Ski Trip Packing List: A Southerner’s Guide for a Ski Vacation

Ski Trip Packing List: Must Have Kids Ski Trip Essentials and Gear for Cold Weather

We live in South Georgia. We basically have one season: summer. We see 85 degrees on Christmas. It’s snowed once in the last twenty years…and what little snow we got was melted by lunchtime.

When we started planning our first ski trip to North Carolina (you can see the first part of our trip here and the second part of our trip here) I felt clueless and overwhelmed as to what we’d need in order to stay warm and have fun!

I’m so thankful for the awesome community I have on Instagram – they came to my rescue and helped me navigate cold weather with kids. So today, I’m sharing what I’ve learned about making a ski trip packing list… especially when you’re from a warm climate!

When we most recently visited Copper Mountain, Colorado for a family ski trip over Christmas Break I referenced this blog post and it was a HUGE help in my own packing and planning. With having just returned home from the trip I thought it would be the perfect time to republish this post and add to it with what I’ve learned when taking four kids skiing in Colorado πŸ™‚

ski trip packing list with kids

Ski Trip Packing List:

A tip for southern mamas who are considering taking kids skiing: invest in neutral colors.

Ski gear is expensive and if it’s not something you are able to go and do on a regular basis it’s best to purchase neutral colors that can be passed down to younger siblings for future trips!

I tried to stick to a neutral palate as much as I could with grays and blacks when possible! When we went to North Carolina I had purchased pink ski gear for my daughters and now that our fourth child is a boy their pink outfits weren’t passed down to him.

I often hear people suggest bright colors to make it easier to spot each other on the mountain and I think that’s a GREAT tip when it comes to the ski jacket, but for other basics like layers and pants and bibs I’d stick to neutrals.

A big tip I highly recommend is to purchase everything in advance prior to traveling for your cold weather trip.

Prices are much higher on ski essentials near the ski resorts than they are on Amazon or other such sites online.

Be sure to order well in advance as it’s also important to have time to try things on and exchange if needed.

Proper fitting ski essentials are crucial to be comfortable in the cold weather and to stay dry in the wet snow.

We had a difficult time finding mittens to fit my four-year-old, ordering plenty of time before your trip gives you time to try everything on and exchange items if necessary.

Ski Trip Packing List: Must Have Kids Ski Gear for Cold Weather. What to Pack and bring for a Successful Ski or Snowboard Trip For Your Family

List of Ski Trip Equipment:

Ski Pants / Ski Bibs

Pants made specifically for skiing and other outdoor winter sports are important.

Waterproof ski pants (or snowboard pants) are essential.

Not only to keep you, and your kids, warm but especially DRY. Fit is so crucial and I recommend sizing up.

Length is very important to keep snow from coming up the legs! By ordering up I am hoping to get a couple wears out of the bibs and to be able to pass them down to younger siblings for future trips.

Bibs are where it’s at for kids.

A bit of a hassle to use the bathroom but worthwhile to ensure that they stay UP and avoid getting any snow inside their clothes.

A tip for wearing bibs? Put the underlayer of clothes on, then the bibs, then the next layer of a shirt (sweatshirt etc) that way if you get hot you can peel off layers without removing the bibs!

As my kids have gotten older ski pants make more sense and are easy for them to put on and off on their own for bathroom breaks and are also more comfortable for them than the bibs.

I also like to make sure they have nice-sized pockets to be able to store things in and to make sure the pants have the elastic layer inside the pants to go over the top of the ski boots to help keep them dry and warm.

Ski pants don’t need to be fancy – these will get the job done πŸ˜‰

Ski Gloves / Ski Mittens

A lesson we learned very quickly when it comes to taking kids skiing – gloves are a PAIN.

Kids magically can’t find their fingers and it’s a huge hassle to help them get the gloves on and off. Mittens yall. Mittens are CRUCIAL.

Kye is our oldest and he was 9 on our trip to North Carolina and he got gloves and handled them beautifully.

Our 7 year old, Britt, had gloves the first day and it was a nightmare so mittens went on the second day and it was a WAY better experience.

When we visited Colorado Kye was 12, Britt was 10, Tess was 7 and Spear was 4. Just like on the North Carolina trip we tried gloves with the seven year old on the first day and she quickly asked to switch over to mittens.

