Skiing is absolutely one of my favorite winter time activities (did you know that I worked in ski resorts for 4 winter seasons?!). The snow, the tree runs, the vin chaud (that’ll be hot wine for those outside of France!) and that feeling you get carving up the piste with the sun beaming down. I just love it! I’d also like to think that I’ve become pretty good at knowing what to pack for a ski trip and so I’ve put together this ski trip packing list to help you make sure you have all the ski essentials before you go. Because we all know how expensive things can be when you’re in a resort!
The Only Ski Packing List You’ll Ever Need including all the ski Essentials!
RELATED: Still haven’t decided which resort to visit this year? Check out our guide to the Best Ski Resorts to visit this winter – we’ve got resorts in the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan & more!
Table of Contents
Ski Packing List: Ski & Snowboard Equipment
Depending on how far you are traveling and by what mode of transport, you may or may not want to take your own equipment. And whilst I Love my K2 skis (they’re beautiful!) – they’re not always practical to take when heading off overseas – especially if I plan on some extra traveling whilst I am there. So if you’re not taking your own ski equipment, make sure you shop around on the internet before you go for the best rental deal. And don’t be afraid to ask to swap your skis or board after a couple of days if something isn’t right. (For the families reading, please note that kids ski stuff mirrors what adults need)
- Skis –Take your pick from all Mountain skis, powder skis, twin tips, downhill skis, pipe skis, cross country ski etc depending on your needs/preference. If renting skis or snowboards, give them a good going over before taking them out – you don’t want to be charged for any dings that you didn’t do! Rental skis will come with ski bindings already attached – but obviously if you are buying your own skis, you’ll need a set of ski bindings too.
- Ski Poles – and if they match your ski’s – bonus points to you!
- Snowboard and Bindings – Ride what’s best for you! From freestyle to alpine, traditional camber to flat camber or a rocker – and you can go ‘all mountain’ if you’re not sure.
- Ski or Snowboard Boots – make sure they are comfortable!
- Ski or Board Bag
(*Pro Packing Tip:* Even though I ski, I always travel with a snowboard bag because it lets me fit all my ski gear including my skis, boots, poles and bulky ski wear into one bag without taking up space in my luggage! Ski Bags are skinny with no room for extras or padding – boarders definitely get the better deal on the bag front)
- Ski Helmets – I put the helmet in the equipment section rather than the ski accessories because keeping your skull protected is always a good idea.
Ski Essentials for on the Piste: Ski Clothing
- Waterproof Ski Jacket – but don’t pack it! Wear it on the plane/journey to save space in your bag. A good looking insulated jackets is an essential part of a complete ski outfit!
- Ski Pants/Board Pants – ski pants (aka. insulated waterproof trousers) are an absolute ski essential – no explanation needed.
- Thermal pants – thermals are the perfect base layer bottoms
- Thermal top – again, the perfect base layer tops
- Mid layer shirt or T-shirt
- Fleece Jacket – I find a full zip fleece is better as it allows up to unzip if you’re a little warm without having to take off a full layer.
- Neck Warmer / Neck Gaiter / Buff – protect your neck from the wind and stay warm, perfect for all weather conditions.
- Beanie Hats – For when you take a break from the slopes and don’t want to wear your ski helmet whilst sunning yourself at a cafe. It’s also great for covering helmet hair!
- Ski Socks – add a few pairs to your ski packing list – they can take a day or so to try out after use and no-one wants to put damp socks on in a morning! And who can forget Moisture Wicking Underwear!
Ski Trip Packing List: ski Accessories
- Ski Gloves or Snowboard Gloves – make sure they are waterproof and warm. Nobody wants to spend the day with cold, wet hands.
- Glove Liners or Inner Gloves – an extra layer under your gloves is always a good idea, especially if you’ll need to take your ski gloves on and off for photos, adjusting boots, blowing your nose etc.
- Lift Pass Holder – most new ski jackets have a designated pocket for your list pass, but if not, a retractable pass holder is the best way to keep your pass safe and accessible.
- Ski Goggles – an essential piece of ski kit if ever there was one. Protect your eyes from the glare and look super cool whilst you wear them.
- Sunglasses – for when you’re sitting at the bar on the piste and are trying to reduce the google tan!
- Headband or Earmuffs – they’re making a fashion comeback you know!
- Hand Warmers – these little packs of wonderfulness are perfect for those who suffer with cold hands whilst out on the piste. Activate the pack and voila – instant, ‘warming your hands on the fire’ feeling.
