Packing for a Snow Sports Vacation

You only need to put in a little thought and time before you rush off to your winter sports vacation. Here are a few suggestions based on many years of mountain resort travel:

Pack garments that protect your body, especially your fingers and toes, against cold, wind, and precipitation according to the climate you are visiting. Snow in the Northeast, for example, is wetter than in the Rockies, and temps in Canada are colder than in California. Check resorts' websites for weather and snow reports.

Take clothes you can layer.

Base Layers of polypropylene or other synthetic fibers that wick away perspiration. Don't wear cotton next to your skin. When it absorbs perspiration, it stays wet. Then when you decrease activity (i.e. ride the lift), you get chilled.

  •  A light shirt or first layer to wear over the base layer.

  • Fleece, first layer or sweater

  •  The outer layer - jacket and pants. Be sure they are wind- and water-resistant and that they "breathe," allowing perspiration and excess heat to escape through the fabric.

  •  One lightweight and one heavy parka to allow for changing weather. Pack the thinner one, wear the bulky one. Pack more than one outfit for a multi-day trip only if you have room.

Accessories: Hat and/or helmet (a helmet not only protects your head, but keeps your body warm), goggles, sunglasses, gloves or mittens, heat packs, if you’d like, for your hands and feet, neck warmer, face mask or balaclava and sunscreen with a high SPF number.

Socks. Bring several thin pairs that aren't cotton.

Equipment. Ask the airline what their baggage fees are, skis/snowboard and a boot bag are considered one bag. And check out the Ship Your Gear section to ship your skis/snowboard ahead via FedEx with savings up to 16%. Tell your gear to meet you at the mountain with no hassle!

Clothes to wear at night. Resort restaurants (and especially night clubs) can be very warm. Pack lightweight tops, then layer for walking outside.

pre-season ski & snowboard check list

Inspect and prep your gear, outerwear and accessories for the upcoming season!

Before the first snowflakes start flying, smart skiers and snowboarders take the time to go through their closets and garages to make sure their first day is stress-free. Doing a little prep early in the season can go a long way when you’re itching to get on the hill. So, that’s why SnowSports Industries America (SIA) has put together a handy pre-season check-list that can help get everyone on the hill a little faster the day after an epic snowfall.  


When’s the last time you had your skis/snowboard tuned? If the answer is “I can’t remember” then it’s time to get your equipment in for a tune. A general rule of thumb: if you've ridden five times on your boards, it’s time for a tune-up. Plus, an expert wax and sharpening makes skis/snowboards last longer and provide more control for turns and stopping.


If your hands are blocks of ice, you’re not going to enjoy any winter activity and your dexterity and performance is also affected. Make sure the whole family has a pair that fits properly.


Does your jacket still fit? Have your kids outgrown their outerwear? Are they up to the demands of winter activities? Some kids Prejackets and pants have hems that can be let out to get one more year of wear. However, if you/your kids are heading out on the slopes in varying weather conditions, it’s worth it to invest in well-made, quality outerwear. 

Travel/Pass/Lesson Discounts

Fall is the time to take advantage of discounts on travel packages, lessons and lift tickets/passes. Check with your local resort and retailer or a destination resort you’ve been planning to visit to see if they’re offering any “early bird specials”. 


Do you have one – does your kid need the next size up? For all ages of skiers/snowboarder, helmets are becoming the norm on the slopes. Not only do they protect against head injuries, but also provide warmth since up to 60% of your body's heat can escape from an uncovered head. 


If you can’t see where you’re headed on a mountain, you’re in big trouble. It’s amazing how much fun you can have on a mountain when glare, snow and flat light aren’t holding you back so make sure your goggles still fit properly. Check to make sure your goggles still fit and didn’t suffer too many scratches last season.

Hit the slopes!

Now that your gear is all up to date and you’re ready to go to the snow, we’ve put together a suggested packing list for you to reference. Download Here

Content courtesy of SnowSports Industries America | SIA and