10 things NOT to pack on your ski vacation!

By Mountain Mama \ December 21 2016

When I go skiing with the kids on a weekend day, my car is stacked from top to bottom with...who knows what? Do we need that much water, juice boxes, extra clothes, four jackets and most of the snacks in the refrigerator?  No, but what if I get a flat tire, what if there is a huge storm and the road is closed, what if we decide to do something after skiing? I can think this way and pack this way because I'm driving...but what if I'm flying? 

What are the absolutely don't pack items list? 

10. Skis and Snowboards: Unless you're heading to the World Cup, do yourself a favor and leave the boards at home.  There are tons of rental shops at all the resorts and if you are renting for multiple days, there will be a slight discount. My advice would be to go online and reserve before you even get there to make sure you get the skis you want. Unless you are really into your skis, you probably use them on your vacations once a year and they are getting a little old. This is a way to try out some newer technology and save yourself the hassle. Also, you won't have to pay extra to check them and buy a special bag.


9. More than one ski jacket and multiple pairs of ski pants:  One is enough! After the ski day, hang them up in your room to dry. I'd suggest using the pants hangers in the closet and put them in the bathroom or hang them in the closet with the door open. They'll dry faster than laying them over a chair. Wear the jacket on the plane and pack your pants.

8. Multiple pairs of jeans:  This may be the biggest thing in your suitcase next to your ski pants. Bring your favorite pair of jeans and leave it at that.  Most all hotels have washing machines should you need to wash. Chances are if you're hanging around the room, you're going to have your cozy leggings on anyway. That way you can pack a pair or two of either jeggings or dressy slacks if needed. I'd leave the mini skirt at home-too cold!

7. Three+ pairs of shoes: You'll need a cozy pair of slip on boots such as your UGG boots or if you're me, you go for the knock off brands that also work.  You will find yourself wearing these most of all. After pulling off your ski boots, you'll want a soft shoe to plop around in. They also work if you're trudging down to the pool in bare feet.  Remember, this is a ski vacation where overall, places are pretty casual. Pack one extra shoe that is a bit more dressy to go out to dinner. I would avoid high heels unless you have a specific restaurant you're going to. If you happen to be on vacation during one of our big powder dumps, you'll resort back to your cozy boots-which by the way is great going through security as they slip on and off with no laces. Also, nothing leather! You know what happens to leather if you're standing in a big pile of snow or slush.


6. Tons of sweatshirts and sweaters:  A big don't!  If you pack enough shirts to go under your sweaters, I'd pack one-maybe two sweaters and switch out the shirt and/or scarves and accessories vs multiple sweaters. Also sweatshirts take up way to much room. One is plenty. Your favorite hoody will last all week and if you feel the need to wash it, there will be a laundry. And also keep this in mind, you're on vacation and sooner or later you're going to hit the souvenir shops and your child will beg you to buy a "I ski like a girl Park City and you're following me" hoody or something like it and now you've got an extra one anyway!

5. Blow dryers and steamers: Worse thing to pack in the entire list. Every hotel has a blow dryer. Even if you stay in a budget place, the front desk will have a blow dryer you can borrow. It is awkward, big and takes up a ton of space. Leave it home! Same with the steamer. An iron will work and the hotel has those as well.

4. More than three pairs of thermal tops and bottoms: You can exchange them out every other day. You can even plan to wash if need be on the off day. I'd pack one heavy pair of thermals and a zip type shirt and one slightly thinner pair should it be warm. A reminder, you are skiing and boarding, not at the beach or hiking in 100 degrees where you working up an amazing sweat and sweating through your clothes. I would tend to allow two of your three shirts each day. The outer layer can be worn multiple days before washing.

3. Tons of snack bars and hand warmers: News flash, most places have stores! If you don't want to buy this type of stuff at the resort base, do a little research on your route from the airport and I'm guessing you're going to pass a grocery store.  Plan on one pair of hand warmers per person per day-just in case, and I put three bars in each pocket per day. My kids are snackers...what can I say!


2. Only one boot bag for all ski items: Boots can be a personal choice. Frankly, even is my less than world cup ski ability, I like my own boots. If you have a roomy boot bag, you can put your boots, two pairs of mittens, neck gator and even a smaller jacket in there. I personally would pack my helmet in my bigger duffel and pack clothes around it to protect the helmet and goggles. Place the goggles in a soft case and place them in the helmet


1. Lots of electronics and toys: My kids like portable DVD players, every DVD they own, CD's color books, sketch pads.... We do this bad trick every time. They get a small carry on per kid and stuff it to the gills with teddy bears and books they never look at, at home!  Stop! One book, one set of pencils/crayons to share, if you have an IPad or something like that; get some games on it and a portable battery and they can share-what an awesome concept! You will need only 1 camera and charger, not one per person. Once you get anywhere, the kids will forget about anything they packed and be so excited to explore the hotel, pool, game room....

Here are some awesome tips to simplify your vacation once your plane lands. 

And a quick rundown of must haves:

-Pair of undies for every day

-3 pairs of ski socks, 3 pairs of regular socks-will have to wash

-Warm winter hat

-Swim trunks

-Sunglasses

-Phone charger

-1 pair of pajamas

-Makeup bag

-Toothbrush/paste

-Your favorite book

-Extra pair of contacts/glasses


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