Also, be sure to look for gloves and mittens with pockets in them for hot hands to help keep hands warm (more on that in a moment).

If you have a toddler I cannot stress enough just how awesome the long length mittens are for little ones! These mittens were a game-changer for our son during our trip to Colorado.

With the longer length cuff it is wise to put the mittens on BEFORE putting on the ski jacket. These stay on so much better than shorter mittens and the hand warmer pocket helped me know that his little hands would stay warm too.

For our older kids these gloves have been fantastic. Again, I love the pocket for the hot hand! These are easy to put on but also can be tightened for a snug fit which is so important.

As I pulled down our ski equipment from the attic I assumed Zach and I would be able to use our old ski gloves for our trip, but they had small rips and tears and I didn’t want to risk that cold, wet air getting through them and causing us to be uncomfortable.

It’s important to inspect all ski gear prior to traveling and to store it properly too!

We bought these gloves for ourselves and they were AWESOME. So often ski gloves say they work with touch screens and phones but many times they don’t work at all and you end up having to remove your glove. Well…this glove ACTUALLY legit works on the touch screens and we were able to take pictures and videos without removing our gloves.

When traveling to North Carolina an under layer of gloves isn’t necessary but when we arrived in Colorado to negative degree temperatures we were thankful we purchased the extra layer for our gloves to help keep our hands warm!

Zach wore this layer of glove under his ski gloves and it worked beautifully.

I bought these lightweight gloves for the older kids to wear under there gloves. They were pretty annoyed by the experience of having to put them on but they were always glad they had them once the whole dramatic glove applying process finished πŸ˜‰

It is wise to size down on the inner layer of gloves so they have a tighter fit as it will help put the top glove on easier!

While in CO I met a fellow skier who had these heated mittens and I thought it was a GENIUS idea. They are a little pricey for a one time use trip but if you have a few cold-weather adventures they may be worth while.

Ski Goggles

Even though we were skiing in North Carolina, ski goggles are still a very important item to purchase.

When going through our stored items I realized that ski goggles do not store well.

I had to replace all of the ski goggles we owned and moving forward am being mindful to store them in a climate controlled environment so they can hold up better until we go skiing again!

A good ski packing list tip is to make sure to always keep the ski goggles in their protective sleeves.

Once scratched, ski goggles are impossible to deal with so you really want to protect them as much as possible!

It may also be super helpful to purchase some anti fog spray to apply to the goggles before heading out. Goggles can fog pretty easily and can make it impossible to see on the slopes!

Purchasing kids ski goggles can be a little overwhelming and goggles are one of those items that can be super easy to confuse on whose is whose. I love this pack of multiple pairs of kids ski goggles and how they are each a neutral color while still being different to make them easier to spot and differentiate between.

A good fit for ski goggles is very important.

You want them to be able to go over a helmet and stay on without shifting too much.

Often times sunglasses can be worn instead of goggles, especially in places like North Carolina where it isn’t as cold, but it’s always the best bet to have goggles as preparation. All of us did wear goggles and were glad we had them even in 48 degree weather in NC!

For our Colorado ski trip I didn’t bring sunglasses for anyone other than Zach and I. These are my FAVORITE sunglasses (they legit look good on EVERYONE) and I wore them during our days playing in the snow and they worked great.

Ski Trip Packing List: Must Have Kids Ski Gear for Cold Weather. What to Pack and bring for a Successful Ski or Snowboard Trip For Your Family

Ski Jacket


One way I really cut costs on our ski trip was when it came to purchasing jackets.

My husband and I both have ski jackets from college that still fit just fine but kids grow so fast and we just don’t have a need for heavy winter coats in the South.

Rather than buy jackets specifically designed for skiing, I instead invested in waterproof winter puffer-style jackets that are also waterproof! These winter jackets come in tons of different designs and styles and both boys and girls options.

Puffer jackets provide warmth, comfort, and protection from the wet snow.

They aren’t as easy to move in as a ski jacket (or snowboard jackets) but they are kids and kids are totally content being little marshmallows πŸ˜‰ Having this combo of the puffer look with a more sleek ski style will allow better movement than the puffer would but also be comfortable and work just as well for your child’s yearly coat too!

