Top tips for winter trips from Manchester Airport

Whether you’re heading out for a ski-break, looking for spectacular winter scenery or even going to Lapland to meet Father Christmas himself, Manchester Airport has you covered – with a wider route network than any airport outside London.

So, while finding a flight to your perfect destination from the UK’s global gateway in the North won’t be a problem, travelling in the winter is a very different experience to a bucket-and-spade summer holiday. For many of those passing through Manchester Airport this month, their end destination will be a snowy, icy winter wonderland, and there are many differences between the packing checklist for a winter trip versus a summer holiday – but also some surprising things they share in common.

Manchester Airport is sharing its top tips with passengers heading off on a cold-weather getaway, including what to pack, how to check in your winter sports equipment – and why you still need to bring your suncream with you!

Make the most of your space

Packing for a winter trip with cold and changeable weather isn’t straightforward. One of the biggest challenges you’ll come up against is that you’ll want to take thicker, bulkier clothing – and more of it – than you’d pack for a summer holiday. Wearing some of these items to the airport, rather than packing them, will help you avoid busting the zips on your suitcase.

Packing versatile items that you can combine to create several different outfits is a great way to limit the amount that you’re trying to cram into your luggage. Thermal base layers don’t take up much space but are great for keeping you warm if you’ll be spending long periods outside. Rolling up your clothes, rather than folding them, also saves space and stops your clothes from creasing.

Don’t forget your winter essentials

Hats, scarves, gloves and rain jackets wouldn’t feature in your summer packing list but they’re necessities if you’re planning on a snowy getaway. Thick socks and walking boots may also be advisable if it’s likely to be icy at your destination.

Suncream and sunglasses are not just for summer!

These two items might not be the first that spring to mind for a winter holiday, but they might prove to be every bit as important as they are in summer. Despite the cold, the sun’s UV rays are stronger at a higher altitude, so if you’re going to somewhere like the Alps, you’ll want to take some suncream to protect any exposed skin.

Ice and snow are also highly reflective, and the sun will be lower in the sky in winter, so some sunglasses may also come in handy, even if you’re not engaging in any winter sports.

Leave plenty of time for your journey to the airport

Public transport and the road network are both more likely to be adversely affected by the weather during the winter months – so make sure you’ve factored in enough time to allow for any potential delays or diversions on your way to the airport.

Most airlines recommend that you aim to arrive in time for when check-in for your flight opens. This is usually two hours for a short-haul flight or three hours for a long-haul flight, but may vary dependent on your airline, so make sure you check before setting off.

Check in any oversized items separately

If you are taking skis or a snowboard, these almost certainly won’t fit within a regular sized bag – which means you may need to check them in separately to the rest of your hold luggage.Make sure you book this in advance through your airline, as extra charges may apply. Each terminal at Manchester Airport has dedicated check-in desks for oversized luggage. 

You’ll normally collect your sports equipment at your arrival airport in the usual way but check with your airline.