pure Cashmere Long Sleeve Pullover Turtleneck Sweater (Aqua,Medium)
  • Tight Knit: 12 gauge substantial tight knit for exceptional warmth, superior shape retention & enduring performance. Lightweight Coziness: densely knitted with the finest cashmere – lightweight, flexible and yet exceptionally warm
  • Authentic Original: Responsibly sourced direct from the pristine moutains of Inner Mongolia ensures the authentic original quality. Unmatched Softness: hand picked super fine micron cashmere offers exceptional softness. Famously soft and ultra cozy, substantial yet not bulky.
  • Cozy ribbed turtleneck, ribbed cuffs and hem in just the right proportion, easy to pull on yet resistant to deformation from stretching, perfect to wear alone, or to layer with anything. Reinforced Cuffs & Hem: ribbed cuffs & hem reinforced with trace amount of invisible super fine elastane for maintaining shape from repeated stretching.
  • Easy cut, layer-ready, pairs up with any pants, skirts, slacks, jeans, shorts or just about anything. Updated classic, easy fit, superior authentic quality in gorgeours workmanship for long lasting performances.
LINY XIN Turtleneck Sweater Women Fall Winter Sweater Long Sleeve Warm 100% Merino Wool Sweater Jumper Tops (Tan,M)
  • Features: Fine 12-gauge fabric, Medium thickness. Normal fit, long sleeve turtleneck design. Lightweight, Warm and soft. This turtleneck pure merino wool sweater is suitable for fall and winter.
  • Merino Wool is an entirely natural, renewable and biodegradable fiber that comes from the Merino breed of sheep. Merino wool is softer and lighter than traditional wool because the fibers from Merino sheep are finer and smoother. As a result, the fabric is thinner and buttery soft next-to-skin (unlike the scratchy feeling you may typically associate with wool).
  • It’s thinner and softer than regular wool—making it easy to wear next to skin. And when you wear wool next to skin, a lot of benefits come with it. Shop our pure 100% Merino wool clothing and accessories. These Merino wool products are luxurious, soft and completely biodegradable.
  • Model is 5’9″ (176cm) ,Bust 83–Waist 60–Hips90cm and is wearing a size Small.
  • Hand wash* with gentle detergent, wool, or baby shampoo. Not machine washable. Do not tumble dry.
Women’s Oversized Cardigans Kimono Batwing Long Sleeve Cable Knit Open Front Slouchy Wrap Chunky Cardigan Sweaters Fall Coat Gray L
  • Stay cozy and stylish this fall winter with the kimono batwing cable knitted slouchy oversized wrap cardigan sweater.
  • This cardigan features a chunky cable knit design, ribbed knit cuffs and a slouchy oversized style, perfect for keeping you warm during the colder months.
  • The batwing sleeves add a trendy touch to this classic sweater, while the open front allows for easy layering.
  • Pair this versatile cardigans with your favorite tank top, jeans, or leggings for a casual and chic look.
  • Occasion: Great for daily, casual, shopping, work, street, spring, autumn, winter and summer night.

Pants and leggings

I made a bit of a mistake and bought some huge and ugly fleece-lined leggings – in fact let’s call them slacks! But these ones are slimmer fitting and a number 1 Amazon best seller. They are great for browsing the markets at night when it can be 1˚C or colder. Where them under dresses, skirts or just as is with a long top.

