I used to be an over packer. But not even when I tried to pack for a ski vacation, I would take a full size suitcase just for a weekend trip to the beach. As I got older though, I realized how much easier it was to pack light. Much less to lug around on the trip plus packing and unpacking are simpler. Less to deal with.

Finally when I went on my five week trip across Europe, I decided I was going to pack in only a carry-on. I did and I was absolutely hooked on carry-on only travel. Then about a year ago I took my first winter vacation. The carry-on idea went out the window when I looked at how much space my ski bibs took up.

My two cousins and I at Snowshoe for a day of skiing and boarding. Our outfits show part of what to pack for a ski vacation.
Our outfits for a ski day at Snowshoe, WV.

I still haven’t gotten it down to just a carry-on, but I can pack using one checked bag and that includes my snowboard, boots, and helmet. A board bag together with a boot bag counts as one checked item.

It’s tough to put together a packing list for a ski vacation or any winter vacation really. Especially your first few times. So I’ve put together a complete list of what I pack for a ski vacation and I adjust the numbers depending on how long the trip is. If the trip is longer than three days I usually do laundry one day which is why these numbers may seem low.

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Every item that I pack for a ski vacation laid out on the floor before I put it in my board and boot bag.
Everything I packed for a five day ski vacation except for my other pair of ski pants.

Ski Packing List

Ski Clothes & Equipment

  • 1-2 pair of thermals or anything to use as a base layer – merino wool, Underarmour. I have these Hot Chilly’s that I love.
  • 1-2 middle layers depending how cold it is. I don’t wear this unless it’s below 30 degrees, but a pullover that isn’t cotton is perfect for this.
  • 2 pair of snow pants or bibs. Columbia is a great brand.
  • 1 warm, waterproof coat – My personal favorite is this one by Columbia. I’ve had it for years (since high school) and it’s still going strong.
  • 3-4 warm socks – Darn Tough makes some of the best socks you’ll find. Socks also make for the perfect gift for outdoorsy women!
  • 1 pair of waterproof gloves or mittens – I just changed from using gloves to mittens with glove liners inside and am obsessed.
  • 3 neck gators
  • Snowboard/ski boots – You can rent these if you don’t own any.
  • Helmet – You can rent this too, though this is the first ski-related item I purchased.
  • 1 pair of goggles
  • Snowboard or skis – You can rent these also.
  • Ski poles
All the items that went in my boot bag for our trip to Vermont.
All this fits in my boot bag plus two other sweaters.

Other Clothes

  • 1 pair of leggings or jeans depending on preference – If we come back and change at the end of the day to go out, I usually just wear my base layer out that night. My thermals look like leggings and if it’s warmer I use regular leggings as my base layer.
  • 2-3 pair of cute socks
  • 1 pair of snow boots – I love my Bean Boots from LL Bean.
  • 2-3 long sleeve shirts or sweaters
  • 1 scarf – You can pack more if you like to accessorize. I just find that they take up a lot of space and I don’t mind wearing the same one the whole time.
  • 1 pair of gloves – If you want different ones from your ski gloves.
  • 2 toboggans
  • 5-6 pair of underwear – Even if nothing else is clean I want fresh underwear and socks. So I am sure to pack enough that if something happens and we can’t do laundry I have plenty of those.
  • 2 bras
  • 4-5 sports bras
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 pair of sweatpants
  • 1 pair of slippers – We stay at Bed & Breakfasts and Inns where my feet always get cold.
  • 2-3 pair of pajamas
All the items that typically go in my board bag when I pack for a ski vacation.
All this fit in my board bag.


  • Shower needs – shampoo, conditioner, soap, razor
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Glasses and contacts
  • Chapstick
  • Prescribed medication
  • Ibuprofen and cold medicine – Always good to have on hand.
  • Period supplies
  • Nail clippers
  • Makeup – I almost forgot this one because I never wear makeup when traveling especially when active. At the most I usually take eyeliner.


  • Phone
  • iPad or computer
  • Watch
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Pocket book
  • Sunglasses
  • Money/credit cards – Always a good idea to have a bit of cash on you.
  • Lift tickets – Purchase ahead of time for better deals.
  • Jewelry

If this has helped you pack for a ski vacation please share on Facebook or Pinterest!

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    1. Yes, I’m terrible to forget things so I hope this does help others to pack! It’s a fun winter sport if you’re looking to pick up a new hobby. 🙂

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