Packing for a ski vacation

Layers, layers and more layers. This is what winter travel generally consists of, especially when headed to a snowy mountain.

Packing for yourself, let alone your kids, can be a daunting task. Do you need snow pants? How many pairs of socks? Did you know you need sunscreen when you head to a mountain in the winter? (Yup. Even when it is cold the UV rays can harm your skin. Many ski schools require children to show up with sunscreen already applied.) You need to be prepared.

The most important elements, and the items that will take up the most room in your suitcase, are the outer layers you need to pack. This is no beach holiday that requires swimsuits and flip flops. No, you need mittens, hats, snow suits and long johns.

Here is an example of the winter layers we pack for our ski vacations.


How do you remember it all? The best way is to break down each member of the family’s outfits, starting with the baby and working your way up to mom and dad.


  • Full snowsuit that includes a hood and hand covers

Baby (walking)

  • Thermal shirt and pants
  • Warm hat that can attach under chin
  • Mittens (preferably ones that can attach to the coat)
  • Snow/ winter coat
  • Snowsuit or snow jumper ((suspenders built in that go over the shoulders to keep pants up)
  • Thick socks
  • Boots

Toddler ski outfit


  • Thermal shirt and pants
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Ski coat
  • Snow pants or snow jumper
  • Ski socks
  • Snow boots
  • Ski Goggles
  • Helmet
  • Optional: chin wrap

Mom, Dad and older kids

  • Long johns or thermal shirt and pants
  • Snowboard or ski pants
  • Ski jacket
  • Ski or snowboard socks (yes there is a difference)
  • Snow boots
  • Hat
  • Scarf or chin wrap
  • Ski or snowboard mittens/gloves with inner liner to keep hands extra warm
  • Helmet
  • Ski Goggles

Nordic Skiing

Pack extras for everyone

If you have extras at home, I recommend packing an extra set of gloves/mittens and an extra hat. These are items that get wet in the snow. If you are playing all day on the mountain, and want to go out for dinner at night, you will still need your hat and gloves. Trust me. You won’t want to put them on if they are soaked.

Extra clothing to pack:

  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Long johns/ Thermals
  • Socks


  • Skis, polls and boots (Downhill or Nordic)


  • Arnica (for sore muscles)


  • Healthy snacks high in protein
  • Hand warmers
Ski vacation


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