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Packing for a family ski trip can be one of the most time-intensive tasks of going on a ski vacation (well, besides getting all the kids DRESSED with their ski gear on).
Every year, I’m amazed at how much time it takes us to pack our kids ski gear kids for just the day, and the process seems to quadruple if we’re staying overnight. Staying on top of our ski trip packing can feel super overwhelming with all the gear!
Truthfully, there is so much gear to bring when skiing with kids, that even with our family skiing every weekend, we have to make a list of everything we need to pack just for one ski day, or we inevitably forget something. Like the time we showed up at the ski hill and forgot two of the kids coats (they wore mine and my husbands, so WE froze), or how just a few weeks ago, I asked one of the kids to grab everyone’s ski boots and sure enough, they only grabbed one boot for little brother!
Yes, forgetting things when we’re skiing happens. However, I’ve noticed that when we have systems and a physical ski packing CHECKLIST printable, I’m much less likely to forget something important. I just have too much going on in my brain to remember ALL THE GEAR. I do the exact same thing when we go camping in the summer.
Family Ski Trip Packing List Printable
Below, you can print our family ski packing list checklist so that you don’t ever have to worry about forgetting ski gear again. This ski trip checklist has saved our family OVER AND OVER again from forgetting important pieces of family ski gear. Print it off, laminate it, and keep it stored with your family ski trip gear so no one has an excuse for not knowing what to pack for a ski trip. That way you never have to waste energy thinking about what to pack for a ski trip and can spend that energy enjoying a family ski day. Below we’re sharing our top ski trip packing hacks, ski vacation organization ideas, and all of the best family ski gear to make sure that you have an unforgettable family ski vacation.
- Family Ski Trip Packing List Printable
- What is the best way to pack for a family ski trip
- Best Bags To Pack On A Ski Trip with Family
- Organizing your ski gear at home for easy packing
- Ski Gear Organization Hacks
- What To Pack For A Family Ski Trip?
- Printable Ski Packing list For Kids
- What To Pack For A Ski Trip With Kids
- Helmet for skiing
- Ski Goggles
- Ski socks
- Coat and Snow Pants
- Ski gloves or mittens
- Neck gaiter or balaclava for skiing
- Ski Boots
- Snacks for skiing
- Chapstick (keep it in the coat pocket)
- Knit hat/beanie to wear while not skiing
- Base Layers for skiing
- Mid Layer for skiing
- Water Bottle
- What To Pack For Skiing With Toddlers and Young Kids
- What to Pack For The Whole Family To Share On A Ski Trip
What is the best way to pack for a family ski trip
When packing for a family ski trip, you can have everyone pack their own things, or you can pack everything of one type, together. In our family, we do a little bit of both, and having a checklist is a lifesaver either way!
Best Bags To Pack On A Ski Trip with Family
If we are skiing as a family, we LOVE these giant waterproof duffel bags. We’ve been using them for years and will usually take a combination of the sizes to fit all our gear. Usually we will put all the coats in one, goggles and gloves in another, and have one more that’s just for snacks. These bags are great because they provide a great way to separate wet and dry ski gear at the end of the day. This is the best family ski bag.
If we are skiing all together as a family, we typically have one person be in charge of each type of equipment to put in the big family ski bag (and THEY are the one responsible for making sure that we have gear for everyone). For example. I might ask my oldest to load everyone’s skis and poles, and my daughter to grab everyone’s ski boots, while another child might grab our tote full of helmets and goggles. This way, everyone can pitch in for ski packing, so that mom has time to help get all the little details ready. This bag has separate compartments you can add to keep gear separated, so it’s really convenient!
If just a few of us are going on a family skiing trip, everyone packs their own things, and puts them in a car into their own bag (yes, organizing your gear in bags is a lifesaver!).
Last year, we fell in love with this bag when our oldest started going skiing with friends without us. He can keep EVERYTHING he needs in this ski bag for kids and adults (even his helmet and boots) in this one bag, so I never had to worry about him losing his ski gear, or getting it mixed up with his friends kid ski gear. This is the best kids ski bag we use!
Organizing your ski gear at home for easy packing
One of the best things that we ever did was to organize all of our ski gear for easy packing. All of our helmet and goggles stay in a large tote on a designated shelf in the basement, so when it’s time to go skiing, all we do is grab that tote. In our bin of ski and snowboard boots, we only have what we need out, so the kids know that they have to take EVERY PAIR (instead of guessing about which pair fits who).
In our garage, we installed these amazing ski racks so that every kid could reach their skis, yet they’re still super organized and out of the way.
