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How to Pack for a Ski Vacation


You’ve got skis and a sense of adventure. But you’ll need a whole lot more to have a successful trip. Check out our tips on how to pack for a ski vacation, and you’ll stay warm amidst the frigid outdoors.

  • Start with your thermals, then mid layer (that all-important warm sweater), then insulating layers (trusty fleece jacket, thin polo necks, thin sweaters) and ski jacket and pants.
  • Tuck small items, such as ski socks and gloves, inside your ski boots to maximize space. Wrap your goggles inside a ski hat and make sure they're well-cushioned in case of bumps.
  • Don't skimp on accessories. Pack several pairs of ski socks and ski gloves or mittens, a neck warmer and goggles. Don't forget hand warmers, sun block and lip balm.
  • You'll need clothes for the après-ski too, and a good pair of boots to keep out the cold and slush. If you are really trying to keep baggage costs down you could rent some clothes for your stay at the resort. A growing number of resorts provide this service.
  • Do you really need to haul your skies on the flight or can you rent your skis there? Some airlines will throw in free ski carriage but other carriers will charge extra. If your prospective airline charges, weigh up the costs of carrying skis compared to renting. Some rental outlets will let kids rent free which will make for a cheaper family holiday and there are often online discounts too.
  • If you are bringing your skis or snowboard, pack clothes around them in the ski bag - if that's not expressly forbidden by your carrier, that is. Cram as much as you can into your hand luggage.
  • Wear as much on the flight as you can - your jacket and your hat for example. Some hard-core bargain flyers suggest wearing your ski boots too. Wearing a helmet in the cabin might be pushing the bounds of acceptability but it's an item that many slope-bound travelers will pack in their hand luggage.
  • Don't forget your paperwork. Pack your printouts for booked lift tickets, rentals, lessons, and, most importantly, your travel insurance policy.
  • Take plenty of plastic bags with you so you can wrap up everything that is dirty or wet on the way home (boots, soggy gloves etc).

Want more advice? See our Top 10 ski destinations.