Even the most veteran skiers have trouble packing for a ski vacation. Clothes are bulky! they're heavier than typical winter garments! And all that gear! We have been skiing enough to have devised our own systems for packing efficiently. Here are some of our tips for what to bring.
Gear: If possible, bring skis, poles, snowboard, boots, goggles, and a helmet. If you can't bring these things (or you can only bring some of them), fear not—most resorts have places where you can rent everything you need and then some.
Outerwear: Ski jacket, insulated ski pants, snow boots, neck warmer, and gloves/mittens. Try putting some of these items in packing cubes, which keep your suitcase neat and organized and condense garments so you can fit more.
Inner wear: Think in layers. Layer No. 1: Long thermal underwear for the top and bottom made of synthetic, breathable fabric to keep the moisture on the outside. Layer No. 2: Socks. Layer No. 3: Fleece to keep the heat in and the cold out. Turtlenecks and vests also are good options here. Layer No. 4: Top it all off with nylon pants and a jacket, and you should stay dry and toasty for hours.
Viewfinder Tip: Instead of packing your ski jacket, wear it to save valuable packing space and weight.
Multiples: Bring at least two pairs of long underwear (top and bottom), two neck warmers, two ski hats and two pairs of gloves and socks. This will allow one set to dry while you’re wearing the other. (It’s always a plus if you are staying in a place that has a washer/dryer and/or a fireplace; there is nothing more miserable than having to wear wet clothes in freezing temperatures.)
Extras: Don’t forget sunscreen, lip balm, and moisturizer. Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean you won’t get sunburned or dehydrated. Also, boot- and hand-warmers are great for a quick warm up on a frigid day.
Apres Ski: Take a bathing suit for the hot tub, in which you'll want to soothe your aching muscles after a day on the slopes. Also pack comfy pants, sweaters, pajamas, and slippers for lounging and unwinding when the day is done. There is nothing better after a bone-chillingly cold day than taking a hot shower and slipping into warm, soft clothes.
Camera: Last but not least, don't forget a camera. This is where great technology comes in handy and makes capturing every moment a snap (literally). Today's smartphones are perfect for shooting photos and short videos of your day on the slopes. If you want to delve into social media, download Instagram and Vine apps for posting your activity in real-time. To record all the action, get a GoPro; these tiny digital video cameras can mount onto your helmet, skis, snowboard, or your chest.
Our last bit of advice is to create a checklist. While forgetting gear isn't the end of the world, it can get costly when you have to pay resort prices to replace the snow boots you left at home. Also, be sure to pack at least one day's worth of ski clothes in your carry on; this way, if, for some reason, your luggage doesn't arrive when you do, you can still hit the slopes in comfort.
What are your tips for what to bring on a ski vacation?