Ski jackets are a great thing to be more “loud” in color to help easily spot your kids on the slopes! I like having lots of pockets for my kids to have their chapstick and some hand warmers as well as a chest pocket to keep their lift ticket in too.

The only ski jacket feature I don’t think kids really like or need is the thumb hole. My kids wore the thumb hole on their jackets in Colorado on their first day of the trip and it was too uncomfortable so they quickly stopped using them.

I bought this winter jacket for myself and it doubles as a ski jacket as well! I love all the pockets and I saw LOTS of other moms wearing the same jacket on the mountain too!

For us, southern mamas be sure to check local kids sales or Goodwill for nice jackets for kids that have very little wear and tear.

I bought a full snowsuit for my toddler for only $5 and it was even a fancy brand name item that didn’t have a single sign of being worn!

The best ski trip packing list for planning the perfect family ski trip with kids!

What to Pack for a Ski Trip: The Snow

While the above items are a must-have for a ski trip – it is important to keep in mind that you won’t be skiing or snowboarding the entire time during your vacation.

You will want to play in the snow. Explore the mountains. Walk around town. Be out and about. And that means you will need to stay WARM.

Snow Boots

As I mentioned, we live in warm weather.

When it came to purchasing ski items I knew a lot of them wouldn’t be things we’d use often – if ever again.

I just couldn’t justify purchasing fancy, expensive snow boots for each of us.

When you go skiing you are able to rent equipment and ski boots (or snowboard boots) are included as part of the rental costs, but it’s still important to have a waterproof shoe to keep feet warm and dry when not on the slopes.

Rather than buy expensive snow boots when we never see snow at home, I decided to invest in really nice rain boots for my kids.

Easy to put on and take off, waterproof to keep them dry, and something they’d get plenty of use out of at home.

I actually bought my oldest a pair of these same boots when we went skiing several years ago and they have held up AWESOME and now his younger sister can wear them.

The boots are one of the best purchases I’ve made and have been worth every penny.

Our youngest, Spear, wears the hand me down boots from his siblings and they are still in excellent condition. He wears them almost daily πŸ™‚

Each child could handle putting them on and taking them off without any help and they made the car trips and walking back and forth from the ski lodge really easy!

I also love this brand of boots for myself. I’ve owned multiple pairs and they are all comfortable as well as warm but not TOO warm to still wear at home too.

Long Johns / Thermal Underwear

Staying warm and dry all begins with the crucial first layer.

When looking for a lot of the ski items I went with the cheapest I could find, but the reviews I kept seeing on Amazon for thermal underwear made me nervous.

I wanted to make sure the quality was nice and the material was moisture-wicking for ultimate comfort and moveability. I needed to purchase ALL new thermal gear for our Colorado trip and couldn’t use anything that we’d bought for North Carolina.

I do still highly recommend a good base layer, even if skiing in warmer temps.

I asked around a good bit to friends who had been skiing and so many mentioned Target as the go-to!

I purchased this top for myself and wore it literally every day in Colorado. All I wore was this and my jacket and I was PLENTY warm!

When I came to my pant layer I actually wore my Lululemon leggings and they were perfect!

I found these thermal sets for the kids and they were AWESOME. I didn’t realize when I purchased them (I did this set for the girls) that they are even lined. The kids wore them every day and when we got home Tess wanted to wear hers again and even wore them to school too (I promise I washed them ha!).

I wasn’t able to find anything in Spear’s size so he just wore a cotton t-shirt and cotton leggings and then I put a sweatshirt on him over top of his bibs and he was fine, even in the freezing cold temps.

I know I have been mentioning to size up for items with the ability to wear multiple seasons and pass down to siblings in mind, but when it comes to long underwear, the fit is important.

I worried that if the pants were too large my kids would chafe and everyone knows how miserable that can be! (I also made sure to purchase this spray which is AWESOME for chafe prevention)

My little kids also enjoyed having the little thumb slots in their thermal shirts. It helps keep the sleeves down when putting on additional layers over the base layers and made putting on the gloves and mittens easier too! The older ones didn’t use them but the younger ones thought they were fun πŸ˜‰

Neck Gaiter / Ski Gaiter / Balaclava

For our North Carolina trip, we knew we’d be having “warmer” weather for a ski trip (highs in the upper 40’s our whole stay), but our bodies are used to SUPER WARM weather.