BALEAF Women’s Fleece Lined Leggings Thermal Warm Winter Tights High Waisted Thick Yoga Pants Cold Weather Inner Pocket Black M
  • [Gifts for Women] These fleece lined leggings are suitable for daily casual wear or yoga, running, hiking, cycling, fitness, travel, camping, skiing and ice skating. These thermal leggings must become your favourite go-to winter pants.
  • Material: Breathable and moisture-wicking fabric lifts sweat quickly to keep you comfortable. You can do any activities outdoors during the winter season with ease! Perfect for cold weather under 40°F.
  • Serviceable Pocket: One hidden pocket in the waistband to store keys, credit cards and cash. Convenient for keeping necessities when you go out.
  • High Waistband: Wide elastic waistband provides tummy control. These belly control compression leggings help you maintain a slender figure and prevent sliding while doing workouts. “V” shape waistband that make you look stylish during your favorite.
NEW YOUNG 3 Pack Plus Size Fleece Lined Leggings with Pockets for Women,Thermal Warm High Waisted Winter Yoga Pants for Workout
83 Reviews
NEW YOUNG 3 Pack Plus Size Fleece Lined Leggings with Pockets for Women,Thermal Warm High Waisted Winter Yoga Pants for Workout
  • 🔥2 DEEP SIDE POCKETS – NEW YOUNG Womens leggings feature with two side pockets,pockets are really deep and they won’t look bloated that have enough room for a smart phone,key,card etc..
  • 🔥FLEECE LINED YOGA PANTS – With soft fleece interior,our warm plus size leggings for winter will fit you like a second layer of skin and offer you both comfort & warmth when temperature drops.Leggings with pockets for women are designed to add warmth and style without bulkiness,so you can do any activities Indoor&Outdoor.
  • 🔥3 PACK PERFECT VALUABLE – 3 pack plus size basic black leggings with pockets can be used for a week’s daily swap.The squat proof interlink fabric was developed to endure everyday wear and machine washings to last for years.Our women’s leggings will be the best affordable products you’ve ever bought!
  • 🔥PLUS SIZE LEGGINGS – Various Sizes up to 4X, Plus + Curve Fashion:Calling all curvy ladies!Our plus size leggings range sizes from X-Large to 4X-Large, offering maximum comfort and a flattering fit. Perfect for different women’s shapes, including pregnant women, which will be a better choice than maternity leggings during pregnancy and postpartum. Our plus size pants are here to make you look pretty and feel like your most confident self.

Under layers

It’s all about dressing like an onion and being able to peel off the layers when required. I have a couple merino tops, a couple of bamboo cotton, plus one fine mesh top with a high polo neck. The latter washes and dries in no time too.

Thermal tops are also helpful for layering, but you’ll also want cotton or bamboo for inside layering. One mistake I made was bringing too many warm thermal pieces and not enough for the heat of the river ship and restaurants. I buy all black so they can be worn interchangeably and go under shirts, jumpers and dresses with just sleeves showing.

