The activity of packing for a ski trip may seem like common sense to some, but for novice downhillers and those unaccustomed to cold weather sports, gearing up to travel can be as daunting as conquering a double black diamond.
Don’t fret. Help is here, and in the next few minutes, I will turn your luggage problems into travel solutions… one essential winter item at a time.
Every ski vacation demands that you bring a certain list of must-have accessories. They are:
Ski trip packing list
- Heavy sweaters
- Long sleeve shirts
- Ski goggles
- Snow boots
- Snow hat
- Thermal underwear (polyester, nylon or Thinsulate works best)
- Waterproof ski jacket
- Waterproof socks
- Waterproof ski gloves / mittens
- Waterproof ski pants
When shredding the mountain, wear at least three top layers and two bottom layers. Adorn yourself with anything less and you may regret that decision through the persistent drum of chattering teeth.
As for what you’ll need when you are not skiing, let’s go over that now.
Don’t Forget Downtime
Ski trips are a blast, but you won’t be hitting the slopes 24/7. Because of this, it is extremely important to pack all of the items you will need during downtime. Things like dress shirts, a winter coat (other than your ski jacket), boots and a warm scarf are must-have garments to wear when bouncing around town. Jeans, underwear, pajamas, bathroom supplies, device chargers, headphones, a digital camera, etc… should all be on your packing list as well. Some other things to consider include sunscreen, lip balm, hand lotion and sunglasses.
Lay it Out Before You Fly
Before you travel, lay out the items you plan to pack on the floor. Once you’ve done that, step back and look at everything from an objective standpoint. Do you really need five comfy sweaters, four pairs of jeans, three winter coats, two pairs of gloves and a partridge in a pear tree? What about ski equipment? Should you lug that with you or rent those items from the resort (more on that later)?
The idea behind the lay-it-out method is simple. By examining the entirety of your planned travel inventory, you’ll be able to easily eliminate / add items based on individual needs and trip demands. Disagree with this approach if you want, but it is much more effective then shoving one article at a time into your suitcase and hoping it all works out.
Another ski trip packing tip is to coordinate outfits before you arrive. For example, if you know that Saturday is dedicated to the slopes, pack what you need for the mountain plus a single winter getup to sport later on. Anything less is unwise and anything more is unnecessary.
Don’t Pack What You Can Rent
If you’re an advanced skier who plans to tear it up daily, bring your own equipment. Novice skiers who envision hitting the slopes only once or twice should rent what they need. In addition, it isn’t necessary to pack granola bars, nuts, dried fruits, etc… These items can be purchased on site, and bringing baggies full of consumables will cost you precious time and luggage space.
A month or so ago, I wrote an article for Skyscanner titled How to Become a Packing Expert and Travel Like a Pro. It was a useful little piece that introduced readers to a website known as Travels’ Checklist. In short, Travels’ Checklist is a simple online tool that allows you to enter the details of your trip before spitting out an interactive list of items to pack. The service is free, and I highly recommend taking advantage of it.
Here’s a bit of blunt truth to finish things off.
Packing for vacation is a personal activity. What you bring on your ski trip and what you leave at home is entirely up to you.
I won’t sit here and presume that I know who you are or what makes your travel persona tick. You may not be into the idea of grabbing drinks at the bar, or perhaps you have resort hot tubs and spa treatments in mind. Regardless, if you plan to actually go skiing on your ski vacation, the list of essential items offered at the top of this article is nonnegotiable. Other than that, use common sense when packing, take advantage of the lay-it-out method, predetermine outfits before you fly and head on over to Travels’ Checklist for additional help.
Once you whittle down your inventory from “what I think I need” to “what I actually need,” you’ll discover that it doesn’t take an army of items to thoroughly enjoy your time both on and off the mountain.
Thanks so much for stopping by, and safe travels.