Ski Gear Organization Hacks
Gloves, hats, and neck gaiters are all stored in a clear shoe organizer in the coat closet. Every person has their own row, so when it’s time to go, we can quickly grab whatever people need by just grabbing their gear out of their row of organizers.
THIS IS OUR BEST SKI GEAR ORGANIZATION HACK!!
We also would be terrible at keeping track of ski passes, so we make sure that they are ALWAYS in our kids ski pants, and we just never take them out (our kids snow pants have a pocket that’s perfect for holding a ski pass). If your kids don’t have a pocket, attach their pass to their snow pants with a metal keyring (don’t use the lanyard unless you don’t have a better option).
Here’s a real life glimpse what a day of ski prep looks like for our family:
What To Pack For A Family Ski Trip?
Packing for a family ski trip can get very overwhelming. Every time we got skiing as a family, we pack more ski gear and clothing into our car than we took for an entire year of traveling the world. Packing for a ski trip can easily have you feeling like you’re drowning in ski gear, especially if there are several people in your family. It’s easy to forget someone’s gloves, another persons boots, or someone elses poles. That’s why a printable ski trip packing list is invaluable.
Download your FREE Printable Ski Checklist for Families so you know exactly what to bring on a ski trip
Printable Ski Packing list For Kids
Want your kids to be more independent and keep track of their own ski gear on a family ski trip? That’s exactly why we created this printable ski holiday checklist for kids. It’s designed so that kids of all ages can use it (even our preschooler uses it), with easy to identify pictures for everything for kids to pack skiing. We like to laminate a copy of this kids ski checklist and give the kids a dry erase marker so they can check off the ski gear packed in their bag and we can easily erase it later. This printable kids checklist for skiing will simplify your life and give your kids more responsibility as well!
What To Pack For A Ski Trip With Kids
Making sure that you pack all of these essentials for a ski trip with kids can not only make your trip go smoother, but it will also save you a lot of money. Most of these are essentials that resorts charge a premium for, so make sure to make all of your family ski essentials before you leave home.
Helmet for skiing
Every person in the family needs to wear a helmet. Consider it a non-negotiable. It should fit properly, and not wiggle on your head at all. Make sure to read where I talk all about choosing the best fitting helmet and check out our review of the top 10 kids ski helmets.
Gone are the days where you ski in just your sunglasses (unless that’s what you really want). Todays goggles are incredibly affordable and with so many options on the market, it’s easy to find good fitting ski goggles to pack. Our current favorite ski goggles for kids are these these reflective goggles, and these budget goggles for kids.
Read our full review of the best kids ski goggles.
One pair of good ski socks is all you need to wear, never two. We prefer wool ski socks, and these Smartwool kids ski socks are my all time favorite for kids with their excellent padding, and since they never seem to fall down.
Read our full review of the best ski socks for kids.
Coat and Snow Pants
Trust me – if you plan on spending much time outside with your kids, it’s worth EVERY PENNY to invest in good outerwear for them. Getting kids good outerwear will not only help them enjoy being outside more, but they’ll also be able to stay outside LONGER. The highest quality kids outerwear that we’ve found is from Shred Dog. It’s insanely waterproof, and it’s the gear my older kids grab for whenever they want to stay outside ALL DAY LONG without worrying about being wet and cold. Click here for a 25%-35% discount on Shred Dog Gear.
Ski gloves or mittens
We’re a family that’s split 50/50 on the gloves and mittens debate. If your hands get really cold, you’ll want mittens, but if your kids are more concerned about throwing snowballs than warmth, gloves are the way to go. We’ve done some pretty thorough testing of the top ski gloves for kids, so make sure to check out all our recommendations for the best kids gloves and mittens to pack on your ski trip.
Neck gaiter or balaclava for skiing
Even if the weather isn’t bitter cold, we always pack neck gaiters for everyone in the family. On really cold days, our younger kids love to wear a thin balaclava under their ski helmet. We’ve put together a list of the best kids neck gaiters and face coverings here, though this one my be my absolute FAVE.
Don’t forget this one. We’ve been there, though luckily the local rental shop saved us. If you’re looking for a great way to haul all your skis and poles, we absolutely LOVE this roof top ski carrier. If you’re flying on your family ski trip, consider renting ski gear while you travel or using this padded ski bag to protect your skis while you travel.
A few weeks before your family ski trip, make sure to have everyone in the family try on their ski boots to make sure they fit. Kids quickly grow out of their ski boots, and wearing ski boots that are too small, will make for a horribly uncomfortable day. Read all about how to know if your kids ski boots fit.
We typically introduce our kids to ski poles when they’re ready to start skiing blue terrain consistently. Before then, they’re not necessary and often turn out to be a distraction for kids learning how to ski.