I knew it’d be a big adjustment for our systems being in a higher altitude and colder climate than we’re used to.

It was important to me for my kids to have options in staying warm and being comfortable. I invested in a fleece gaiter for each of them and out of all the ski gear we had, these were the kids’ favorite items!

They really loved them and I can see them wearing them at home too since they loved them so much.

Having a neck warmer is great because you can take them on and off so easily and they can fold up small to easily fit in a bookbag or jacket pocket.

I asked on Instagram for tips when it came to heading out west to ski and the #1 recommendation from everyone was to invest in balaclavas for our family. So I did!

This balaclava worked perfectly for Tess and Spear (ages 7 and 4) but were a bit too tight for Kye and Britt (ages 9 and 12) so I’m returning two of them as I bought four for the trip.

I bought this balaclava for Zach and I and it was great for the current mask mandate as well. When we got on the bus we could just pull it up and have a face mask on too. This did run very large…I wear a men’s size large hat and it worked well for my head but was a bit too big for Zach.

Zach and Kye went skiing in Steamboat, Colorado on a father-son trip in 2020 and Zach bought this set of balaclavas for that trip. I wish I’d bought more of these for our Copper Mountain trip because everyone basically bickered over who got to wear these during our trip. Britt, Kye and Zach all took turns wearing them!

Ski Hat

Originally putting together the ski trip packing list, I made sure each child had a cute winter hat to wear on the slopes.

Then I learned that helmets are now included with the costs of renting skis…so the hats aren’t even necessary to wear when skiing anymore!

I was glad I invested in a cute ski hat for myself (and it worked GREAT to keep my head nice and warm too!) and the kids did enjoy wearing their hats to and from the slopes but if helmets are in your ski trip plan (which they should be!) you don’t need to spend money on any ski hats for your crew!

When we decided to make a family trip to Colorado I DID decide that we’d want some nice warm (and cute!) hats. I knew we’d all wear helmets while skiing as well as the balaclavas but I knew we’d also be COLD just walking around or having a snowball fight.

I had several hats already that the kids could choose from to bring with us but I had to get a John Deere hat for my tractor buddy πŸ˜‰

I also got this super cute Hedwig hat for Britt who LOVES Harry Potter!

Ski Trip Packing List: Must Have Kids Ski Gear for Cold Weather. What to Pack and bring for a Successful Ski or Snowboard Trip For Your Family

Ski Socks


When I was making my packing list for ski trip I knew we’d be needing socks but I didn’t really consider needing ski socks.

What are ski socks? Basically, socks that will keep your feet WARM are so important to include in your ski trip checklist.

The main material you want to look for in socks for cold weather is WOOL. Merino wool is a great material that creates a nice thick, warm sock.

I am so glad I bought these socks for our trip. They are thick socks without being TOO thick and worked great even throughout a long day on the slopes.

They come in a nice large set which allowed us to have extra pairs for the kids. I love that they come in a pack of 6 and have three “boyish” colors and three “girlish” colors as I was able to divide up the larger size set between my two oldest and then I bought the smaller size set for my youngest to share.

Even with doing your best to keep your kids dry – somehow they WILL find a way to get wet!

Having an extra dry pair of socks for each child was a game-changer when finishing up our day skiing and wanting to be comfortable for the ride home since we were not staying on the mountain in NC.

Out of all the items I purchased from our North Carolina ski trip the SOCKS have been the item that we’ve used again and again. I actually bought all the same sets of socks for our Colorado trip. They were perfect in both kinds of climates!

Spear loves his so much that he’s been sleeping in them at night. Having warm socks really helped minimize complaints of cold feet!

I also bought these socks for myself. I have foot issues and comfort is very important to me and these socks not only kept me WARM but also gave me a bit of cushion support too.

Hand Warmers and Toe Warmers


When deciding things to take skiing always be mindful to look for items that work well with other products you may want to purchase.

