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A family ski trip may be just what is needed after a crazy start to the new school year. Imagine spending your days outdoors in the fresh mountain air while skiing or snowboarding down the wide open slopes of a snow covered mountain. Then end the day by relaxing in an outdoor hot tub or roasting s’mores by the fire. Ski season this winter may still look just a little different. So use our comprehensive and free printable ski trip packing list to ensure your ski vacation is a success for the entire family.
With the right preparation, a family ski vacation 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’ve packed everything you need!
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 and 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 & Other 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
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. A helmet keeps your head warm as well as safe.
We like POC helmets for the kids and Smith helmets or K2 helmets for the adults. A neck gaiter or balaclava will act as a neck warmer and doubles as a Covid-19 face mask. These days you can even find fun ones that go over the helmet.
TravelingMom Tip: Pack extra hand warmers. Cold fingers can lead to crabby kids and shorter days on the slope.
A good pair of ski goggles will make all the difference on a powder day or a day with flat light. That happens when it’s overcast or snowing so there’s not enough light to see the “texture” of the snow surface.
Yellow, gold, amber, green or rose-colored lenses, which have higher visible light transmission (VLT), meaning they let more light pass through the lens. Also look for lenses that promise not to fog up.
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Ski Socks and Base Layers
Comfy thermal base layers or long underwear should be a moisture wicking fabric, not cotton.
Of course a waterproof ski jacket and waterproof ski pants are necessary. A down jacket will add warmth.
Read More: Warm Clothes Are Also Important for Snowshoeing with Kids
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
- Moisture-wicking thermal base layers
- Ski gloves or ski mittens
- Hand/ foot warmers
- Ski socks
- Hydration pack (Camelbak)
- Pocket cell phone charger
- Pocket candy/ treats
- Ski boots*
What to Wear if You Don’t Have Ski Pants?
There really is no substitute for ski pants. When you fall, they keep you dry and warm. Ski pants, a ski jacket and gloves are really a must-have. Discount retailers such as Walmart, Target and Costco sell ski pants for a quite low price. These will be good enough for a few days on the mountain.
If you really don’t want to buy a pair then you can rent some. What you rent may be a better quality. But it won’t be cheaper.
Read More: Should You Buy or Rent Ski Gear?
Clothing to Pack
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 and Flip Flops
- Leggings or Exercise Clothing
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. 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.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Tylenol, Advil, etc.
- Saline nose spray
- Sunscreen with a high SPF
- Lip balm
- Hand sanitizer
- Clorox wipes
- First aid kit
- Gold Bond Powder
- Water bottle
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
Extra Items for Ski Season 2021-2022
COVID-19 has still changed what ski season 2021-2022 will look like. Eating outdoors likely will still be common even in the winter weather. Masks or face coverings may be required in some places. So, there are a few additional items that you may want to be sure to pack for this winter.
- A backpack for one of the adults to carry packed lunches and snacks
- Masks, neck gaiter, balaclava or other type of face covering
- Extra Clorox wipes for additional sanitation
- Pocket hand sanitizer
- Extra snacks
- Extra hand warmers
- Small bottles of hand sanitizer everyone can keep in a pocket
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.