DEVOPS Women’s 2 Pack Thermal Long Sleeve Shirts Compression Baselayer Tops (Large, Black/Black)
  • 【Micro Fleece Lined】 90% Polyester, 10% Spandex.
  • 【Ultra Soft & Warm】 Thermal tech fleece fabric of the baselayer caresses the skin so naturally providing maximum comfort and softness.
  • 【Stretchy & Durable】 Spandex added for extra stretch and shape retention; close-fitting style does better in retaining body heat to keep you warm.
  • 【Versatile Performance】 Thermal Tops with ultra soft hand feel and heat-retention is a perfect option during various indoor activities, outdoor excursion and recreational activities.
  • 【Easy Care】 Machine Washable
WiWi Soft Viscose from Bamboo Underwear for Women Thermal Long Johns Sets Super Warm Base Layer Top Pants Pajamas Set S-3X, Black, Small
  • Thermal Underwear is made of 95% Viscose made from Bamboo, 5% Spandex. Ultra-soft and silk smooth to the touch, its stretchy fabric will allow you to move freely.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT&FITTING: Our long thermal underwear (no wool) are lightweight and fit snug against the skin, perfectly fit your body curves. You can wear them on their own or under jeans and t-shirt without making you look fat. They won’t bunch up, no riding up or no pilling, well-fitting & warm.
  • MOISTURE WICKING: These women long johns wick away moisture to keep you dry and light. You no longer have to worry about that sticky or clammy feeling as work out or lounge at home, let your skin breathe all night and help you sleep more soundly.
  • TWO-PIECE SET: Base layer top: long sleeve thermal shirt with scoop neck. Base layer bottom: thermal pants, elastic waistband for added relax and comfort. You’ll feel a sense of freedom in whether indoor or outdoor activities wearing it, such as running, jogging, hiking, go camping, golfing, skiing, fishing, shopping. Make sure to wear this set under your clothing to keep warm and cozy in chilly winter or bad weather.
Liang Rou Women’s Scoop Neck Long Sleeve Ultrathin Modal Thermal Underwear Shirt/Top Apricot X-Large
  • Ultrathin Longsleeve Thermal Baselayer Underwear Top For Women.
  • 95% Modal 5% Spandex. Stretchy, Silky, Soft, Breathable and Well adapts to the body. Machine Wash.
  • Advise to choose Liang Rou Fleeced Thermal Underwear Top if you are going to be in very cold temperatures.
  • Scoop-neck both on front and back. Basic long-sleeve shirt, perfect to match any coat, sweaters, sleeveless smock dress etc.
  • Please according to the size info below (Product Description ) and Choose the suitable size.
Sale Merino Wool Base Layer Women 100% Merino Wool Midweight Long Sleeve Thermal Shirts + Wool Socks (Large, Black 250)
2,430 Reviews Merino Wool Base Layer Women 100% Merino Wool Midweight Long Sleeve Thermal Shirts + Wool Socks (Large, Black 250)
  • MIDWEIGHT – Womens Merino Base Layer Available in: Lightweight = 165 g/m², Midweight = 250 g/m², Heavyweight = 320 g/m². FREE MERINO WOOL HIKING SOCKS ($21 VALUE!) – Package includes Women Merino Wool Base Layer Top Midweight 250 g/m² + Wool Socks. Cool Packaging! MAKES A GREAT GIFT!
  • SUPER SOFT & COMFORTABLE – 100% Superfine 18.5 Micron Merino Wool Tops for Women provide all day comfort and no itch! Designed for daily wear without rubbing, overheating, or bunching of regular cotton.
  • MOISTURE WICKING & ODOR RESISTANT – Merino wool base layer women lightweight natural wicking and odor-resistant properties allow it to absorb moisture better than any other fabric, keeping you dry and fresh.
  • EASY CARE – Washer/dryer safe. For longer lasting wear, hand wash and lay flat to air dry. Midweight merino wool thermal shirts for women naturally regulate body temperature to keep you comfortable all year round.


Not one to scrimp on socks, I have brought about four pairs of thick wool socks for my boots and also another four pairs of light wool socks for my indoor boots. I find I can get a couple of wears out of them too, being wool.

EBMORE Wool Socks for Women Hiking Thermal Warm Winter Thick Boot Cozy Crew Comfy Work Socks for Ladies Stocking Stuffers Gift 5 Pairs(Light Color E)
  • HIGH QUALITY : EBMORE fashion women wool socks are blend of 55% Wool, 25% Cotton, 15% Polyester, 5% Spandex. It’s a premium High Quality merino wool socks, so the socks is very soft, heavy but breathable, cozy, fuzzy inner lining and will keep your feet comfortable and warm.
  • SIZE & CARE : These Women / Teen Girl socks come is a standard US SIZE that fit shoe sizes from US 6 – 10, so everyone can enjoy these colorful, fashion socks. Please do not iron them and suggesting wash them by hand, Great quality socks require the proper care!
  • BREATHABLE & COMFORTABLE : The materials of this stylish socks for women and teen girls is very soft and comfortable, Fuzzy inner design will keep your feet warm and the breathable and soft fabric will keep your feet feel comfortable all the day.
  • MULTI FUNCTION : The high quality women wool thermal socks are suitable for different situation, you can wear them as winter socks, warm socks,thermal socks,hiking socks,office socks, school socks, heavy socks,fuzzy socks, outdoor socks, sport socks, indoor socks, home socks, work socks, crew socks, ragg socks, heavy duty socks, boot socks, Christmas socks in Spring, fall, winter season or in any cold weather or snow areas!
Time May Tell Womens Merino Wool Socks Thick Knit Warm Cushion Wool-Socks-for-Women 2/3 Pack(Dark Grey/Brown/Blue/Multi(3 Pairs),US Size 5~9)
  • SELECTED MATERIAL: These wool socks for women are made of 80% merino wool,all these cozy socks are integrally sutured by meticulous process, there are no spare threads inside. Soft handle, good elasticity, strong warmth retention and moisture absorption.
  • TWO SIZE FITS MOST WOMENS : There are two size of this thick knit wool socks can fit most women’s feet. These winter socks are very soft and incredibly stretchy. It’s easy to put on and fall below the base of your calf ,will fit you perfectly.
  • ALL CUSHION DESIGN:The full cushion of the socks can provide you with total support,it can reduce blisters and pain caused by long walking. These heavy wool socks will make your trip more comfortable.It is cozy enough to wear these wool socks for you in cold weather!
  • GREAT CHOICE :These women/ girl socks can apply to any occasions and keeping your feet dry, warm and comfortable all day,you can choose for yourself,your lover,your family or your friends.
  • NOTES: If you have some issues about our wool socks,please contact us anytime,we will help you solve your problem as soon as possible, so click the yellow “Add to Cart” button and order now! Time may tell, who care you most!