When buying gloves and mittens be sure to buy the type that have a designated pocket to hold a hand warmer.

When it comes to skiing both your hands and feet will feel the coldest and keeping those areas warm can make your entire body feel warmer.

I would highly recommend investing in a LARGE quantity of hand warmers as well as toe warmers. I will say we did NOT use the toe warmers as often (and sometimes they were a bit uncomfortable) as we did the hand warmers so if you don’t have the space or want to spend the money the hand warmers are a must-have while the toe warmers are a “nice to have.”

They are easy to activate (just shake!) and then stay warm for a LONG time.

Pro mom tip: Stick a bunch of them in your pockets! Not only did it help keep me nice and toasty but I had them on hand for when the kids complained about being cold. Took off your gloves and touched the snow? Here’s a hand warmer. Fall down and get your face wet? Here’s a hand warmer.

I also found it handy to have the Hot Hands in my pockets for myself too. During moments when I needed to remove my own gloves I could hold them and stay warm until I could put mine back on again. They came in SO handy and the kids and I kept making jokes about how much we LOVE HotHands. Like truly I’d invest in their stock haha

Just remember to throw them away before washing all your ski gear…don’t ask me how I know πŸ˜‰

Also I had several people recommend purchasing a rechargeable hand warmer and while this may be a tempting purchase…I do NOT recommend it. I bought one and am returning it. When you’re in that cold of weather it just doesn’t work the same way those hothands do! Plus it’s too big to fit comfortably in any pockets and takes time to warm up. When you’re cold, you want warmth NOW.

Sweatshirts

ski trip packing list

Another item that families who live in warmer climates may not think to add to their ski trip packing list is sweatshirts.

When I started packing for our trip I was shocked to realize my kids didn’t own a single sweatshirt or hoodie. We just never need them where we live!

Sweatshirts are great to have as an extra layer for colder days on the slopes. We would have our kids wear their underlayer, ski bibs, then a sweatshirt and finally a jacket.

As they got hot during the day (skiing is hard work yall you will sweat!) they could easily peel off the sweatshirt or sometimes they’d just take off the jacket and use the sweatshirt as their top layer too.

My kids loved their sweatshirts so much that they wore them once we got home.

For the Colorado trip I got even smarter and purchased each of the kids a sweatshirt to wear on the flight on the way to Colorado. They layered it over a t-shirt and that way they stayed warm at the airport as well as on our shuttle ride up the mountain AND then they had the sweatshirt on hand to use as a top layer while skiing if needed.

The only one of the kids who actually ended up wearing their sweatshirt on the slopes was Spear and that’s because his base layer was a cotton t-shirt since I couldn’t find him and thermals in his size. I don’t regret having the sweatshirts though, especially since they did double duty!

I had also purchased each child fleece sweatpants for our NC trip but quickly discovered they didn’t need them so I didn’t purchase any for the CO trip!

The long underwear and ski bibs were enough for warmth and when they would play outside on our trip they would just wear their ski bibs too as the waterproof option made it easy for exploring in the woods or playing in the snow.

Lip Balm / Chapstick / Moisturizer


A must-have item on every ultimate ski trip packing list has to be lip balm.

Skiing down the slopes means wind and that combined with the cold weather can quickly result in chapped lips. I purchased a multi-pack of chapstick with SPF and gave every member of our family their own tube to keep with them at all times.

The kids each had a little pocket in the ski bibs or enough room in the pockets of their jacket to keep their tube of chap stick.

They were encouraged to apply it all throughout the day and no one had any chapping or windburned lips our entire trip!

I actually read over this blog post when packing for our Colorado trip and the chapstick tip is SO GOOD ha! I was proud of myself for thinking of that. I did the same thing for this trip but I also purchased a small tube of Aquaphor and applied that on their lips each night too to help prevent chapped lips while sleeping in the dry climate.

Spear has eczema and Aquaphor is like liquid gold for his sensitive skin. I applied lotion each night for him and then topped it with Aquaphor to help trap the moisture. I also used it on his little windblown cheeks at night too!

My own skin also felt VERY dry and I was so thankful I bought this moisturizer. It’s AMAZING.

