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If you’re wondering what to pack for a ski vacation, Eileen Gunn the editor and founder of  FamiliesGo! shares her top nine expert essentials!

I spend a lot of time outdoors in winter ice skating, playing in the snow with my daughter and x-country skiing. And I will tell you winter sports are the time to choose practicality over couture, though winter clothing technology is getting streamlined so it’s easier to look a little better.


What to Pack for a Ski Vacation


ski pants / turtle neck or light fleece / fleece ski vest  / winter coat / boots / bathing suit  / Hat / thin hat without a pompon/  water resistant gloves   / circle scarf/ gaiter  / socks


You need a

good underlayer

 — thermals, the thickness depends on how active you will be.  (TFG loves this Ibex top and bottom – unfortunately this brand has gone one of business, for similar options, here are other warm thermals!)


For skiing or x-country you need

ski pants

 — to keep you dry and sometimes I wear mine if I’m hiking or ice skating just for warmth.


You need


 — that are warm and have wicking, but that aren’t bulky.

Acorn has thin and thicker fleece and the former are ideal.


You want to keep your neck warm, so a

turtle neck

 –or light fleece that zips over your neck (the zipper is nice because you can regulate your body temp a little).

This year I bought a gaiter (similar item) from Land’s End and I really love it. It keeps your neck warm and is more practical than a scarf for active sports because it doesn’t have loose ends. I can also pull it up over my nose and ears if I’m really cold (though this is not the most stylish look).

If you don’t want a gaiter, then a cute fleece circle scarf is better than a regular one.


Then for X country, I like a good ski

fleece ski vest

  –For anything else, a winter coat.


Hat and water resistant gloves

 –(fleece again), and if you will be outside a lot in extreme cold consider glove liners.


If you are skiing or snowboarding,

a thin hat

–( without a pompon ) or or other embellishments is best because you can wear it under a helmet, which is good to wear even if you are a good skier because there might be someone on the hill who isn’t and lots of good skiers are injured getting run into by other people. This is a cute and cozy fleece hat.




 –for outdoor sports where you are pulling boots on and off all day.

I prefer something that doesn’t lace that you can step in and out of, Uggs are fine. Something like a Blundstone is more durable and versatile.


Also, bring a

bathing suit

 –and warm cover up for apres ski swimming on hot tubbing.


Do you have any other suggestions on what to pack for a ski vacation?

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