Before You Leave For Montreal
What to pack
• In summer, choose lightweight fabrics, and mix and match bright colors with neutrals. You’ll want to explore the city on foot, so comfortable shoes are key. Pair summer dresses, skirts, and shorts with flat sandals. A patterned scarf keeps evening breezes at bay, and enlivens a basic outfit. Don’t forget a jacket or a cardigan for air-conditioned shops, restaurants, and museums.
• In winter, start with a long, warm, windproof jacket. Montrealers are big on down-filled coats. Add a thick wool scarf, a hat that covers your ears, gloves or mittens, and warm, waterproof boots. Underneath, layer lightweight wool, fleece or cashmere for warmth. I love flannel lined jeans for day, and wool pants for evening.
• In spring and summer, you’ll want a raincoat or umbrella. And always comfortable shoes.
How to pack
While it’s easy to pack light in summer, winter packing is a challenge. These tips help you pack efficiently year round.
• Only pack for 5 days. Even if you’re traveling for a longer time, it’s easier to wash out key items than lug a heavy suitcase up stairs and through airports.
• Pre-select your wardrobe. Decide ahead of time on each of your outfits. Lay them out and take a photo of each. Be sure to include details like belts, scarves, shoes, jewelry. Concentrate on neutral colors, using accessories to dress up basic combinations.
• Mix and match. Look for 2-3 ways to wear each item you plan to take. In winter, layer sweaters and tops for different looks and color combinations.
• Roll garments, don’t fold. Garments take up much less room if they’re rolled. I lay similarly shaped items, like t-shirts or sweaters, on top of one another, fold the sleeves back, roll them together, and set the roll in my suitcase. Then I do the same with the next set. I end up with a shelf of rolled clothing, on which I set more rolls, or delicate clothing that travels better folded.
• Wear your heaviest garments on the plane. Wearing bulky items like boots, heavy socks, and coats gives you a bit more room in the suitcase. Be sure to leave a little space for items you buy in Montreal.
• Consider purchasing trip insurance. Expenses you’ve pre-paid will be reimbursed in case of a change in plans or emergency.
- Check the US Department of State website for information for travel to Montreal and Canada —from passport and visa requirements to where to find a French Embassy, to travel alerts.