Dry Air Help

Speaking of the dry air in Colorado it was SO dry that ALL of our eyes felt very, very dry. We also felt very dry in our nasal passageways and everyone had blood when we’d blow our noses.

We didn’t have any issues in North Carolina and being from the south I didn’t even know to be concerned about the difference in the air being in a higher altitude and colder, less wet, weather climate.

I’m SO thankful I had plenty of these eye drops on hand (I have naturally dry eyes anyway thanks to my Lasik saga…).

I am also so glad the condo where we stayed had lots of tissues! I didn’t think to buy any in advance but when we go skiing again I will be sure to bring along some of these tissue travel packs.

I also really wish I’d thought to purchase and bring a travel humidifier for us to use. I never thought we’d be so thankful for our humid South Georgia weather!

Sunscreen


A less obvious item to be sure to include in with your ski vacation travel gear is sunscreen.

No, you aren’t visiting the beach while on your trip to the mountains…but the sun can be harsh when in the snow. The white snow reflects the sun and can cause sunburn!

This was an item that I did not even think of whatsoever until someone suggested it to me.

It makes SO MUCH SENSE though and is one item I didn’t need to buy because every family that lives in the deep South knows you need sunscreen year-round πŸ˜‰

This is my favorite sunscreen for my kids.

My girls are very sensitive and will say the sunscreen “burns” but with this one, we’ve never had any complaints!

I put it on each of my kids each morning of our ski trip and never had anyone have any sunburn issues.

Water Bottles


One last item I highly recommend purchasing is a good water bottle for each child.

My kids were in ski school during our stay and having their designated water bottle for their class to be able to stay hydrated throughout the day.

These are by far my favorite water bottles and we love them for all of our traveling – Disney, car trips, flights, and more.

They are durable, keep water cold, and have a great little hook to make carrying them much easier!

We took them on the flight to Colorado as well and just had the kids empty them at the airport and refill once we were through security. They hold up great and never have any leaks – even with lots and lots of drops!

Items for Snow Fun!

When planning your ski trip be sure to carve out plenty of time to ENJOY the beautiful winter weather and allow plenty of snow fun experiences. ESPECIALLY being from the south – this is a rare opportunity for your kids to experience the fun of playing in the snow and it will most likely be the most treasured memory from your trip πŸ™‚

I wish we’d bought two of these snowball makers because our set ended up being fought over during our family snowball fight in Colorado. It is VERY lightweight so it won’t add a lot of bulk to your luggage and it works well! It’s now being used in our backyard sandbox by the four year old πŸ˜‰

A sled is a must-have for family fun in the snow BUT isn’t something I’d buy in advance especially if you are flying. When we arrived in Colorado we stopped on the way up to Copper Mountain in Denver to get groceries and picked up a sled similar to this one for $14. As you see on Amazon the prices are very inflated for sleds and they are also highly priced in the more tourist areas.

We ended up just leaving our sled at the VRBO condo for other guests to enjoy rather than deal with the hassle of flying it home when we’d never get to use it down here.

Ski Trip Packing List: Must Have Kids Ski Gear for Cold Weather. What to Pack and bring for a Successful Ski or Snowboard Trip For Your Family

Beyond the Ski Trip Packing List: Tips to Enjoy Your Ski Trip!

I learned so much from our first ski trip with our children in NC as well as our most recent one in Colorado.

Living in a warm climate means there are many small tips and tricks that are just common knowledge for people who live in snowy weather were totally new to me!

Here are some of the tips I learned and wanted to share with others:

Handle Girls’ Hair

A huge tip was to make sure I put my girls’ hair either in braids or pigtails.

This was GENIUS. Their hair wasn’t all over the place, wasn’t in their face, and wasn’t a tangled mess by the end of each day on the slopes.

Tess loved her braid pigtails so much and has asked for them again and again at home!

I made sure to do the pigtails and braids during our Colorado trip as well and Britt is now the one asking to rock her braids to school once we got home πŸ˜‰ It’s a great tip!

When doing the pigtails and braids be sure to put them very low on head to allow the ski helmet to fit pain-free!

I use these hair ties and they work great!

Use the Potty

With all the layers of ski gear, the last thing you want to hear is a child saying “I have to go potty!”

