When you accept a travel assignment in a cold climate, you are likely to hear a lot of warnings from your friends and colleagues. Like most travel positions, gaining experience in tough winter weather may be challenging but also has the potential to be rewarding. If you know what to expect and prepare carefully, you might even find yourself enjoying the culture, landscape, and adventurous opportunities of winter weather.

Clothing

Having the right clothing for the weather will make the difference between being miserable throughout your assignment and acclimating to your new environment. While your workplace will likely be quite comfortable once you are indoors, it’s important to have weather-resistant clothing for the trip through the parking lot and for stepping outside your door in the morning. Invest in a high-quality winter coat. Most locals advise an insulated coat that reaches to your knees. You might think it looks ridiculous, but you won’t care when your core and legs stay warm! Coats from reputable brands like Columbia or Fjallraven are rated by temperature, so choose one that covers the lowest temperatures typical to your destination.

Daily Commutes

Whether you will be driving or taking public transportation, keep the weather in mind when you plan for your commute. Driving in snowy conditions requires special attention to your tire pressure and may sometimes require chains or other equipment. Rural areas may necessitate the use of snow tires. Getting your car ready to drive on a cold morning may take extra time due to ice accumulation on your windshield or snow around your tires. Familiarize yourself with snow routes used by local buses if you will be commuting via public transportation.

Community Engagement

It’s easy to hunker down and hibernate outside of your work hours when you’re in a cold environment. Unfortunately, excessive alone time may be damaging for your mental and physical health. Plan to move your body and participate in social activities. A temporary gym membership or even mall walking might motivate you to exercise. You can even take advantage of your environment by cross country skiing or learning how to skate. To stay connected, try attending a local meetup or plan happy hours with your co-workers.

With proper planning and a commitment to maintaining a life outside of work, a cold-weather travel assignment can be an enriching adventure!