Hats, scarves, gloves

I am a sucker for a cute hat, and so are some on this tour! You’ll be able to buy pom pom hats everywhere, but check that they’re wool. Most of the ones I’ve seen are acrylic. Mind you, that is still warm and some are lined with polar fleece for extra warmth.

You’ll want your ears covered if you’re out at the markets and it’s a bit windy. Then the cold temps can be bone-chilling. I bought a cute black felt hat, but I can’t pull it over my ears so it’s not for your long distance strolling!

You’ll also find scarves and gloves for sale everywhere too, but I brought some bright orange sheepskin mittens from Italy back in the summer (at the Florence Leather Market actually), and a hot pink scarf with pom poms on it, also in Italy. You’ll want your neck and chin covered if you’re out for a few hours.

The knit or fleece headbands that cover ears are handy, and lots of people were wearing these.

AOPRIE Knit Wide Headband for Winter 5 Pieces Women Ear Warmers Truban Headbands Thick headbands for Women Girls, Black Gray White Pink Brown
  • Stylish Design – Colorful 5 piceces thick wide headbands for women making your dress-up unique.
  • Knit Wide Headband – Winter headband is knitted, which is elastic and soft, very stretchable without hurting your hair.
  • Perfect Accessory – These crochet hair bands can serve as ears warmers and suitable for daily and outdoor sports activities wearings; Winter beanies are perfect to go skiing, snowboarding, sledding, ice skating.
  • Headband Measurment – The head band measurement is 8.5 * 4.5 in which fit for most head size of women and girls.
Brook + Bay Ear Warmer Headband For Women – Ear Covers For Cold Weather, Winter Headband, Fleece Headband & Knit Ear Warmer Headband
  • HELLO WARMTH, NICE TO MEET YOU: Tired of cold ears and winter hair? Our winter headband keeps your ears and forehead warm without sacrificing your hair style. Designed with high quality acrylic yarn on the outside and a fleece lined interior, this knit headband gently hugs your ears for unbelievable warmth. The fleece interior is soft and cozy, helping better use your body’s own warming power.
  • INSTANT OUTFIT UPGRADE: Wear this headband to dress up buns and ponytails, make braids more interesting, and even turn messy hairstyles into something fabulous.Trade in boring beanies and cold weather caps for our fashionable winter headbands for women. With over five colors to choose from, you will find yourself reaching for the warm ear headband to jazz up every outfit.
  • COMFY, LIKE A WARM HUG: No more red forehead marks from constricting ear warmers. Not too loose and not too tight, this will be your new favorite winter head band. Featuring gentle stretch, it fits both small and larger heads, without giving headaches from too much squeeze. Did we mention that the impossibly soft fleece lined interior band is itch free and gentle against sensitive skin?
  • WINDCHILL, WHO?: Leave the windchill and cold air behind. You won’t have to worry about it sneaking past our warm headbands for women that feature an extra wide band for snug, full ear coverage. Enjoy longer outdoor time without constantly having to run in and warm your ears.

Hand and feet warmers

These are great for keeping in your pockets or shoes. Some are disposable but offer long heat time and some are rechargeable. They make great gifts for golfer dads too by the way!

