Packing for a trip is easy when the weather is relatively straightforward. Thin and cooling clothes for summer and thick clothes for winter. But what if the weather is neither here nor there? That was the problem we faced during our recent trip to Taiwan. It was supposed to be winter, but we got there feeling like it was summer. And a few days later, it was freezing cold with some rain. The weather was so unpredictable that I didn’t bring enough of the right clothes for the trip. Gaaaah. (´-ω-`)

After experiencing the weather rollercoaster in Taiwan, I decided to make a guide to help people pack for unpredictable winter weather! I wish I had known all these before we flew, so I hope this will also help you with your trip. Let’s go and get good with your packing~! ☆ミ(o*・ω・)ノ

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Experiencing the Weather Rollercoaster in Taiwan

Before sharing the packing tips, I thought I would share our winter experience during our recent Taiwan trip. Winters are generally cold. But, interestingly, it seems like winters are not the same in Taiwan. Our trip to Taiwan was in January, which was supposed to be one of the coldest months of the year. But even then, based on past weather forecasts, the coldest it could be was between 15 to 20 degrees Celsius.

Then, one month before we flew, Taiwan news was talking about an upcoming cold wave in January. That was when we were stumped. We didn’t know how cold it would be! Do we need a thicker jacket? Or do we need some innerwear? Researching online gave us no answers as well. People said they didn’t require a jacket during Taiwan’s winter months. Like what?! We were more confused than ever about what to pack. (ノД`)

So, eventually, I packed a waterproof and windproof jacket and a tweed-knitted coat. The former is good for most occasions and the latter for days when I want to look stylish. Haha! But, the crazy Taiwan weather made me regret bringing the tweed-knitted coat. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Summer in Winter and Summer to Winter

Once we stepped out of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, we wondered if we were in the right place. It was so warm?! The temperature ranged from 17 to 25 degrees Celsius that day in Taipei. We didn’t even need to wear our jacket. And the next few days during our day trips, it was SO HOT that wearing a tee was the most comfortable choice. With clear skies and the sun beating down on us, it felt like 30 degrees Celsius. ٩(× ×)۶

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And then, just like that, the temperature started slipping when the cold wave moved in. There was rain, and temperatures started to dip to a low of 8 degrees Celsius with a high of 10 degrees Celsius in Taipei. To make matters worse, the wind was crazy strong, making it feel colder than expected. (×_×) So, having been through this rollercoaster, I hope my tips will help you pack for the unpredictable weather in whichever country you are going to!

Screenshot taken from TVBS News Channel

What Should I Pack for 10-20 Degrees Weather?

Having a good jacket is one, if not the most important thing you need for unpredictable weather overseas. We had a little incident at Qingtiangang Grassland that made us realise the importance of having a good jacket when experiencing cold, wind and rain all in one place. (´-ω-`)

Our day trip was supposed to be just around the city area in Taipei. But our guide told us that the weather would change for the worse in the next few days and that we should take the opportunity to go to the Yangmingshan National Park instead since the weather was clear and sunny. So, off we went to the Yangmingshan National Park, only to be met with a super cloudy situation.

We were literally in the clouds when we reached the Qingtiangang Grassland. (⊙_⊙) And you know what we had as our outer layer? Me with my tweed-knitted coat and hubs with a simple cardigan. (@_@) To make things worse, it started “drizzling” when we were walking back to the car park, where our guide was waiting for us, and we didn’t have our umbrellas. So, we were soaked. HAHA! Ridiculous.

Get a Water-and-Windproof Jacket for Your Outer Layer

We watched the weather forecast every night, and still, the weather might be different the next day, depending on where you go. Since that incident at Qingtiangang Grassland, we realised the importance of having a good jacket, especially one that is waterproof and windproof. Luckily, we bought a waterproof and windproof jacket, which kept us dry and warm throughout the trip.