Snacks for skiing
We NEVER ski without snacks. For our kids, looking forward to snacks on the chairlift ride is one of the most important parts of the day. We keep a few snacks in everyone’s pockets and always bust them out on the chairlift for extra fun. Our favorites are M&M’s, tropical TicTacs, LifeSavers, and Gummy Bears. Everyone gets one on every chairlift ride and it magically turns moods happy and excited (even after a bad run).
We also carry a few of these ClifKids bars in our pockets for moments when the kids really need a burst of energy, or start to get hungry before lunch. They’re packed with protein and don’t have much added junk, like lots of other kids bars do. These are our favorites flavors.
Chapstick (keep it in the coat pocket)
Our kids have really sensitive lips, and the sun and wind in the mountains always leaves their lips chappy after skiing. Our favorite Chapstick is always kept in everyone’s coat pockets, so they can reapply as needed. Just don’t forget to take it out before washing and putting in the dryer!
Also, if your lips get REALLY chapped (like mine), this lip mask is a life saver. It’s the only thing that can rescue my really chapped lips from cracking and bleeding. I lather it on at night, and my lips feel so good and healed by morning.
Knit hat/beanie to wear while not skiing
While we do recommend that everyone wear a helmet while skiing, we also take knit beanies for everyone to wear while getting dressed and to keep their heads warm while we’re eating lunch back at the car. Here are a few of our favorites.
Base Layers for skiing
Often overlooked, base layers are the key to staying warm on a family ski trip. Not only do they help insulate you, but if you buy good ones, they wick moisture away when you start sweating as well. Head here for 20% off my favorite wool base layers for kids, and here for 25% off my favorite synthetic base layers for kids. (PS – this kid right here has super sensitive skin and these merino base layers are perfect for him!)
Mid Layer for skiing
This is the layer to really rely on during cold days. For a mid-layer while skiing, we typically have our kids wear a fleece, or if it’s really cold, a puffy jacket (down is the best, but all of our kids also love this synthetic ski jacket).
Always take a water bottle with you to the ski hill that’s totally full. Make sure that you take a big drink before you start skiing and also to drink throughout the day. Staying hydrated while skiing will help to fight off dehydration and altitude sickness and will give you more energy to ski throughout the day.
What To Pack For Skiing With Toddlers and Young Kids
We talk about it a lot here on Skiing Kids, but edgie wedgies and ski harnesses are the absolute BEST with young kids. You can find our favorite edgie wedgie HERE and our favorite kids ski harness HERE. Both of these are tools that we consider essential for beginner skiers who are under the age of 6-years-old.
What to Pack For The Whole Family To Share On A Ski Trip
This is our number one must have for any family ski trip packing list. We ALWAYS take an insulated jug of hot cocoa and some cups to the ski hill with us. It’s the perfect way to end out a long ski day, and will save you a small fortune since you can avoid the $7 cups of cocoa at the ski lodge. This is our all time favorite insulated jug- it keeps our cocoa steaming hot for a solid 8 hours and we’ve never had any problems with leakage in the 7 years we’ve been using it, and with a 2L capacity, it holds plenty of cocoa for the whole day!
Don’t let the cold temperatures fool you, you need to be wearing sunscreen while skiing. Higher elevations combined with the reflective property of snow, put you at a high risk of sun damage while skiing. Our favorites are sunscreen sticks since they’re easy to throw in the pocket of your ski jacket and won’t run into your eyes if you start sweating. Taking a sunscreen stick also makes reapplication throughout the family ski day an absolute must!
Snacks for a family ski trip
When we ski as a family, we give everyone their own little treats to keep in their ski coat, however, having a few bigger snacks on hand is always a good idea. Our tried and tested best snacks for skiing are oranges and Clif Bars, so we always have a stash of each that we take with us when we ski together.
In the last decade, we’ve seen a major shift away from traditional cameras and towards using just a phone for a camera. If you are depending on your phone camera to take pictures while skiing, you’ll probably be incredibly disappointed. Phone batteries are not meant to withstand extreme cold, so often your phone will die shortly after you arrive for your family ski day.
Instead of using your phone camera for skiing, I can’t recommend getting a GoPro enough. They’re super compact and easy to stash in your pocket and they make the perfect camera for skiing. A GoPro does an excellent job at balancing the harsh lighting that you often find while skiing, and their video stabilization technology is out of this world. We take our GoPro with us EVERY time we ski, and feel like it was one of the best ski gear investments we’ve ever made.
What Food To Pack For A Family Ski Trip
I mentioned snacks above, but one of the best ways to save money on a family ski trip is to pack your own ski lunch. If a PB&J stuffed into your jacket pocket doesn’t sound appealing, check out our Top 20 Ski Lunch Ideas and recipes.