What to pack for your family ski trip | Free packing list

What to pack for your family ski trip | Free packing list

Whether it’s your first family ski trip and you need advice on what to take, or you just need a packing list to help you get organised.

Here, you’ll find a complete packing list of everything you need for your family ski trip along with top tips and advice for saving space and packing smartly.

You can also get a free pdf version of the packing list below.

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Family Ski Trip - Packing List

Family ski trip – what to take for each family member

For our most recent family ski trip, I used this packing list for our family of 2 adults and 2 children (aged 6 and 2 years old).

Click on the links if you want to find out ‘How to go Skiing on Budget’ and more about our ‘Super Cheap Family Ski Holiday and How Much it Cost’.

Our youngest is not yet old enough to ski but she still spends time outside playing in the snow and therefore needs the same type of clothing (obviously minus the ski equipment).

So, you can use this packing list and advice for each family member no matter what their age or whether they plan to ski or not.

Family ski trip packing list - our youngest
Family ski trip packing list - mummy and daughter

Family ski trip – how much to take

It’s easy to assume that you will need a huge luggage allowance for a family ski trip. Of course, you will need lots of warm winter clothing which takes up room and is often heavy. However, unlike summer holidays where you need lots of different outfits and shoes, you actually only need your outdoor clothing and some comfortable clothing to wear back at your accommodation.

I don’t even take hair straighteners as I plait my hair during the day and can then wear it wavy if I want it down (it gets messy under your helmet anyway).

If you hire your boots, skis and helmets as we do, you’ll remove the need for extra luggage allowance and the cost of this.

Hopefully, as you read through the packing list you’ll see that you don’t actually need that much for a family ski trip.

The quantities below are ideal for a long weekend or short week. If you plan to go for a week or longer, you may want to consider taking a little extra.

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Family ski trip - packing list...

Travel documents:

Top Tip – we store all of our travel documents in a travel wallet like this one below, which keeps everything organised in one place and helps prevent a frantic frenzy when moving through the various checks at the airport…

On the plane:

Top Tip – most airports have drinking fountains after security so you can fill up your bottles to save money buying inflated water in airside shops and restaurants.We use these water bottles because they are lightweight and easy to clean…

On the slopes / In the snow:

We just wear our regular, comfortable underwear. Ladies, you may want to consider wearing a sports bra.

Thermal base layers are essential for keeping your body heat trapped in whilst at the same time providing a breathable layer next to your skin.

Synthetic base layers are cheap and do a great job but if you’re going somewhere really cold, opt for merino wool which is warmer, regulates temperature and also has antibacterial properties.

Layering is definitely key and depending on the temperature you can add or remove mid layers between your base layer and ski jacket. I would recommend taking a thin long sleeved mid-layer and a thicker fleece or jumper.

Whilst base layers are essential for insulation, your outer layer is essential for protecting you from the harsh weather elements. There is a huge range of jackets available which vary significantly in price. Whilst being waterproof and breathable are probably the most important features, check for other features such as wind protection, the temperature it is designed to protect against, and waterproof zips.

Top Tip – buying a ski jacket with a lift-pass pocket on your left arm will make it easier to get through the lift turnstiles. If not try positioning your pass in your gloves on top of your hand – just remember it’s there when you take your gloves off

Top Tip – wear your ski jackets to travel in to save space in our luggage.

Similar to your ski jacket, your ski trousers or salopettes are the outer layer worn over your base layer, so waterproofing is important. Most have a waterproof rating between 5,000 and 20,000 mm with the higher the number, the more waterproof they are.

Another feature to check is that they have waterproof gaiters at the bottom which are designed to seal around your boot.

Thermal ski socks that fit well and have good cushioning.

Top Tip – take a spare pair just in case one gets wet.

Again, similar to your ski jacket and trousers, consider how warm, waterproof and breathable they are. When it’s cold, insulated gloves or mittens are a lifesaver but your hands can also get hot and sweaty if the weather is sunny.

Consider a really good pair that regulates your temperature or take two pairs (with different weights of insulation).

Top Tip – don’t ski without gloves, even if your hands are hot – your gloves are also there to protect your hands. I made this mistake and fell, resulting in friction burns to the palms of my hands from the snow – OUCH!

A nice snuggly snood can be a godsend if it’s windy, particularly on the lifts where the wind can feel bitterly cold against your face and neck.

These snoods are great because they are fleece lined, super warm and come in lot’s of different colours.

Some lift passes can be purchased in advance but we always purchase ours when we arrive.

For food, refreshments and of course, après-ski.

It may sound strange taking suncream on a winter holiday but if you are lucky enough to get sunny conditions, the glistening white slopes reflect the sun making it easy to get sunburnt.