We were VERY mindful to have potty breaks at certain times during the day. Before hitting the slopes and at mealtime breaks we always took the kids potty.

We also made sure an adult was with them to help in taking off the layers and putting them back on.

Set Aside Off Time

Skiing is no joke. It will leave you EXHAUSTED.

I’m so, so thankful when we planned our trip that I planned for an off day between our ski slope days. It was so nice to relax and rest and recover a bit before going back out on the slopes again!

Downtime isn’t a waste of your vacation, it’s a blessing during all the rushing to be able to spend quality time together just enjoying each other!

Especially if dealing with a time change like we were in CO. We planned for the day to end early (which is easy to do since the slopes usually close before 5!). We also planned to eat dinner at the condo so we could just come back and CRASH. Put on comfortable clothes and have chill time until bedtime.

Ski Trip Packing List: Must Have Kids Ski Gear for Cold Weather. What to Pack and bring for a Successful Ski or Snowboard Trip For Your Family

Have Towels and Blankets in the Car

Even if you are using a rental car, be sure to pack some blankets and towels.

The towels are great to have on hand when you are wet (even just walking back from the ski resort to the car our boots got filthy!) and the blankets help everyone stay warm when traveling.

Being out in the cold for an extended period of time can really make your body feel like it’s freezing and a cuddly blanket will be a pleasant welcome!

If you’re flying to your destination also be sure to bring SWIMSUITS. Skiing and hot tubs just go together and our favorite family memory from both of our ski trips has been the time spent together in the hot tub.

Use Bookbags

Yes, ski resorts have lockers where you can store your stuff but both my husband and I also carried around a ski bag bookbag too.

It’s SO much easier to keep everyone’s must-have items easily accessible rather than having to trek back and forth to the locker every time someone needs something!

It’s a good idea to pack one that is waterproof so your items don’t get wet if you happen to fall πŸ˜‰ We use a lot of book bags when visiting Disney World so we just grabbed a couple from our stash.

Altitude Sickness

Another thing I wish I’d know when planning our trip to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado was that altitude sickness is a real deal thing and can strike anyone, kids included.

An important thing to help prevent altitude sickness when transitioning to a high altitude location is to STAY HYDRATED. Load up on water and make sure the kids are drinking plenty as well.

My oldest, Kye, got a bit of altitude sickness on our first day so I was frantically googling and learned that taking IBProphen prior to reaching higher altitudes and to continue taking it while higher up can help in prevention. As can Dramamine.

If anyone in your group starts to feel sick it’s important to STOP and REST. He took the rest of the morning off from skiing and had some rest, something to eat (carbs help!) and also took a Pepto. It really helped and he was good to go for the rest of the trip.

In the future I will have the kids and Zach and I take IBProphen leading up to the trip and a Dramamine the first day or two as well.

Planning for Success

Our most recent trip was with all four of our children and we didn’t do a very good job in planning properly. When planning the trip we didn’t take into consideration ALL THE GEAR involved in skiing. Getting four kids dressed and out the door to the slopes in the morning and after lunch took AGES.

When we do it again I will better prepare for the amount of time it takes to simply get out the door. We got a good system down by the end of the trip. We’d get the oldest kid ready and send them on the private porch area in the cold air to avoid getting too warm in all the gear while we got the next one ready and so on.

We also only signed up three of our kids for ski school on the first day and quickly realized that ski school or childcare is a MUST for young ones. We ended up signing up Spear, age 4, for ski school for all three days.

When researching resorts be sure to choose one that is kid friendly and has a solid ski school and childcare option. The ski school at Copper Mountain was JUST a ski school. So whenever he cried they would call me. Rather than being a childcare situation where they’d try to make it fun and keep him distracted and happy, they called anytime he didn’t feel like actual skiing which was very frustrating for me as I’d get up the mountain only to get a call and feel rushed to get down to go get him.

I wish we’d researched more to find a family-friendly mountain. One that had more kid-friendly ski camp options as well as was located closer to a major airport (most likely Park City, Utah will be our next ski season adventure!)

I also wish we’d planned for one more day of the trip to allow for more downtime after our arrival day so we could better rest after all the travel and help adjust to the time change.