Hand Warmer Heat Packs Long Lasting Safe Natural Odorless Air Activated Heated Warmer Packs | Get Hours of Warmth | 40×2 Packets Single Use Warmth Packs by Mystical Fire
  • ✋ Hand Warmers By Mystical Fire are safe air-activated hand warmers for keeping your hands hot for hours. Keep your hands warm while skiing, snowboarding, snow sports, hiking, camping.
  • 🔥 Safe, natural, easy to use long lasting portable heat source. Get hours of heat from these heater packets and keep your hands warm and comfortable in any cold situation.
  • 🌶️To Activate – Remove hand warmer packets from sealed package, shake packets. Packets will heat up in 15 minutes. If heat decreases, expose warmer to air and shake.
  • ♻️ Environmentally Friendly – Our hand warmers keep your hands hot and our heated packets are not going to hurt the environment and can be thrown away in the regular garbage.
  • 👍 Great for warming Hands, Feet, Body in gloves and boots and pockets. Used by Campers, Outdoor Workers, Athletes, Spectators, Tailgating, Skiing & Snowboarding Enthusiasts all over the world.
OCOOPA Hand Warmers Rechargeable, 1 Pack 5200mAh Electric Portable Pocket Heater, Heat Therapy Great for Raynauds, Hunting, Golf, Camping, Women Mens Gifts
  • OCOOPA HotPal 118s recommended by USA Todayshop as the Best Gifts 2022.
  • Keep Your Hands Warm Anywhere: Ocoopa HotPal is perfect for outdoor activities like dog walking, hunting, and camping, as well as for those who work in cold conditions.
  • Fast Heating with 3 Temperature Levels – Choose from 95-107°F/104-118°F/118-131°F to Suit Your Needs
  • Long-Lasting Battery: With a 5200mAh lithium rechargeable battery and USB-C charging port, you can use your hand warmer for hours and even charge your electronic devices on the go.
  • High-Quality Materials: Made of aircraft-grade aluminum and ABS material, our hand warmers are durable, portable, and anti-skid, making them easy to hold and use.
HotHands Toe Warmers – Long Lasting, Odorless, Air Activated – Up to 8 Hours of Heat – 20 Pair
  • NATURAL LONG-LASTING HEAT – Odorless, Disposable, Single-Use Item, Do Not Apply Directly to The Skin. TSA Approved. No shaking or kneading required
  • TO ACTIVATE – Remove warmer from outer package, shake to activate. Warmer heats up in 15-30 minutes. If heat decreases, expose warmer to air and shake. After use, dispose with regular garbage.
  • MULTIPURPOSE WARMERS – Single use air-activated heat packs that provide everyday warmth and are ideal for keeping your body warm when the temperature gets cold. They’re available in several styles designed for your hands, feet, and body.
  • WHEN TO USE: Tailgating at Events, Outdoor Sporting Events, Hunting & Fishing, Camping & Hiking, Working in The Yard, Jogging or Taking Your Pet for A Walk. Convenient, Compact, Portable

See cruise deals with Avalon Waterways here >

Best Handbag for shopping at the markets

If you’re reading this in New Zealand, I took one of my gorgeous Italian leather handbags from my Freedom Road store and the size was perfect. I wore it crossbody, but it can also be carried over the shoulder.

Check out the Jean leather shoulder from Italy here at Freedom Road. Free shipping NZ-wide.

Jean leather handbag

More packing lists on the blog!

I have written a few packing lists here now, so if instead of winter you’re off to Hawaii, this is one my most popular blog posts: My Ultimate Hawaii Packing List

Or maybe you’re heading down under to a Pacific Island for your next holiday. This Pacific Island Packing List is similar to the Hawaii one, but is specific to Fiji, Rarotonga, Vanuatu and the gorgeous islands in our backyard.

How to pack for a cruise is a helpful post too as you’ll probably put your luggage out for collection the night before you disembark so you’ll need a day bag – and other cruise packing tips!

You can download and print out my free packing list here for all travel. It has check boxes to make it easy peasy. Just write in how many of each item you need (like underwear/socks for example), cross out the things you don’t need and hopefully you won’t leave anything behind!

Last update on 2024-07-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!