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A family ski trip can be a bonding, exhilarating experience. There’s something mind clearing about ascending up the mountain bundled up in the crisp air, and then soaring down the snow-covered slopes on skis. But keeping warm and comfortable is key to the fun. And the secret to keeping warm is making sure you have the all-important ski equipment. A Colorado resident and avid skier shares her secrets to making your ski vacation a success for the entire family, including a free printable ski trip packing list.
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Ski Trip Packing List: Everything You Need for a Family Ski Vacation
If I left it up to my kids they would arrive at our vacation destination with a suitcase full of toys and nothing else. Thus I become chief travel packer. Whether you wanted that job, chances are you’re the one who takes on the responsibility for packing when it’s vacation time. When you add up ski gear for each person in the family, it is quite a ski trip packing list!
Once you’ve decided on your family-friendly ski destination, booked your ski lodging, ski passes and arranged for your ski rentals, it’s time to make an all-important packing list. We share our complete list as well as tips on special items to ensure your family ski vacation is a success.
Travel Documents & Misc Travel Essentials
- Confirmation Numbers/ Itinerary
- Credit Cards
- Health Insurance Cards
- Travel Insurance Documents
- Ski Passes (Make sure to purchase in advance!)
- Auto Insurance Cards
- Toys, books or games
- Fully charged electronics
- Charging cords
- Camera/ Phone
Ski Gear to Pack
Bringing the right ski gear will make your family ski vacation a success. Be sure to download our printable ski packing list above!
TravelingMom Tip: You may be thinking that this is a lot to keep track of. Rest assured, it will all be worth it. There are so many life lessons that can be learned from skiing.
Helmets may be the most important piece of ski gear. Not only does a helmet keep your head safe, but also warm. We like POC helmets for the kids and Smith helmets or K2 helmets for the adults. A neck gator or balaclava will act as a neck warmer. These days you can even find fun ones that go over the helmet.
A good pair of ski goggles will make all the difference on a powder day, or a day with flat light.
Ski Socks and Base Layers
Thermal base layers or long underwear should be a moisture wick fabric, not cotton.
Of course a waterproof ski jacket and waterproof ski pants are necessary.
Miscellaneous Ski Gear
Ski resorts are located at high altitude and drinking plenty of water is key to preventing altitude sickness. So, you may want to bring a Camelbak hydration system or whatever it is that gets your family to drink water.
Cold drains cell phone batteries, so you will want to pack a pocket charger to make sure that you can stay connected while on the mountain. Hand warmers next to your cell phone can also help. As a bonus, they keep you a bit warmer, too.
Don’t forget candy to carry in your pockets to give the kids energy, or to use as an extra incentive while skiing. The high end resorts like Vail and Beaver Creek often have granola bars available in the lift ticket offices.
The best family ski resorts offer slopeside heated pools and hot tubs that are really fun in the winter. Soaking in warm water with snowflakes falling after an exhilarating day on the slopes is the perfect way to end the day! So be sure to pack a bathing suit!
- Neck Gaiter
- Ski pants and ski jacket
- Thermal base layers
- Ski gloves
- Hand/ foot warmers
- Ski socks
- Hydration pack (Camelbak)
- Pocket cell phone charger
- Pocket candy/ treats
- Ski boots*
Read More: Should You Buy or Rent Ski Gear?
Clothing to Pack
Layers, fleece, moisture wick under layers and warm, non-slip snow boots will be your most important pieces of non-ski clothing. And, don’t forget a swimsuit! There’s nothing better than relaxing in a hot tub surrounded by snow after an exhilarating day on the ski slopes. The sun is bright at altitude so make sure to pack sunglasses.
- Warm pants and shirts
- Snow boots
- Wool socks
- Warm hat
- Fleece jacket
- Warm Vest
- Dinner/ Evening Clothing
- Swim Suit
- Exercise Clothing
If you ski with your kids outside of ski school, be sure to bring some candy in your pockets for a little pick me up. Photo: Liana Moore/ TravelingMom
Medicine / Toiletries to Pack
While it is always a good idea to bring along some kind of headache medicine, it is an important precaution while on a ski trip. A headache will be the first sign of altitude sickness. Drink plenty of water. Read tips on preventing altitude sickness. Also pain relievers can also help relieve sore muscles.
Ski resorts are also located in dry climates. A saline nose spray can help prevent bloody noses from the dry climate.
Gold Bond powder sprinkled on the feet will help keep ski socks dry, and warm.
- Tylenol, Advil, etc.
- Saline nose spray
- Lip balm
- Hand sanitizer
- Chlorox wipes
- First aid kit
- Gold Bond Powder
Ski Equipment to Rent
We live in a ski resort town, so we own ski equipment. However, with the cost of transporting skis on airlines, you are going to be better off renting your skis or snowboards. If you ski several times per year, it might be worth investing in and bringing your own ski or snowboard boots, especially if you drive to a ski resort. Otherwise, you’re probably better off renting skis. Plus it is a fun opportunity to try different types of skis for different snow conditions. Check to see if your ski rental company or hotel will provide ski valet service.
- Skis or Snowboard
- Ski Poles
- Ski/ Snowboard boots*
Items to Rent if Hotel Doesn’t Provide
- GoPro Camera
As you can see, a family ski trip requires a lot of gear. Use this comprehensive ski trip packing list to ensure you don’t forget anything important. For more family ski trip tips click over to articles on best family ski resorts, ski tips for beginners, tips for a first family ski vacation and where in Colorado to find affordable ski lessons.