Ski vacations are admittedly harder to pack for than a trip to the beach. After all, in addition to skis, boots, poles and helmets (unless you’re renting gear once you arrive), you’ve got to pack everything you’re going to wear — and that ski parka doesn’t compress down nearly as well as a bikini and cover-up into your checked bag.
- Base layers (long underwear)
- Light fleece or ski sweater
- Socks (for skiing and après-ski)
- Après-ski boots
- Ski parka and snow pants
- Hat, gaiter, gloves (and glove liners)
- Skullcap for under helmet
- Après-ski outfits (jeans, shirts, sweaters)
- Pajamas or loungewear
Here are some other things you might not think about when you’re packing — but will want when you arrive!
Quality sunglasses: You may have ski goggles to protect your eyes from the sun’s strong rays when you’re on the slopes, but you’ll definitely want protective eyewear off the slopes, too. Especially if you’re walking around snowy streets, where the sunlight can reflect off of the white snow. Plus, UV rays more powerful at high altitude because the amount of air filtering the sun drops the higher you get above sea level.
Sunscreen: Indeed, exposed skin on the slopes — namely your face — is highly susceptible to sunburn for the reasons listed above. Quality sunscreen with at least 30 SPF is important; don’t rely on the sunscreen in your daily moisturizer alone.
Reusable water bottles: Start hydrating a few days before your trip, and while you’re on the plane (or road-tripping), because at high-altitude ski resorts, it’s so common to get dehydrated. When you’re at your hotel or condo, you’ll want a water bottle on hand to just keep drinking water — all the time.
Hand and foot warmers: If you’re not familiar with this brilliant invention, you place these little disposable packets in your gloves and stick them to the bottom of your ski socks to help keep extremities warm on especially cold days. The most common ones are air-activated, and cost as little as 50 cents each.
Lip balm: You may not use a lot of Chapstick at home, but when you go to the mountains, you’ll likely find that your lip get dry in the thin air. Pack some lip balm that has SPF in it.
Advil, ginger chews and/or antacid: Other effects of mild altitude sickness include headaches and upset stomach. Be prepared to alleviate these symptoms with some over-the-counter remedies.
Swimsuit: You may not be lounging on a sandy beach, but chances are, your hotel or condominium has an outdoor hot tub. Soaking in a steamy Jacuzzi after skiing is a great way to soothe sore muscles.
This post was written in conjunction with my relationship with Mountain Reservations as one of its Mountain Ambassadors.