You’re at that point in your life when you can no longer just toss a couple of layers into your backpacking bag and call it good. You’ve got a family now, and that family wants to go skiing. That means you’ve got to be prepared when you go on your family skiing trip in the Alps. Like really prepared. The consequences of not packing everything you need include long days of uncomfortable, complaining and even crying children. And that can be the difference between you sharing one of your life’s passions with your children, or taking them on a trip that they’ll never again want to repeat in their entire lives.
So there’s a lot at stake here. But don’t worry. This article will take a deep dive into some of the essentials that you will need to pack for your family skiing trip to the Alps this winter. You will also find a long list that doesn’t miss any of the things you may need. Additionally, if you’re thinking it’s too early or too late in the season to be thinking about family ski trips, well there’s no such thing! Thinking ahead at the beginning of the ski season means you’ll be super prepared, and planning a family skiing trip at the end of the season lets you get in on those last-minute ski deals in the Alps! All you have to do is book accommodations, figure out transportation, find appropriate ski gear, and get the whole family on board. Can’t be too hard, right?
Every member of your family will need a quality ski jacket if they’re to even have a chance of enjoying the experience. So what should this jacket be like? This jacket should definitely be very waterproof. This will keep you dry but also keep the heat inside, and the cold out. Besides being waterproof, you also need the coat to allow you to move. You don’t want to be stiff when skiing, especially for the first time! The coat should also be lightweight so that you don’t feel too weighed down going down the slopes. And lastly, this ski jacket should also double as a good après-ski jacket, meaning not too bulky. That will save you space in your luggage and money in your wallet!
You and your family won’t get very far without a good pair of winter boots. Of course, you’ll have ski boots for the action, but when walking around before and after skiing, you’ll need something that’s functional, warm and comfortable. Your boots should be snow boots, which will keep your feet warm and try, and also make slipping on ice a bit less likely. Consider boots that have rubber around the foot, but then a more flexible animal skin around the calf-that way they won’t take up too much space while packing.
Unfortunately, your ski jacket won’t be much good if you don’t have some solid base layer game. Think merino wool, both tops and bottoms. They need to be comfortable, and warm, and easy to roll up to pack. You should plan on packing two sets of base layers (shirt and pants) for each member of your family.
Sure, when you were in your early 20s you hit the slopes in your ripped jeans, without a care in the world. But having kids has made you more mature, and appreciate how great it is to have warm and dry legs while skiing. And your kids sure won’t have any fun if their pants get soaked through the first time they fall. Plan on bringing two pairs of waterproof ski pants for each member of the family. Unless you’re going on a very short trip, two pants ensure one pair is dry and ready to tackle the slopes.
Ski socks should really be the number one thing on your list. Because no one is going anywhere If someone in the family has soggy feet. Think about it, can you imagine anything in the world more uncomfortable than spending hours with your feet wet and cold? So do not just throw a couple of pairs of thin, threadbare, holey socks in with the rest of your clothes. Instead, head to your favorite outdoor apparel store and stock up on merino wool socks. These will provide plenty of cushion, while wicking away moisture to keep feet dry. Bring more socks than you think you should. If you think you should bring three pairs of socks for three days of skiing, bring four!
Keep your little rascals’ heads warm, and yours too, with a warm winter hat. It can be fleece, it can be wool, but it must cover the ears, fit snuggly and be comfortable.
It’s advisable that you bring mittens with glove liners. With this combination, your fingers will still stay warm with the consummate heat provided by each finger, but when you take your mittens off to apply sunscreen to your children’s cheeks or to snack on a bag of chips, the glove liners will give you flexibility without having to remove them.
You didn’t think about this yet, huh? Well of course you’ll need Kleenex! You’re a parent now and you can’t have your kids wiping their snotty noses on their sleeves! And they will have snotty, runny noses, guaranteed. And you probably will too. So bring tissues and lots of tissues.
Scarf, neck warmer or buff
Something soft and warm around the neck is essential to staying warm and keeping the wind out, both on the slopes and in the restaurants après ski. Fleece is the ideal material for your scarf, and consider neck gaiters that have an adjustable cord so it can be synched tight for ultimate coziness.
Well, that’s the brand name, but any hydration pack that fits snugly on your back will do. You’ll want it to be compact, store around 1.5 liters of water, and have smaller pockets for things like money, granola bars and hotel keys.
The packing list
Now that you know what the essentials are, have a look at the following packing list to make sure you are totally prepared for your family ski trip.
- Base layers
- Warm pants
- Snow boots
- Wool socks
- Fleece jacket
- Warm vest
- Swim suit (hotel pool?)
- Ski pants
- Ski jacket
- Neck gaiter
- Thermal base layers
- Ski gloves
- Ski socks
- Ski boots
- Ski poles
- Passport (if travelling internationally)
- Flight/travel confirmation number
- Health insurance cards
- Ski passes
- Auto insurance cards
- Phone chargers
- Hand/foot warmers
- Favourite stuffed animal
You’ll notice that on the ‘miscellaneous’ list, there are some activities like books, toys and games. You may also want to consider bringing a sled and snowshoes. Or renting them when you get there. That’s because, as much as you’ve got your heart set on your kids loving skiing as much as you do, there’s always the possibility that they might not. And even if they do, you should have scheduled, intentional breaks in skiing, and make time for other activities. That way, your kids won’t see skiing as an obligatory activity that they have to spend all day doing. They’ll look forward to the when they can get back out on the slopes!
So there you have it, your essential family ski trip packing list. You can also consider renting some of the ski gear if you’re worried it won’t be used every year. But if you plan on skiing several times a year, you’ll probably want to consider investing in some personal gear. Does Christmas present anyone? Besides the rental gear, if you pack everything on this list, your kids will be warm and dry. That being said, this list doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be any meltdowns or temper t