Sustainable & Stylish Winter Travel

You don’t have to wait until the summer to take a trip abroad or to your favorite US city. Winter travel is more affordable, less crowded, and beneficial to a city’s economy. As winter months can be challenging for boutique hotels and local eateries, especially when the city relies heavily on tourist dollars, visiting during the off-season is a wonderful way to support small business owners.

Traveling in the winter is also good for the soul. It invites us to embrace the seasonal shift of a destination, seeing the stores and streets and people through an altered lens. Entering a snow globe, we momentarily belong to the dark and quiet culture that so many places become during the winter months. We get to experience a new part of the world in a unique way.

To help you plan your itinerary, we’re sharing a few of our go-to places for winter travel this year. These cities are overlooked and underrated, even in summer months, so we’re excited to experience them in an even quieter season.

We’ve also included our favorite fashion staples that reflect the climate and the culture of each destination. These pieces paired with our conscious travel edits are sure to promise a memorable, ethical, and cozy getaway.


Riga, Latvia // Europe

Paired With Stine Goya Rosette Faux Fur Coat, $335

Skip the top-rated destinations this winter and travel instead to one of Eastern Europe’s most well-kept secrets: Riga, Latvia. Situated on the Daugava River, Riga is known for its impressive architecture and rich history. The city also boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Old Town and one of Europe’s largest markets.

To keep warm in Riga, make sure to bring an oversized coat. The Rosette Faux Fur Coat, designed in a small studio in Copenhagen and part of the Stine Goya Autumn/Winter 2018 collection, is as timeless as this European city and perfect for your winter visit.

// Conscious Travel Edit //

Rest | Airbnb
Savor | Riits, Miit Coffee, Mākonis 
Experience Centrāltirgus Market, Walking Tours

 

Ljubljana, Slovenia // Europe

Paired With Les Sublimes Scarf, €110

With wines as good as Italy’s finest and postcard landscapes that rival Switzerland, Slovenia is a country that’s been overlooked by travelers for far too long. The capital city, Ljubljana, is not only loved for its coffee shops, cycle-culture, and historic charm, but also for artisan shops and for the way small businesses are embraced.

Spend a few days exploring Ljubljana and then take a leisurely drive to the Alps and one of Europe’s oldest natural parks. Stay warm with Les Sublimes' Chunky Cashmere Scarf, made with couture-quality cashmere by artisans in Nepal. 


// Conscious Travel Edit //

Rest | Hostel Celica, Country Estate Trnulja
Savor | Kucha (Vegan)Gostilna Dela (Social Enterprise Eatery)Cafe Čokl (Fair Trade Coffee) 
Experience From Ljubljana With Love Walking Tour

 

St. Louis, Missouri // USA

Paired With Everlane ReNew Short Puffer, $125

Overlooked and underrated, St. Louis, Missouri is one of our favorite destinations for domestic travel this winter. A capital city, it’s got grit, resilience, and gems hiding in the shadows of skyscrapers, as well as conscious shops and eateries scattered along the streets. This port city is the perfect place for a short getaway, even in the dead of winter.

Just be sure you have Everlane’s ReNew Short Puffer. A jacket made for colder climates, it’s stylish, warm, and sustainable (it’s made from 47 recycled water bottles and does not contain down).


// Conscious Travel Edit //

Rest | dwell nine twelve
Savor | Lulu's Local EateryWinslow HomeRise Coffee House 
Shop | Future Ancestor, Fauxgerty, East + West (For Men)

 

Portland, Maine // USA

Paired With Alice + Whittles Ankle Boot, $98

Not to be confused with the west-coast coffee and craft beer haven, Portland, Maine is a quaint port city loved for charm, friendly locals, and five-star cuisine. While it may be small, it’s Maine’s largest city and the state’s first capital. It’s also been voted the coziest town in America, which is why we want to experience this summer tourist destination in the winter.

To keep our feet dry (because, expect snow) we’re packing Alice +Whittles’ Minimalist Black + White Ankle Boots. Handcrafted using 100% natural fair trade rubber, these boots have a non-slip sole and are waterproof. 


// Conscious Travel Edit //

Rest | Pomegranate Inn, Mercury Inn, Press Hotel
Savor | Fore StreetVinlandTandem Coffee 
Shop Portland General Store, Rough & Tumble, Fitz & Bennett Home

 

Ottawa, Ontario // Canada

Paired With Sweater Rib Turtleneck by Lacausa, $88

Toronto and Vancouver often hog the spotlight when it comes to destinations up north. Ottawa, however is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets. Home to fascinating street art, diverse neighborhoods (try the Lebanese food), and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, it’s a quick trip from most major US airports and an excellent choice for a weekend trip this winter.

Bear in mind though, Ottawa is one of the coldest capital cities in the world. Stay warm with lots of layers. We’ll be bringing Lacausa’s Sweater Rib Turtleneck, made in Los Angeles with carefully sourced fabrics.


// Conscious Travel Edit //

Rest | The Metcalfe Hotel
Savor | Wilf & Ada'sMinistry of CoffeeThe Unrefined Olive
ExperienceByward Market, Rideau Canal Skateway

 

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Kayti Christian, a staff writer for The Good Trade, is a storyteller, creator, activist, and avid traveler hailing from Colorado, now living in London. With 30+ stamps in her passport, she is passionate about responsible tourism and is always looking for new ways to be a more conscious traveler. She is currently pursuing her MA in Creative Nonfiction Writing at City, University of London.