Hire at the resort...

When getting your boots fitted, you will need to provide your shoe size and make sure the ski boots they provide fit comfortably snug with no gaps or movement from side to side or forward and back. You should still be able to wiggle your toes.

The ski hire shop will ensure that you have the right size skis and poles for your height. They will also ask for your weight so that they can adjust the bindings on your skis, which is extremely important. If the bindings on your skis don’t release from your boots at the right time if you fall, you could incur knee injuries.

Many don’t wear goggles, but they are an important piece of kit to protect the eyes from harsh weather conditions, glare and sunshine. Many also opt for sunglasses instead but of course, these are no good if it’s snowing and windy.

Wearing a helmet is a personal choice, although some ski resorts make it compulsory, particularly for kids. We always hire a helmet and don’t see why you wouldn’t. They obviously protect from head injuries but also keep your head nice and warm.

Off the slopes / In the accommodation:

Unlike other holidays, this is where you will find you really don’t need much. When you are not skiing, you will find that most people stay in the accommodation and wear comfortable clothes or loungewear.

If you do have a wander outside, you can just pop on a jumper and some trousers.

Top Tip – don’t take any fancy evening wear, people don’t tend to dress up – it’s all about ease and comfort.

Don’t be tempted to take extra warm pyjamas, we always find the accommodation really warm.

Top Tip – you really don’t need more than 1 pair so travel in your warm shoes/boots and save space in your luggage.

Many people take a pair of comfortable slip-on shoes to wear around the accommodation. However, if you are looking to save space you can wear socks or your warm shoes/boots.

You can take a second jacket to wear out and about around the ski resort. But you’ll probably find you don’t go out that much and if you do, just wear your ski jacket.

Just a normal pair of warm gloves for wearing out and about and in case your ski gloves get wet.

You’ll be wearing your ski socks most of the day (maybe all day), so you’ll only need a couple of normal socks for around the accommodation and out and about.

If your accommodation has access to a swimming pool and/or spa.


For more bespoke holiday checklists, check out TUI’s Holiday Checklists by selecting your destination and type of holiday.

Don't be put off by the thought of having to spend a fortune on specialist ski clothing...

If it’s your first family ski trip and you don’t want to invest too much in ski wear, then you can substitute a few things.

However, please take this advice with caution as I would hate for you to take the wrong clothing or not enough and have a miserable time because you are cold and wet.

As a family with two young children, we were not out skiing all day, the longest stint at any one time was probably 3 hours. If you intend to stay out in the elements all day, I would not recommend trying to skrimp on your clothing.

Absolute musts are ski trousers, jackets and ski gloves. I bought ski trousers and gloves but managed with my normal waterproof walking jacket.

If you have thermal socks you use for walking in, try these? I did this and the majority of the time my feet were toasty (there was just one pair that didn’t keep them that warm).

We wore base layers (and they are amazing) but for the kids, I layered them in a normal vest and a long-sleeved thick vest. On the bottom half, they wore ski tights or thick leggings. This worked fine for the time they were outside but proper ski base layers give you more movement.

How to pack for your family ski trip

Once you’ve used the packing list to get together everything you need for your family ski trip, you now need to pack it all.

I can’t recommend enough these packing cubes from Amazon.

Not only do these cubes compress your clothing but they also keep them crease free, organised and really easy to pack into your case.

For our ski trips, I usually use the bigger one to pack all of our ski wear for the slopes. Then I use a separate cube for each person, which means you know exactly which cube to open when you need something.

Depending on how much room you need, I sometimes use a smaller one for underwear, sleepwear and other bits but you can experiment with whatever works for you.

It’s amazing how much you can squeeze into them, I had to take some before and after photos to show you…

Family ski trip packing list - daughters packing
Eldest daughters clothes before being packed
Eldest daughters clothes after being packed
All of our clothes before being packed (separated by person)
All of our clothes after being packed (apart from coats and shoes which we wore to travel in)

Then simply pop them in your suitcase – takes less than a minute!

Once you arrive at your accommodation, they make unpacking so easy. I often don’t even unpack from the cubes, just simply go into each cube when we need an outfit for each person.

Click on the link or picture to buy these cubes now, you won’t look back after trying them.

All that’s left is to enjoy your family ski trip...

Hopefully this packing list along with the tips and advice have helped you plan and organise everything you need for your family ski trip.

Print off the packing list and tick off the items as you pack them. If you haven’t already got some, buy some packing cubes. They are a game changer when it comes to packing for holidays and trips.

And last but not least, have an amazing trip!

Let me know if this checklist and information has been helpful? Maybe you have additional tips that could help more families planning their family ski trip?

If so, please leave a comment below… I’d love to hear from you x

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