- Tissues – buy the travel packs and put one in your jacket pocket. It’s cold on the mountain and your nose will run. Don’t be that person that needs to use their sleeve!
- Sun cream – what little of your face that is exposed to the elements still needs to be protected from the sun and the wind. Wearing sun cream will also help reduce the risk of panda eyes from a goggle tan – which may be amusing for everyone else in resort, but may ruin your holiday snaps!
- Lip Balm – the sun and the wind can wreck your lips – throw a lip balm into your ski jacket pocket to help keep hydrated.
- Ski Snacks – energy bars and little bits of chocolate can go a long way to keeping you going on the piste each day. Pick snacks that are easy to eat on lifts and fit in your pocket for the ultimate snack on the go!
- Ski and Snowboard lock – whilst I have always been lucky when leaving my skis outside a bar or restaurant on the piste, if you are feeling apprehensive, a ski lock might be a good idea.
Ski Essentials: Clothes For In Resort/The Hotel
Let’s just remember that you are going on a ski vacation. And whilst it’s perfectly normal to want to look your best off the slopes for the apres ski, you are not going to need half as many nice/going out clothes as you normally would on vacation (although you may want to pack more ‘regular’ clothes if you are heading off for a full ski season)
- Jeans or other warm pants – it’s cold outside. Ski resorts in winter are not a place for skirts or skimpy clothes.
- Jumpers/ Warm tops – as above. It’s cold outside. You need something that is going to keep you warm and dry.
- Outdoor Coat – An alternate, warm jacket for walking round resort in the evenings is essential and will give your ski jacket time to breath/dry out overnight.
- Snow Boots or Waterproof Walking Boots – make sure they have ample grip as the resorts can be slippy, and depending on the height of snow in resort – pick a pair you can wear over the top of jeans.
- Regular gloves – you probably won’t want to wear your bulky ski gloves in resort, and your glove inners will probably be a bit on the thin side. Pick up a medium thickness glove or leather gloves to keep your hands warm when out and about.
- Swimming Costume, Bathing Suit or Board Shorts – especially if there is a spa, hot tub or swimming pool in your hotel or resort.
- Flip Flop or Slippers – just something to slip on and off in and around the hotel
- Sleeping clothes – and whilst i’m not a fan of pajamas, I’ve been evacuated from a hotel during a fire alarm on more than one occasion and now have a set of clothes laid out at night in case I need to dress quickly. PJs would probably be easier!
Extra Hints and Tips for Packing for a Ski Trip
- Take a couple of plastic bags for waterproofing, in case something hasn’t dried before you have pack to come home. They can also act as a makeshift washing bag or basic ‘packing cubes’ if you want to segment your stuff when packing and keep the smelly stuff from the clean stuff on the way home!
- When packing, fill your helmet with fragile items for extra protection.
- Take a travel first aid kit with waterproof plasters, ibuprofen or other painkillers, blister plasters, any medication you normally require, deep heat/voltaren equivalent for muscle soreness
- If taking a camera on the slopes, we recommend a GoPro for both it’s waterproof casing and durability.
- Depending on where you’re skiing, you may need a travel adapter to charge any/all your electronics.
- Make sure you have all the toiletries you need on your skiing packing list: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel/body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, face wipes, antibacterial gel, deodorant etc – these things can be silly expensive in resort.
- Buy travel insurance before you go. Even if you don’t normally buy insurance, you absolutely need it on a ski trip. Do you have any idea how people have accidents on the piste?! And heaven forbid you need to be brought down the mountain on a ‘blood wagon’ (sled used by the pisties to secure your body to prevent any further injury) or worse still, medically evacuated by helicopter. Just buy the insurance.
That’s a wrap folks. I hope you have found this ski trip packing list super helpful and full of travel tips to help you in deciding what to pack to get you ready for your next trip – and don’t forget to download your FREE printable skiing checklist to make sure you have everything you need.
And if you liked this post why not check out our other packing list guides to get you traveling like a boss:
- The Ultimate Travel Packing List – everything you could possibly need for every trip!
- How to Pack your Carry on Like a Pro – includes a sneaky travel hack to maximize your cabin bag space!
- Get Road Trip Ready with our Road Trip Travel Packing List – everything you need to keep you and your car – happy, healthy and on the road.
- Packing Cubes are one of the best travel hacks out there – grab your set your our list of the top 10 sets here.
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