As a native Floridian who moved to Chicago in the summer, the thought of packing for cold weather hadn’t even crossed my mind. To say I wasn’t prepared for my first winter up North is an understatement. My suitcase was filled with Tory Burch flip-flops, Jack Rogers sandals and exactly one pair of leather boots. As temperatures quickly descended, I scrambled to the nearest department store to stock up on warmer winter clothes. In an effort to prevent the same crisis for our readers, I’ve compiled a list of essentials worth sneaking into your suitcase.

Whether you’re preparing for a cross-country move or a winter road trip, be sure to review our five winter essentials worth packing.

Boots – This might seem intuitively obvious, but there are a few tips worth noting here. If you plan to be in or around snow, it’s important that your shoes are durable – both on the inside as well as the outside. The outside of your boots should be water-resistant, as the fluffy and white snow you found suitable for your snow angels will soon melt into a dirty, muddy and wet mess. Leg warmers and thick socks will help keep you warm, too.

Gloves – “Hey, I can’t feel my fingers,” is not something that you’re going to ever want to have to utter. Technology has come a long way and there are now gloves that will allow you to use your smartphone without having to remove your gloves. Be sure to throw a pair into your suitcase to avoid frostbite, or at the very least, numb fingers.

Scarf/Hat– Scarves are not only trendy, but they’re super functional. When it’s thirty degrees or below, you will be thankful for any additional layering of fabric on your body. A hat on your head and scarf around your neck will help prevent your body from losing additional heat.

Jacket – When the weather outside is frightful, I cannot reiterate enough how much you will appreciate additional fabric on your body. Florida folks, a cardigan will not be sufficient. You’re going to want a double-lined jacket that provides ultimate warmth. If you can, try to find a waterproof down jacket that covers your rear.

Hair Dryer – In Florida, you might be able to get away with leaving the house with wet hair. This is NOT something you will want to try when it’s freezing outside. Your hair dryer will become your best friend. Don’t just assume that the hotel will have one for you, because not all hotels provide this amenity. Instead, be sure to pack a travel-sized hair dryer that you can rely upon no matter what.

Cold weather can be fun, but it’s even more fun when you’re prepared. Be sure to double check that your packing list includes winter essentials for your next trip. Are we missing any? Please add your ideas below!