So, worry less about the base layer and think more about getting a good jacket. With the right jacket, you would have half the battle won! (´• ω •`)ノ I will be sharing more on what you should look out for in a jacket when travelling to a country with unpredictable weather. So keep reading until the end~!

Long-Sleeve Shirt or Normal Tee as Base Layer?

I mainly packed t-shirts, some 3/4 sleeve tees and only one long-sleeve sweater for this trip to Taiwan. Thanks to a good jacket, I felt toasty even when wearing a short-sleeve tee as a base layer on cold days. But if you get cold easily, consider bringing more long-sleeve tops for comfort.

Skinny Jeans vs Wide-Legged Jeans/Pants

I love wearing skinny jeans and have survived wearing skinny jeans for many trips. But when it comes to keeping your legs warm in the winter, I realised skinny jeans are a no-go. I felt like the cold was manageable. But when I was out in the open, and the wind blew on my legs, I started to feel the chill. Luckily, I had a pair of wide-legged jeans, or else I would suffer for the whole trip when the cold wave was here! (´-ω-`)

Spot the jacket that will keep appearing in this post. LOL.

Anyway, I bought another pair of wide-legged jeans from Uniqlo, as one pair couldn’t possibly last me the whole trip, even if I wanted to. It was good that we stayed in Ximending in Taipei, so it was easy to access shops like Uniqlo. Imagine not having such shops within the vicinity; I might have to wear one pair of jeans for many days. (×_×) You can wear your skinny jeans if you are sure you will be okay with the cold and it will not be windy. Otherwise, go with something with lining or just wide-legged jeans/pants! ( ´ ω ` )

Have Socks that Cover your Ankle & Above

Wearing my skinny jeans with no lining and invisible or extra low-cut socks was a killer. My legs felt the chills, and my ankle area was also cold as it was exposed! I ended up buying some low-cut and mid-calf socks just so my ankle area would not be exposed. Anyway, this varies from person to person, as hubs was also wearing invisible socks, and the cold didn’t affect him. If you don’t know how sensitive your ankle area might be, there is no harm in being prepared!

For those wearing toe socks, consider heading to the nearest POYA to buy them! They had such a wide variety of socks, including toe socks. I regretted not buying more toe socks as finding good ones in Singapore is tough. Anyway, it’s just a random trip for anyone going to Taiwan! (>ᴗ•)

Choosing Shoes of the Right Material and Cutting

If you want a pair of all-weather shoes, high-cut leather boots would be the one. I wore my Palladium high-cut boots to Japan during early winter, and my feet were all nice and toasty. The shoes had a good grip, and I didn’t have to worry about getting my shoes wet, as my leather boots were waterproof.

Screenshots taken from Palladium and Decathlon websites

That said, I wore a pair of running shoes to Taiwan, while hubs wore his sneakers. And we didn’t have any issues there. Probably because our socks were thick enough to keep our feet warm. So, if you have thick socks, any shoes should be fine for the cold, except for super rainy days. Getting non-waterproof shoes wet is a b*tch, and luckily, we didn’t experience that in Taiwan.

Masks Are SO GOOD in the Cold

I never knew how comfortable wearing a mask was until I did it in Taiwan’s cold and windy weather. With the wind blowing directly at my face, the mask helped shield my nose and lips, leaving just my eyes exposed. I might have some tears with the strong wind blowing at me, but at least my lips wouldn’t get dry, and I wouldn’t have a cold nose! I find that 3D masks fit better and are more comfortable. So, definitely bring along some masks to keep your face nice and warm under cold and windy conditions. (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

Heat Packs to Keep Your Hands Warm

Heat packs are so good to help keep your hands warm. I had one in each pocket during the cold wave, as it was too cold to have my hands outside for an extended period. Grabbing one of the heat packs in my pocket was so heavenly. Haha! We got the Hands Warmers from Decathlon, but you can get them anywhere easily~!

