What to Pack for Winter in Europe

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In less than two weeks, I will be heading to Brussels and Paris for a quick weekend getaway with my mom (yay!). As it gets closer to the holidays in Europe, I think the cities become so magical and it always worth a trip! Skipping the summer months for a winter weekend in Europe isn’t only cheaper, but you get to see a little more of that local flair. However, I know the promise of colder weather might initially deter you from booking that flight, but I wanted to share a few of my tips for dressing warm – and fashionably – in the winter which will make sight seeing enjoyable, and you’ll still be camera ready!

Practical(ish) shoes. 
Yes, when walking around Europe, you can typically expect some cobblestones, so stilettos are out, but that doesn’t mean you take heels off the table all together. The Jeremy Campbell booties I added above are a perfect example of a boot that you can rock in the winter time on European side streets. I actually have these myself and they’re super comfy and sturdy. A great pair of sneakers, with a hint of embellishment is also a good option. Gucci is having a total moment right now with their sneakers; I think they’re a super fun splurge. But, if you’re looking for something a little friendlier on your wallet, a pair of white chucks or Stan Smith’s should do the trick.

Layers, layers, layers
Investing in a body suit so you can ensure that your midriff will stay warm between picking up your luggage at the airport and sitting down at a cozy cafe is a must. Do double duty by layering a pair of winter tights underneath a pair of destroyed denim or a knee-length skirt and you’ll be good to go. Some tights you can get now are actually lined with fleece, so if you’re known to be super chilly, or are going to be spending the majority of your day outside, I would pack a pair to layer under denim or a long skirt for sure!

Colorful Knits
Come winter, expressing yourself through color gets a little trick, so I always like to mix it up with a colorful sweater. Pops of orange, red, purple, and baby blue are a great way to brighten up your wardrobe, while you stick to more of the classics in the rest of your look. I definitely recommend packing turtlenecks when you can, that way you can save space in your suitcase because you don’t need to pack a scarf. You can also have fun with color with a knit hat as well. Don’t be afraid to bust out one with a fun pom pom, so your friends can keep track of you around busier parts of the city.

A Second Coat
I always wear my biggest and fluffiest coat on the plane because packing it is a nightmare, but I highly recommend packing a second coat, especially if you plan to take lots of pictures outside, go out on the town, and think the weather might fluctuate a lot in temperature. A fab bomber is always a good go-to, and again, so many brands are experimenting with color, so you can stand out amongst a sea of black and tan.

A Couple Statement Pieces
When traveling, we have a tendency to pack sensibly, especially for trips to areas where it’s cold weather! But, I challenge you on your next trip to pack a few items that really stand out. A perfect dress for a surprise date, unexpected outing (you know, with the Queen or something), or even just for afternoon tea can work wonders. I can’t tell you how many times having a dress handy has saved my ass, especially when traveling abroad. I also always recommend one or two key pieces of statement jewelry. One eye-catching ring or set of earrings can really pull a look together without too much effort. The most obvious statement piece to pack is a great bag. I always say a bag is your best investment piece, so if you’ve got it flaunt it. However! Do not have this bag be one of your two carry-ons. Having to shove your bag under the seat or in the overhead bin on long flights is just asking for trouble – especially if it is an investment piece. Do yourself a solid and pack your day-to-day bag in a duster to pull out in prime condition once you get to your destination.

These five tips are sure to get you off to a good start on packing for a trip to Europe in winter. If you have questions or other suggestions that I may not have mentioned, be sure to leave them in the comments!

Lift off with Lufthansa: Day 2

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My god did jet lag get the best of me on day two. You know when you fall asleep and wake up in the same position? Yeah, that happened. And, I was wide awake at 5:30 in the morning… aka 11:30PM my time. Instead of falling back asleep, I worked from my window seat at the Ruby Lilly hotel. Yes, worked (#entrepreneurship). My room was on the top floor, so I got the best view of the sunrise over the city and the snow coming down. Yes, you read that correctly, snow. Being from Boston, I’m used to all sorts of crazy antics from Mother Nature, so naturally I came prepared on my trip with a winter coat and waterproof shoes. This is an affirmation to always, always, always check the weather before you hop on a plane.

Luckily, most of our day would be spent inside, and the parts that were outside were totally worth being a little chilly. First stop (after copious amounts of breakfast down in the lobby) was Magic City – a formal ode to street art in Olympic Park. As someone who was there on the first day that the Jeff Koons exhibit opened at The Whitney in New York, I knew this exhibit would be right up my alley. I like art that pushes the boundaries and invades our life a bit. This exhibit highlighted everything from graffiti on subway cars in NYC to fun optical illusions, and even had a few Banksy pieces thrown in for good measure.

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After a substantial amount of time goofing around and checking out the artwork, it was time for lunch! Right around the corner from the Magic City exhibit is the city’s highest restaurant – Restaurant 181. And yes, it rotates. Because of it’s location in Olympic park, you get a unique point of view on the different arenas, forward thinking architecture, and some must-see structures in the city. For those looking for a little more of an upscale lunch experience, I would definitely recommending heading here mid-day. It was asparagus season, so I started with the asparagus soup. Lunch was meatballs, and, oh boy, were they tasty. I was actually way too full for dessert, but luckily, our lunch date for the day, a team member from the City of Munich, ordered the three-course lunch, and got the most beautiful dessert. I, of course, stole it and took many pictures before he could enjoy it himself. NO SHAME!

