Her Guide to Packing for Multiple Climates

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Packing for a trip can be stressful. That stress can be amplified if you’ve never traveled to your destination and even more so if that trip is going to cover multiple climate zones. 

I faced this on my recent trip to Argentina. In case you don't know, Argentina is HUGE. We are talking six and half times the size of California and we wanted to see it all. Or as much as our 10 day vacation time -- and our budgets -- allotted for. 

Traveling within the country had to be by plane, and with each plane ride came a new climate to contend with. 

While the packing list below refers to my trip to Argentina, it can easily be applied to whatever multi-climate trip you are taking: 

Buenos Aires (mild, California-like climate in the summer) 

  • Maxi dresses (or flowy Dresses) - you want to be able to walk around in comfort and nothing is more comfortable or breathable than a maxi dress. They are easy to dress up if you are going out and they feel dressed up enough to walk around a major city. 
  • Sandals and a pair of comfortable tennis shoes - comfortable sandals are great to pair with your maxi dresses. Tennis shoes can be used while on the plane or while walking miles around town. You'll definitely want to have both on hand. 
  • Going out dress - if you are going to go for a nice date night on your trip, you'll want to dress the part. In Argentina, our fancy night out what to see a Argentine Tango performance. It was a fun, albeit touristy, evening that made me glad I packed one special, fancier dress. 

Puerto Iguazú (tropical)
For tropical climate where I will be hiking and adventuring, I like to wear athletic gear. It’s comfortable, flexible and you don’t feel guilty sweating in it. 

  • Wick away shirts and socks- in tropical locations humidity abounds. To keep sweat from weighing you down, wick away apparel helps. 
  • Mosquito repellent - mosquitoes are bad no matter where in the world you are, but they are even worse in regions that carry Zika, Malaria and Dengue. Take precautions to keep yourself safe. 
  • Athletic shoes - it might be tempting to rely on comfortable sandals when you visit a tropical area; however, that's not very practical when you are exploring and adventuring the natural -- and outdoor -- wonders. This will help keep you from slipping on a metal scaffolding while traipsing over Iguazu Falls, or protect you against bugs in a rain forest. 
  • Visor/hat - protect yourself from the sun and help keep sweat from dripping down your face. 
  • Bathing suit - once you are back from your outdoor adventure, you mind want to shake off the humidity with a dip in a pool or the ocean. 
  • Sunscreen - again, protection against the sun and sunburns is paramount. 

El Calafate (brisk and windy in the summer) 

  • Thermals - we've all been in climate where it feels great if you are in the sun, yet freezing cold if a breeze comes in. This is very much the case in El Calafate but it could have just as easily been winter in Berlin of Lake Tahoe. Adding an extra layer of protection under your clothing will go a long way to keeping you warm. 
  • Heavy, waterproof jacket - break the wind and protect yourself from the elements. This is a must whether you are glacier hiking or just walking around town. Especially in El Calafate, because the wind there is no joke. 
  • Durable, waterproof shoes - while you don't need to be an expert hiker to enjoy El Calafate, it is a good idea to bring some sort of heavy duty shoe that can withstand water, snow and ice. I picked up a pair of "ski" boots at Target for $35 before my trip and it was money well spent. 
  • Gloves - this dry, cold climate will make you reach for the gloves. And they will be a necessity if you are taking in a glacier hike. 
  • Earmuffs - no, I'm not swearing in front of a kid. Earmuffs in this -- at times -- frigid region are a good idea. The local shops will sell them at a steep price, so pack one to avoid the extra cost. You'll be glad you did. 
  • Extra cash - what's weird about El Calafate is that the ATMs run out of money. Regularly. While this is an issue unique to this rural area, it's probably a good idea to bring extra cash, in US dollars AND local currency when going to an area with limited access to banks.