Screenshots taken from Decathlon website

Scarves to Protect Your Neck

I didn’t have a scarf, as I could zip my jacket all the way to my neck to keep it protected. I also had my hair down on those freezing days, which helped keep my neck warm. But if you have neither option, you might want to consider having a scarf to protect your neck against the cold and wind! ( ´ ω ` )

What Constitutes a Good Jacket for Unpredictable Weather?

MUST be Water-and-Windproof

If you are expecting windy or rainy conditions, you will need a water- and windproof jacket. If you are unsure what the weather will be like, get a waterproof and windproof jacket to make your life easier. Our jacket was able to keep us warm and comfortable from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius. Even when the cold wave hit us, and the temperature dropped below 10 degrees Celsius, we still felt toasty under our jackets. If you don’t have such a jacket, these are some properties you should look out for to protect yourself against the cold, wind and rain! (@´ー`)ノ゙

Length Must Not be Too Short

I was tempted to get a cropped bomber jacket, which looked so cool. But, in the meantime, I thought it would be silly that I was not wearing something that was blocking my belly from the cold! So, I decided against it and chose one long enough to cover my belly. You don’t want the wind constantly blowing at your belly that causes you to catch a cold and may even have a stomachache!

Hoodies are A MUST

The temperature might not be low, but when met with windy conditions, it can be a b*tch to walk around with a hoodie! Imagine having your head constantly “hit” by the strong wind. My head was feeling so cold when walking in the wind in Taiwan. Luckily, my jacket came with a hoodie!

As much as I wanted to look good and stylish while out and about, sometimes the right thing to do is to keep myself comfortable. I would never sacrifice comfort over fashion. So, I would rather pull up my hoodie and tighten it around my face than get slapped by the cold wind. I think I look ridiculous, but at least my face thanked me at the end of the day! (´・ᴗ・ ` ) To get even toastier, pair the look with a mask! (´• ω •`)ノ

Pockets are Non-Negotiable

Not only can you hide your hands in your jacket pockets when feeling cold, but you can also have your heat packs in them! Having my hands in my pocket was so comfortable whenever we walked around in the cold and windy weather in Taiwan. Since I was holding my camera with my right hand, it was icy cold after a while. My left hand, on the other hand, was feeling so toasty. I regretted not having a pair of gloves for my right hand. Something for photographers to consider~! (´• ω •`)

Outer Layer Recommendations

If you are not sure what jacket to bring or buy, I have included some options for your consideration, including the one that I have. All recommendations are based on my experience, and I am not affiliated with them. ( ´ ω ` )

Hooded Technical Jacket

I got the Hooded Technical Jacket from Zara (99.90 SGD). Yes, I opted for a Men’s jacket as I didn’t find a suitable one in the Women’s section. I love this jacket as it was the right length for me. There were also three pockets! We could put so many things in them. Haha! On days when I wanted to go light, I just had my wallet and phone in each pocket. It was such a perfect jacket for our trip to Taiwan. (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

Right Image Credit: Zara Website

Hubs and I got the same jacket but in a different colour since Zara had their year-end sale in December. (ᵔ◡ᵔ) Zara has a lot of jackets and coats that they put out during the winter season, which is usually around December onwards. I went to the outlet at Vivocity, but for more selection, you can check out the Marina Bay Sands outlet, as it is the biggest Zara outlet in Singapore.

Ultra Light Down Parka

Based on reviews on its product page, the Ultra Light Down Parka from Uniqlo (129.90 SGD) is suitable for temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius. My father-in-law (FIL) was wearing the Ultra Light Down Jacket, and it kept him warm in the cold. He could even sit outside in the cold in the morning! He gets cold easily, so if it works for him, it should work for all of you. My FIL’s jacket doesn’t have a hoodie. So get the parka, so you have a hoodie for windy conditions!

