Minimalist Packing Guide: Five days in BERLIN in the WINTER.

Traveling in the winter is MY FAVORITE for many reasons. Sure, it’s cold… but you can layer. You avoid long lines, save money on lodging / airfare / food prices, you drink loads of coffee and warm drinks and you duck into lots of spaces you wouldn’t intend to to warm up. (My favorite random duck in spot on this trip was a coffee shop that had a disco toilet bathroom!)

We decided to travel to Germany for “friendsgiving” over the long holiday. Tuesday evening to Sunday evening. Berlin isn’t the first place that comes to mind in November but let me tell you — the city is filled with life! The tickets were reasonable, the Airbnb was affordable and the cost to eat / drink isn’t outrageous at all. There is so much to do in Berlin! Despite the cloudy days, we explored hard… nearly ten miles a day. We wandered our way through the city and still didn’t see everything! The history in Germany is one to bring some tears to your eyes…but seeing how society has come together and bounced back from a hundred years of poverty and suppression is incredible to understand and experience. Also, for a city of 3 million, it was surprisingly quiet and calm. We even squeezed in a quick day trip via train to Hamburg to check out the new and old architecture which was STUNNING. We just couldn’t get enough of Germany!

Convinced on the winter travel? You should be! Convinced on Berlin? You should be!


Now it’s time to pack your bags into a personal carry on because that’s all the airlines will allow without charging you an arm and a leg. For those who don’t know — Airlines are all converting to the “Personal item only” European way — even domestic flights within in the USA.

Packing in general? Awful. Packing in winter? THE WORST. Everyone hates packing but I don’t. The idea of packing exactly what I need in a way that doesn’t leave me dragging wheeled luggage down a cobblestone street or paying an extra $100 for a bag…is an exciting challenge.

But alas!! A winter personal carry on bag can be done. I’m here to share my experience with you!

Here is my advice for winter travel with a personal carry on only.

  • Figure out the weather. Embrace it!!!
  • Spend a little extra on a coat, scarf and hat combo that matches… make sure they are ones you absolutely love that is also FUNCTIONAL.
  • Wear a great pair of shoes / boots and bring your smartwool socks (they are a game changer!) with you.
  • Leggings (especially Fleece lined) are your best friend. (This doesn’t really apply to boys, sorry!)
  • Buy a super solid awesome travel bag. Spend time thinking about it. What do you need? What works for you? In my case, I brought my Everlane bag that I LOVE. It took me a while to find it — I need two bottle holders in my day to day life for my coffee and water intake. I use it everyday and it feels good using something I an comfortable with and feel cute in.
  • The packing cubes are everything.


Berlin & Hamburg : five days w/ 2 travel days included.

Temperature: mid 30s w/ overcast.

Number of miles walked: 40 (7–10 miles per day)

Bag of choice: EVERLANE

Color palette: black with hints of army green, grey and brown. Basically black tho.

Any regrets? Taking too much. I didn’t wear the black or pink sweaters nor my flat shoes sadly.

Things I need for next time:

A better black coat if it’s any colder. This one barely made it. Maybe a cute puffy next time!


Shoes & Accessories:

  • Blundstone boots
  • Flats from H&M
  • Smart wool Socks (2 pair)
  • Regular socks (1 pair)
  • Bralette (2)
  • Underwear (4)


  • 1 pair of Levi skinny jeans
  • 1 pair of fleece leggings from Amazon
  • 1 pair of petite faux leather leggings from ASOS

Sweaters / Shirts :

  • My favorite brown sweater from chicwish
  • One adorable pink wool sweater from Frank and Oak
  • Black sweater from H&M
  • Black hoodie from Target
  • Black sleeveless button down with cute collar to put under sweaters for a little bit of flair
  • T shirts (2)
  • Tank tops (1)


  • Green sweater dress from Forever 21
  • My classic all time favorite buffalo plaid dress from a small shop in Pittsburgh called ?
  • Black sweater dress from target

Outdoor Gear:

  • One coat
  • One scarf
  • One fleece lined hat

TIP: (Make the outside gear count! Pick the ones that go together and work for the weather!)

Make up style: paired down but still cute.

  • Mascara / lip balm / gloss for cheeks
  • Lots of glossier products which I love like boy brown / lip stain / skin tint
  • One travel hair brush
  • My handy dandy travel straightener

Random stuff:

  • Wallpaper* Berlin guide
  • iPad
  • Drew’s deodorant
  • Power converter
  • Cables for charging
  • Anker charger (a must have!)

Things I’m leaving with:

  • Two Christmas ornaments for our tree, small notebook and a stack of postcards!

See? It wasn’t so hard! Also, it should be known that my 6’4” husband also took a backpack with him so IT CAN BE DONE.

Safe and happy travels, friends!




Real Estate developer. Lady builder. Tiny titan. Job creator. Buffalo, NY. Done with love, always.

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Bernice Radle

Bernice Radle

Real Estate developer. Lady builder. Tiny titan. Job creator. Buffalo, NY. Done with love, always.

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