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After lunch, we made our way to The Eisbach, which in English translates to “ice brook.” For those of you who don’t know, it is a man-made tributary of the Isar River which flows through the city of Munich and the English Garden (which is a must-visit as well). While the river alone isn’t special, what residents of the city have done with it is. It’s a surf spot! As someone who has been to many a surf spot in my day, I was super stoked to learn about this unique “wave” in the heart of the city. While I’m comfortable paddling in on a wave in Hawaii, or even my home state, Maine (yes, they have waves there), I don’t know how successful I would be on this particular “swell”. Side note: I particularly liked the camaraderie between everyone whether they are a spectator or surfer. Lots of good vibes in this spot.

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After a quick reprieve back at the hotel – who am I kidding? I did more work – we got dressed up to head out to one of the premier vegetarian restaurants in Germany. Now, I am no vegetarian, but if veggies were like this everyday, I absolutely could be. We ended up enjoying an 8-course dinner at TIAN; this restaurant is included in the Michelin guide, so you know it’s going to knock your socks off. You literally had to roll me out of the restaurant at the end of the meal, but it was such a nice evening surrounded by good company, filled with really tasty food, and topped off with an excellent selection of cocktails and wine. Robbin made fun of me for being picky about the wine list, rightfully so. How can one not sound snobby AF while trying to ask about the particular region in Germany that this bottle of wine came from? You can’t , you just can’t. BUT! You didn’t hear anyone complaining about the wine at the dinner table, so, small victories. We ended up getting back to our hotel a little after midnight. I immediately crashed because the next morning we were going to take advantage of the good weather and shoot all around the city. Keep your eyes peeled for the next post with all of my fave shots from that early morning in Munich!

 

Lift off with Lufthansa: Day 1

While I have flown through Germany many times – specifically Frankfurt and Munich, I hadn’t explored much of the country. That’s why I was pumped when Lufthansa reached out to myself and my business partner Robbin (of the New England Life) to check out their BOS – MUC flight on their fancy new A350. How can a girl turn down a trip to Munich?! Short answer, you can’t. So, I packed my bags and put my traveling duds on for a whirlwind 48 hours in Bavaria.

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First things first, Robbin and I had the privilege of hanging out in the newly opened Lufthansa lounge at Boston Logan. While lounge access is typically reserved for business and first class customers, most people don’t know that you can actually buy lounge passes  at most airports. So, if you’re stuck on a long layover or get slammed with a hefty delay, this may be the best way to grab some shut-eye, reliable WiFi, and some nosh. You can’t currently do this at the Lufthansa Boston Lounge location, but you can purchase access in Munich, which I have done in the past when I’m stuck on a long layover. Trust me, it’s a game changer.

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After cranking out some work and enjoying some bubbly, Robbin and I hopped on our red eye and immediately passed the f— out. We’re business owners, can you blame us? We landed in Munich some hours later, and knew we had to hit the ground running to get in everything. We skipped over to the Munich Airport Hilton for a hot minute, got a spa pass, and showered up. Thank god because Robbin was stinky; I kid, I kid.  Soon after, we took a tour of the airport – they have all sorts of fancy things like nap pods, tennis courts, and even a brewery. With news of the brewery, you better believe we hit that up. After some sausages, sauerkraut, and a Weißbier we were on our way into Munich.

The drive is about 45 minutes, so make sure you either arrange a driver ahead of time like we did, or you can hop on the train. We lucked out with our driver, who ended up singing traditional Bavarian tunes and not minding us as we crawled over the back seat to try to plug our phones into our Raden suitcases (which have USB ports, a battery, GPS tracking, and weigh themselves.. every traveler’s dream) because we had killed our phone batteries on Instagram stories and Snapchat. Such is life.

For our two nights in Munich, we were scheduled to stay at the Ruby Lilly Hotel, which happened to be next to every mode of public transit you could want, and more importantly, a pretty big biergarten. But, if you’re down for a cooler vibe, the bar in the lobby of the hotel fills up with Munich’s most fashionable starting at 6PM most nights. And, it’s no surprise why, their lobby/bar area is super cool, with a bit of a Brooklyn feel, and they are rumored to serve up some strong cocktails to boot.

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We were plagued with some rain for the rest of the day, which put a bit of a damper (yes, pun intended) on our foot tour around the center of the city. Additionally, there were some unforeseeable public transport complications, so we ended up hunkering down in a little cafe until dinner. Robbin and the others we were with had cappuccinos, but I opted for a very large Campari soda. When in Rome (read: hiding from the rain in the middle of Bavaria) – amiright?! Dinner at Spatenhaus ended up more than compensating for the less than savory weather. They have traditional Bavarian cuisine that will knock your socks off, while you simultaneously have a spectacular view of the Opera House. We finished the evening with some bomb dot com Kaiserschmarrm and good stories. If I were a betting woman, I would double down that you would have fun doing the same.

Want to hear more about my time in Munich?! Stay tuned!