Packing for Winter in Norway and Sweden in a Carry On 

Why would I even think about packing for winter in Norway and Sweden in a carry on?

I have a weird obsession with not checking bags. Even when I can and it’s free, I find it inconvenient to wait around for your luggage. And what if it doesn’t arrive? By the time it does your trip could be halfway over. Or maybe I just like the challenge of fitting everything in one bag. Nah, it’s definitely being too impatient to wait on a bag!

Flying on Norwegian air, they charge you for each checked bag, on each flight. We had five flights with them in total. That adds up very quickly. Plus it’s easier to carry and transport when you don’t stay in the same place for more than a few days.

So here is how I packed for 10 days in the Scandinavian winter in a carry on.

sweden-how-to-pack-winterWhat I wore:

  • Fleece leggings
  • Tank top
  • Thermal top
  • Big winter coat
  • Snow boots: I used These Sorel Boots
  • Scarf

The heaviest items go on your body to save room in your bag. And let me tell you how much this sucks! I took my big bulky boots off the second I got on the flight and put on my little house slippers to go to the bathroom. You never end up wearing the jacket, but I was incredible grateful for it when it was cold and I was trying to sleep. Also the puffy sleeves and hood make fantastic pillows on discount airlines. I didn’t initially plan on wearing a tank top but when the flight got delayed and we sat on the sweltering plane for two hours I was so glad that I could strip down to the tank.


  • 3 merino wool long sleeve sweaters
  • 1 thin mixed fiber sweater (no cotton)
  • Two thermal tops
  • 1 fleece jacket
  • 2 fleece lined leggings (including the ones worn on the plane)
  • 1 pair insanely thick leggings that I’m not sure what they are made out of
  • 1 pair of jeans large enough to put a few layers under
  • Wool mittens
  • Alpaca wool scarf
  • Thick headband to protect the ears
  • Bathing suit (for the hot tubs we never found)
  • Thin house slippers
  • 2 pairs of smart wool socks
  • 3 pairs of non cotton ankle socks
  • Two sports bras
  • 10 pairs of undieshow-to-pack-backpack


I definitely would add another pair of shoes to this list. Something that packs small and could be worn around the city or hotel so the slippers wouldn’t be needed. I loved my snow boots, they were so comfortable and warm. But they were so bulky that I got annoyed wearing them to places where I didn’t need their warmth. Also, I would recommend another pair of jeans or pants. I ended up wearing mine just about every day. Which is fine by me but you might need more!

Keep in mind, if you wear anything with cotton it will get wet when you sweat and then freeze, making you colder than you needed to be. Which is why smart wool socks are so amazing!! These ended up being the only two pairs of socks I wore. I ended washing the ones I wasn’t wearing to swap out the following day. Smartwool socks are amazing for every cold activity I participate in and I always bring a pair on the plane!

While in Sweden, I ended up buying a beanie and found it much more useful than the headband. And like any carry on trip, if you stick to neutrals with one accent color then you will always match no matter what you wear!


  • Shampoo bar and body soap bar
  • Conditioner
  • Razor
  • Contact solution and case
  • Mascara and cover up
  • Moisturizer (I use coconut oil)
  • Travel brush (I use a mini wet brush)
  • Comb
  • Bobby pins, hair ties
  • Band-aids
  • Travel Tooth brush and paste

I always limit the amount of liquids I bring on a trip but this time we wanted to bring mini alcohol bottles (priorities). To cut back, I used a sample sized shampoo bar and a normal soap bar so that the only thing I needed to pack was contact solution and conditioner. Usually, I throw my coconut oil in the liquid bag because I can never tell if it will be a liquid or a solid when it goes through security


  • Travel water bottle
  • Tablet
  • Tablet charger
  • Power Adapter
  • Travel Towel

I ended up never using my tablet and wish I would have left it at home. I thought I would use it to update the blog but ended up finding it easier to use my phone. Computers are too bulky and unnecessary when traveling as light as we were trying to. I love the rubber travel water bottles that stand up on their own. The travel towel was only used once and if we had booked hostels before we had left we could have seen that we did not need them.


  • Passport
  • Earplugs
  • Headphones
  • Phone
  • Phone charger and portable charger
  • Wallet
  • Journal
  • Pens
  • Book


There were very few times that I felt I wanted something that I didn’t have. Usually, it was when I didn’t want to put on my snow boots yet again. But I never felt that I was not warm enough.


I hope this helps you if you are packing for winter in Norway and Sweden in a carry on. Have you ever taken a carry on for a winter destination? Let me know in the comments below!


Disclaimer: I have affiliate links in this article. This means that if you click these links and buy the item I get a small portion of the sales at no extra charge to you. All of the items on this page were things I actually took with me to Norway and Sweden. Chasing Amity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Leave a Reply