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Looking for a Winter break packing list that will make your life so much easier? You're in luck, here is a packing list, to-do list, and free printable you'll love!

winter break packing list

I don’t know about you, but packing for winter break stresses me out. It’s basically like taking a super long vacation and having to fit everything into one suitcase and a carry-on ??‍♀️. But trust me, it doesn’t have to be that hard! I break it down by outfit and remind myself that I will spend 90% of my time at home lounging around the house in Christmas pajama pants and a sweatshirt.

The first thing to take into consideration is what “nice” outfits you will need. Are you going to any holiday parties? Are you going on any day trips that require warmer clothes? What will you wear for Christmas dinner? Once you think of every specific event, start picking out what you want to wear to each one. Pro tip: if you’re going to events with different people there, repeat outfits to save room in your suitcase!

Once you have all of your outfits picked out for special occasions, think about what you spend most of your time lounging around in. You don’t need 5 different sweatshirts, or 6 pairs of leggings, they will take up your entire suitcase.

This packing list is going to make your life so much easier during the most stressful time of the year. You’ll spend less time worrying about packing and more time worrying about finals when you have this packing list!

On top of all of that, I also put together a to-do list of simple tasks and cleaning basics to take care of before you leave. Your future self will thank you!

This post has the best winter break packing list.



Remember, as much as you think you will be dressing up every day, you won’t!! Pack for the special occasions and keep the rest basics! I didn’t put exact amounts of every clothing item because you can vary that based on how long you will be home. Also, if you live somewhere super cold you may need some warmer clothing or even a snow jacket. Pro tip: wear the bulkiest clothing and shoes on the plane ride so you don’t have to stuff it all in your suitcase!

  • nice outfits for holiday parties
    • dress
    • cute top with pants 
    • pair of cute / dressier shoes 
  • warm jacket (if needed)
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 1-2 sweaters
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 2 pairs of leggings
  • 1 pair of sweats
  • 4-6 simple tops that you can style different ways
  • one set of pajamas
  • 1-2 pairs of shoes that you can wear with everything
  • socks and underwear (don’t forget you can wash clothes at home)


Keep your accessories light, chances are you will only be seeing the same people one or two times, and nobody will remember if you were wearing the same earrings twice. My biggest downfall with packing accessories is always purses. I want to bring a different bag for every outfit, but they are SO hard to travel with. Stick with the basics, trust me nobody in your hometown will judge you.

  • basic jewelry that you can wear casually and for special occasions 
  • beanie and/or scarf if it will be cold
  • one small handbag
  • tote bag for more casual outings


This is the part where you can’t really keep it light, you have to pack it all (I know… not easy).  You’re probably going to be using these things every day, they’re important. Just make sure you check the big bottles and everything in your carry-on is TSA approved! 

  • makeup
  • shower essentials (you don’t need to bring every scrub & hair mask)
  • skincare products 
  • hair styling tools
  • hair product essentials (again, you don’t need every last oil and dry shampoo)
  • toothbrush/toothpaste/floss
  • deodorant 
  • feminine products 
  • medications 
  • chargers (laptop, phone, smartwatch)
  • laptop / school essentials


I know, packing is stressful enough, but you will be so happy when you get back from winter break and everything is clean and tidy! Throw your sheets in the washer while you pack your clothes, clean up as you pack, you can do it! 

  • wash your sheets - trust me, getting back into fresh sheets will be the best thing ever 
  • do your laundry - if you have any laundry just sitting around, wash it, and put it away. that’s the last thing you want to deal with when you get back from break. 
  • straighten up your room - Seriously, there’s nothing better than coming back to a clean space 
  • Think about Christmas presents and if you want to get anything for your family from your college town

    These three packing products will make your life so much easier when packing all of your clothes, accessories, and essentials for winter break. 

    The Beis weekender bag fits SO much and looks really cute too. The Target hard side spinner luggage is really good quality and looks exactly like Away luggage for a fraction of the price. Last, the packing cubes from Amazon that everyone is obsessed with. These packing cubes will make you pack much more efficiently, and they look way more expensive than they are!


    winter holiday list

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