Ski Trip Packing List: Must Have Kids Ski Gear for Cold Weather. What to Pack and bring for a Successful Ski or Snowboard Trip For Your Family

Save The Hassle – Ski Gear Rental

When I was in the early stages of our Colorado trip planning I learned about an awesome company with a GENIUS concept called Kit Lender.

You simply visit the Kit Lender website and you can order majority of your ski gear essentials. They ship your items to your destination (ours arrived a few days prior so before I even left home I knew our stuff was ready and waiting for us) and then after the trip is over you just put everything back in the box and ship it back using their prepaid label.

It was SO EASY! We used their ski pants and bibs, ski boots, gloves, jackets and goggles for our Colorado trip.

The people at Kit Lender were also super helpful in choosing items and helped me with the sizes too.

I LOVED the boots I rented from them and we all loved our jackets. Britt’s waterproof ski jacket had this adorable fur around the hood and it looked ADORABLE on her and made her feel special during her birthday trip πŸ˜‰

Tess’s pants ran a bit big but we were able to adjust them and my pants were a bit small – if I did it again I’d order TWO sizes UP from my regular size! I was worried about them being too big so I only sized up one size but should have sized up too.

On the form they included in my order it did say to call them if you had any sizing issues so I could have called but didn’t want to be a hassle and truly all of our clothing items fit well enough to work.

The ONLY item we weren’t super happy with were the gloves. I was VERY thankful we’d packed our own gloves and mittens from home as we ALL ended up swapping out the Kit Lender ones for the ones from home as ours were better quality and had the pockets for the HotHands and just seemed to keep our fingers warmer.

Overall though we were very, very impressed with the entire process and the items. They all arrived sorted by person so each person’s stuff was completely together and easy to keep separate. I love that all of our gear coordinated too so we looked cute for our family pics. The kids’ jackets were all perfect for their personalities and were all top quality brand names and had unique designs that were easy to spot on the slopes.

Ski clothing isn’t just expensive it’s also HEAVY. By trying to bring all of our own equipment and ski clothes we would have spent a small fortune on items that would get little to no use at home since we live in a sunny days and warm climate area.

We also would have spent a lot of money on oversized luggage and having to check additional luggage to fit all the winter gear. We already had 5 checked bags without those extra items! I also cannot fathom the additional stress I would have felt if I had been trying to research all the right gear to buy leading up to the trip. It was SUCH a relief to let Kit Lender handle all the must-haves and I will for sure use them on our next ski trip in the future and won’t be buying or bringing our own gear again.

I would 100% use Kit Lender again in the future and highly recommend them for your ski trip needs!

You can learn more about Kit Lender and place your order here!

Ski Trip Packing List: Must Have Kids Ski Gear for Cold Weather. What to Pack and bring for a Successful Ski or Snowboard Trip For Your Family

Final Thoughts:

Skiing is a wonderful family-friendly activity that children and adults of all ages can enjoy together!

As a family that lives in hot climates, snow isn’t something we’re familiar with and visiting colder regions gives us the opportunity to really see snow and enjoy playing and being active in it together.

Your first time skiing as a family during the winter season can be a good time rather than a stressful time with some preparation and pre-planning.

By being prepared and having a solid ski packing list you can ensure a fun and memorable ski holiday trip for your entire family!

If you’re driving on your ski trip and have a little one coming along be sure to read my tips for safely keeping your baby warm in their car seat here!

And if you’re flying for your family ski trip be sure to check out my must-have essentials for flying with kids here!

family ski trip packing list

4 Comments

  1. Kate
    January 24, 2021 / 4:21 pm

    Thanks for writing this up! We just moved up north and are planning our first ski trip with the kids. Very helpful!

    • January 24, 2021 / 5:13 pm

      Yay I’m so glad it’s helpful for your ski trip planning! Have FUN πŸ™‚

  2. Amy Merson
    January 7, 2022 / 5:42 pm

    Thank you so much for this post!! So helpful!! We recently moved to Colorado (from California) and are looking for ways to keep warm in the winter so this is super helpful!! I had never heard of the hot hands before so I’m definitely planning to buy some of those!

    • January 10, 2022 / 12:41 pm

      Yay! So glad it was helpful πŸ™‚ And congrats on the move!!!

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