The thought of a family ski vacation is completely wonderful. Then the reality of having to pack all your ski gear sets in! The excitement of a ski getaway should not turn into stress of what to bring, what you might forget, and how will you manage. Follow these helpful hints to get organized and be prepared for all sorts of activities and weather.
Ski Systems: Start with the most essential ingredient: your ski gear. Every skier in your family should have their own oversized boot bag, even the kids. This bag should have a separate boot compartment plus lots of space for ski clothing and accessories:
Ski Boot Bag Checklist
(Everything you need for a weekend to a week on the slopes):
Ski Boots (in a separate compartment)
Two Pair of Ski Socks
Gloves for warmer days, Mittens for colder days – disposable handwarmers
Goggles and Sunglasses in their protective cases
Neck warmer & Face mask
Sun Screen & Chapstick
2 Pair of Long underwear (a second pair for layering on -0 days)
Turtlenecks, Ski Sweater or Polar Fleece Top
Ski Pants for colder days & Wind Pants for the warmer days
Ski Jacket for wintry conditions, Windbreaker or Shell for spring
For the kids: an extra pair of undies, just in case…
This way you have everything you need for a great day of skiing, no matter what Mother Nature has in store. The extras in your bag can also prove handy for the member of your group who forgot something, and will be forever indebted to you for the “loaner”. In your ski bag, skis and poles should be kept together.
Pack a separate luggage bag with apres ski clothing and personal items, just as you would for any trip. The ski stuff is all in the boot bag! Always bring your swimsuit! So many resorts have pools, hot tubs and even saunas. For the kids, placing individual outfits in zip lock bags is a great way to keep them organized while rationing their clothes, you may not have a washer/dryer at your convenience.
Packing for your Ski Condo
You will want specifics on the accommodations you have reserved for your family ski vacation to plan what supplies and food you should bring. If you lodge condo-style, you can eat and drink “in” after a tiring day on the trails. I am convinced that for the extra money of renting a condo versus a hotel room, you will save that and more from going out in the evening with tired kids to restaurants “at the mountain”. When your lodging includes a kitchen, you can pack breakfast foods & coffee, as well as après ski munchies, beverages, and dinner. Keep in mind these condos are usually “fully equipped” but not fully stocked (this verbiage has misled more than a few travelers) so you need to bring everything from butter, milk, spices, salt and pepper to whatever gourmet delights you have in mind! Having a bag of items ready in Zip-Lock Baggies is my savior; spices, coffee, laundry detergent (can be used for hand-wash emergencies, if there is no washer/dryer).
If you are driving to your ski destination, shop at home to avoid spending precious leisure time in a remote, overpriced grocery store. Make a list of the meals your planning and the provisions you will bring. If you are vacationing with others, try a meal share, “you do breakfasts – we’ll make Saturday night dinner!” This is fun, social and results in fewer people in the kitchen at one time.
Have a checklist handy as you are packing up the car and heading out: ski bag with skis and poles, boot bag, luggage, food, money, directions, reservation info, ski saving coupons (every little bit helps).
Bring along a few trash bags to place dirty clothes in, this will avoid “cross-contamination”. Upon arriving home, immediately unpack your ski bags – wash anything that needs to be laundered, then repack and store your ski boot bag with all clean, dry gear … and you are ready to go when the meteorologist says snow!