Since I only moved to the United States from sunny Queensland, Australia, a few years ago, I haven't had that many white Christmases yet, so every time it comes around, the excitement levels are out of control. Sitting around a cozy fire wrapped in cashmere and faux-fur throws, sipping on a warm mulled wine with views of a stunning winter wonderland outside is pretty much my idea of heaven. This is all while my relatives Down Under are sweltering in the tropical heat. Yes, celebrating the holiday season in summer is an entirely different experience.
But while it looks gorgeous, it pays to remember that snow is freezing cold and very wet, which won't be fun if I don't prepare (especially since I'll be traveling to the mountains from Los Angeles). Since I'm most likely not the only one preparing for a snow trip this year, it's only fair to share a list of winter essentials, including the clothing for snow I need, so I'm fully equipped before takeoff.
Scroll down to see our snow-trip picks, from a luxurious cashmere scarf to a practical pair of waterproof gloves.
There are going to be some chilly days and nights ahead, and this versatile piece is the ultimate snow trip accessory. It's super warm and cozy by the fire and is an ultra-chic look around your neck when walking outside too.
Don't make the same rookie mistake I almost did—grab a weather-proof waterproof duffel bag instead
Before you embark on your trip with the usual wheeled luggage, think about how those small wheels are going to handle the snow. Don't make the same rookie mistake I almost did—grab a weather-proof waterproof duffel bag instead. This Patagonia one has been built to handle rain, hail, snow, and rough terrain.
Your face and head are more sensitive to changes in temperature than the rest of the body, so it pays to keep them warm. A Moncler wool pom-pom hat is one of the most wanted winter accessories, but any woolly beanie will do the trick. No one wants cold ears in subzero temperatures.
So if skiing isn't really your thing, don't worry; there are so many other insanely fun things to do in the snow. Tubing is one of them, and I have to say, as a non-skier, it's what I'm most looking forward to. Whether you want something fun to keep the kids amused or you're a "kidult" looking for a cheap thrill with friends, tubing is where it's at.
If leather gloves aren't your vibe and you're after something more practical yet still chic, then these long, cashmere hand warmers should be at the top of your snow shopping list.
Is there anything better than a hot water bottle in winter? It takes me back to my childhood when Mom would stash one under my blankets so my bed was warm when I hopped in. This cashmere version is the ultimate hot water bottle and a must-have for all snow holidays because no one wants to slip in between ice-cold sheets.
While today's smartphones take incredible images, do you really want to risk dropping it in the wet snow? With awkward gloves and heavy layers on, there's every chance you will. So choose a waterproof, shockproof camera with state-of-the-art technology to capture every memorable moment.
There's nothing worse than cold appendages in the snow. Frostbite is serious, but just the idea of numb fingers gives me goosebumps—no thanks. These waterproof gloves are ideal for keeping your hands toasty; they've been designed with a built-in system for ensuring your fingers don't get chilly.
Just because it's the snow doesn't mean you won't need sun protection. In fact, you'll need it just as much as a tropical holiday. The sun reflects off the ice, and the glare can really burn. Make sure you put high-protection 50+ sunscreen on every day.
Just because it's the snow doesn't mean you won't need sun protection.
Your regular boots just won't cut it in the snow. Not only is it wet, but also, snow turns to ice, which turns to slush and then mud… which is also very slippery. Be smart and invest in a pair of snow boots. They're built for this kind of weather, and they're also pretty cute.
When it's cold outside, you'll be drinking every kind of hot drink there is to warm up from the inside. We recommend a thermal cup for your morning coffee, oatmeal, mid-afternoon hot chocolate, and evening mulled wine.
Don't even think about leaving for a trip to the arctic without thermals. These are super lightweight, so they won't take up much room, and you will wear them every day—I promise. Wear them as a base layer underneath your regular jeans for added warmth; they're naturally flexible, and they help regulate your body temperature too.
We can't wear gloves all the time, so for those moments when you're outside but your hands are turning into icicles, these cute hand warmers will get them nice and toasty in no time. This super-sleek design will give you 12 hours of gentle, consistent heat.
When it's really cold out, nothing beats a puffer jacket. They never used to be very stylish, but all of that has changed. There is an abundance of styles that will keep you looking cool while keeping warm. This one is also easy on the wallet.
This story was originally published on December 8, 2015, and has since been updated.