How to prepare when traveling from a warm to a cold climate

In South Africa, we are very lucky to have a much warmer climate than many other countries. We enjoy long days of sunshine, especially in Cape Town, and whilst there are certainly some regions that experience occasional snow and where the temperatures drop to minus numbers, as a whole we are regarded as having a warmer climate.

In recent years we have also seen a huge influx of South Africans immigrating out of sunny South Africa, many choosing to live in much colder regions like the United Kingdom,America, Europe or Canada. On arrival, several people we personally know, have then struggled to adjust to living in colder weather and experiencing things like snow days and blizzards more regularly.

One of the conversations that I hear often is how they wish they were more prepared to move to a colder climate.


How do you prepare yourself to move from a warmer region to a colder one?

I share a few tips below…

Tips for moving from a warmer climate to a colder climate

Clothing – Adjust your wardrobe to the weather. Scale down on items of clothing that you won’t use as much of in colder weather like bathing costumes and shorts.

You could donate used clothing to local charities, sell gently used items online, or freecycle in a community freecycle group.
After cleaning out your wardrobe you may be tempted to buy warmer clothing straight away but it is often wisest to buy after your move as winter clothing is bulky and takes up unnecessary space when moving.
Learning to layer your clothing will make a huge difference in how cold you feel. With a few pieces of thermal underwear as a base layer, you can add an insulating layer ( clothing from wool, flannel, or fleece) and lastly an outer layer like a jacket or coat.
Another great clothing investment is a waterproof jacket with a hood.
Treat your skin – Colder weather will chap your skin so you may want to stock up on lip balm, moisturizing lotions, and body butter. Using a lotion on your skin before applying stockings will both hydrate and prevent chaffing.
Higher electricity bills – With moving comes additional costs and the most important being a higher cost in electricity due to the use of heaters and electric blankets. Also as you tend to boil the kettle more and cook longer as you serve more comfort foods like stews and soups.
It’s advised to contact your rental or property agent and discuss average electricity usage for the area. Also, ask what other charges will be billed to you for additional services.
It’s also helpful to know if the roof is insulated, keeping the house warmer, and if it comes with any special heating features that could potentially save you money or save you purchasing any.
Other questions to ask are if the house is equipped with a stove and if that stove is electric or gas.
You may want to investigate further to see if it would be cheaper to use gas for cooking and heating your home over electricity.
Your agent or a home listing site like Calgary Homes for sale,   should be able to answer all these questions as well as show you the sizing of your home choice, map of the area to familiarize yourself with where essential stores and services are, climate risks, activities nearby and rental or purchase fees as well as other costs, like inflation so that you can easily budget the right home taking into consideration extra costs.
Outdoor activities – As much as you may want to bundle up under a duvet, heater on, sip on a warm cup of coffee watching Netflix, this is your new home and it is unlikely that the weather will change so it is advised to get out and acclimatize to the cold.
A change in weather will also bring about new activities for your family to experience and enjoy. You may learn to sled or ski or even build a snowman for the first time.
Snow– If you are moving to an area that has regular snowfall, it is a good idea to invest in snow removal tools, practice driving in the snow, and keep an emergency snow kit both at home and in the car.
Removal company – to limit any stress of moving your entire life to a new home or climate, using a removal company is the best option.  They have the experience to conduct a smooth move and move your furniture and belongings in different weathers.
Most importantly with some research and proper preparation, you can enjoy a smooth move and transition into your new home.

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