Credit: Uniqlo website

Jackets from Superdry

If you have deeper pockets, you might want to consider checking out Superdry (from 250 SGD onwards). Since there is an outlet at Vivocity, we decided to drop by to check out what they have. Hubs and I were surprised that they have various stylish-looking jackets suitable for cold weather. If I have deep pockets, I would definitely consider getting something from Superdry. So check them out for some stylish yet good jackets to keep you warm! (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

Base Layer Recommendations

In case you are unsure what top works for you as a base layer, I have included the list of tops I packed for my trip for your reference! Like the above, I am not affiliated with the brands and recommend them based on my experience. (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

Extra Fine Merino Crew Neck Sweater

This sweater was the only one I brought along for my trip to Taiwan. People recommended cashmere and Merino as two of the best materials to keep you warm and dry when using them as a base layer. Cashmere is the best, but it was way too expensive! So, I decided to go with Merino and discovered that Uniqlo has it!

Left Image Credit: Uniqlo website

The Extra Fine Merino Crew Neck Sweater is not available now on Uniqlo. But if it is ever back in stock, get it! I freaking love this sweater so much, I wished I have more of this in Taiwan. It was so soft on my skin and didn’t trap my sweat and heat. As such, I feel comfortable the whole day, even when worn under my waterproof and windproof jacket. If I ever travel to a cold country again, I will get more of this sweater if it is back in stock~! (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

Waffle Crew Neck Long Sleeve T-Shirt

I had the older version of the waffle t-shirt, which has a 3/4 length sleeve instead of a long sleeve. But regardless of the length, the material is what matters. The waffle top worked well for cold days to keep me warm. But I think the material tends to trap sweat and heat, so only on cool days did I have to take off my jacket as I was sweating buckets. (*/ω\)

Right Image Credit: Uniqlo website

So, for those who want to stay really toasty, you can consider getting the Waffle Crew Neck Long Sleeve T-shirt from Uniqlo. But given a choice, the Merino sweater is still my preferred option as it is much more comfortable.

Supima Cotton Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt

I wore the Supima Cotton Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt on days when the weather was cooler, around 20 degrees. Since my jacket was so good, it kept me warm even when this T-shirt was so thin. Haha! I say opt for these T-shirts if you have a really good jacket to keep you warm. Otherwise, have a slightly thicker T-shirt like the one I will share below.

AIRism Cotton Crew Neck Oversized T-Shirt

The AIRism Cotton Crew Neck Oversized T-Shirt has got to be one of my favourite t-shirts from Uniqlo these days. I love how the underside of the T-shirt is so smooth and soft on the skin! It was also really comfortable under my waterproof and windproof jacket. The material is slightly thicker than the Supima one but not so thick that it is uncomfortable. I am definitely getting more when there is a sale for it! (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Final Thoughts on Packing for 10-20 Degrees Weather

As I have highlighted, the most important thing is having a good jacket. It doesn’t have to be thick, but it definitely has to be waterproof and windproof to protect yourself against unpredictable weather conditions. With a good jacket, choosing the base layer is going to be easy. I hope my guide has helped you decide what to pack for your next trip! Let me know in the comments if you have anything else that you think I should have in this post. Or you can drop me a message as well~! If not, have fun for your next adventure! ⸜(*ˊᗜˋ*)⸝

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useful Travel Resources

Pack your wanderlust, and let’s set sail! I have prepared the following travel resources that you might find helpful to fuel your next adventure. This section will be ever-growing, and if you think there is anything that you want me to add to this list, drop me a message to let me know! ⸜( *ˊᵕˋ* )⸝

BEST Cards to Use for Your Overseas Spending
Want to enjoy seamless spending overseas without the pesky fees? Check out my post on the best cards to bring overseas—the Trust Bank and YouTrip cards!

A Guide to Using Your Multicurrency Cards for Overseas Cash Withdrawal
Feeling stressed about using foreign ATMs? Let me help you navigate overseas ATMs with ease as I share my experience using my Trust Bank and YouTrip cards for overseas cash withdrawals—examples included!

Transform Your Travel with Lounge Access + Cards I Use to Get Free Visits!
Ready to ditch airport stress? Visit my post to discover the magic of lounge access and my go-to credit cards for complimentary lounge visits!


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