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!!!


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


  • 1 pair of Levi skinny jeans

Sweaters / Shirts :

  • My favorite brown sweater from chicwish


  • Green sweater dress from Forever 21

Outdoor Gear:

  • One coat

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

Random stuff:

  • Wallpaper* Berlin guide

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.