What to pack for a ski trip

As is the case with any holiday, there’s one major chore to get through before you can set off and have fun, and that’s the packing process. When it comes to what to pack for a ski trip, there are several extra factors that you’ll have to keep in mind given the cold conditions and sporty nature of a skiing or snowboarding holiday.

Fortunately, snow lovers have been perfecting the skiing essentials checklist over many years and this guide to what to take on a ski trip will help you understand the essential gear and tips for your upcoming visit to a ski resort.

what to take on a ski trip


Essential gear for a successful ski adventure

When you’re wondering ‘what do I need for a ski trip?’, the answer can be broken down into two parts: your ski clothing and your ski equipment. To explain, the essential clothing you’ll need for a skiing holiday will be the regular items you’ll wear on your body as you step out to the slopes and for most of the day, while the skiing equipment refers to the specific items needed to practise the sport of skiing.

Splitting these two categories of what to pack for a ski trip into two separate ski holiday packing lists, we first answer the question of what do people wear on ski trips with the checklist of the clothes to take on a skiing holiday:

  • Long underwear
  • Thick socks
  • Fleece
  • Ski jacket
  • Long trousers
  • Gloves
  • Neck gaiter or balaclava

Then, we have the list of equipment you’ll need on a skiing holiday:

  • Skis
  • Poles
  • Bindings
  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Boots

With the above, it’s worth keeping in mind that many of the pieces of ski equipment can be rented from the ski resort. For example, if you’re going on an Andorra skiing holiday, Grandvalira has the option to rent pieces of ski equipment, which can save you having to transport it with you if you’re coming from abroad and unsure as to what do you need for a ski trip overseas.

As for what do you need for a ski trip that you really shouldn’t forget, the clothing items are the most important to avoid forgetting as these can be harder to buy once you’re already on site at the ski resort, especially in the right size.

Don't forget these must-have items for your ski trip

Obviously, you won’t want to forget any of the items on your ski holiday packing checklist, especially if it’s a family ski holiday packing list. But, that said, there are some items that are more important than others when it comes to what to take on a ski trip.

Therefore, any item that appears on the list of recommended safety equipment for skiing is extra important, and shouldn’t be left out. On that list, the four most must-have items for your ski trip in terms of safety and protection are:

  • Helmet and goggles (Because these protect your head and eyes from debris on the slope that might flick up)
  • Back protection for skiing (Because this can reduce the physical toll from skiing and protect your health in the short-term and long-term)
  • Knee, elbow and wrist pads (Because these can absorb shocks at the joints which are most likely to come into contact with the slope during a fall)
  • Sunscreen (Because this will protect you against the bright sun that can often exist at the altitude of a ski resort)

There will be other fun things to bring on a ski trip or items that are more about style than substance, but the priority should be to ensure you have these four safety-related items with you, either in your suitcase or waiting for you to buy or rent on site.

Helpful tips for a stress-free ski vacation

The golden question is, to put it simply, ‘how do you pack efficiently for a ski holiday?’ and there are a few answers that can help you enjoy a stress-free packing experience and, ultimately, a stress-free skiing holiday.

One helpful tip for what to take on a ski trip is to make sure you have the right kind of waterproofs. By ensuring you have waterproofs that dry quickly, you’ll be able to reuse the same piece of clothing more often and thus pack fewer pieces in total. By avoiding materials such as cotton and by bringing good-quality waterproof jackets and trousers, you’ll make the most of your luggage space.

Your luggage itself is another area where it’s worth living large. If you think about how many bags or suitcases you’d normally pack for a beach holiday, one tip to reduce stress is to pack an extra item of luggage for your skiing holiday. After all, the clothing and equipment for a skiing holiday is totally different and much bulkier.

One final packing tip to help you relax and have fun once you arrive to the ski resort is to make sure you are bringing ski boots that you’ve tried on and are comfortable in. Given how many hours you’ll spend in them, you want your ski boots to fit well and it’s hard to break in new ones quickly once you’re already on site. So, bring your own ski boots with you and make sure you’ve been wearing them around the house before you travel, so that you know they fit and can simply focus on having fun and relaxing once you’re there.