Your Family Ski Trip Checklist


Planning a family ski trip can be an exhilarating experience, filled with the promise of fresh powder, beautiful mountain views, and the joy of uninterrupted family time. However, creating a memorable and smooth-sailing ski vacation requires careful consideration and strategic planning. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a first-timer, this Family Ski Trip Checklist will provide you with all the essential tips and insights to ensure your ski vacation is an unforgettable success.

Family Skiing:  Family Ski Trip Checklist.

Family Ski Trip Checklist: Important Reservations

Selecting a ski resort

Selecting the right ski destination for your family is crucial to the overall enjoyment of your trip. For families it is especially important to consider factors such as the terrain, ski school or lesson availability, childcare options and the activities available at each resort. Whether you prefer the challenging slopes of the Rocky Mountains, the charming villages of the European Alps, or the family-friendly atmosphere of a resort closer to home, there’s a ski destination to suit every family preference and skill level.

Transportation and Lodging

Once you’ve decided on your destination, it’s time to secure your accommodation and transportation. Whether you opt for a cozy ski-in/ski-out chalet, a luxurious mountain lodge, or a budget-friendly hotel, booking early ensures you have a wide range of options and can take advantage of any early-bird discounts. Look up the resort map when booking lodging to determine the location of important places for your stay such as ski school drop off, restaurants, and lift access. Also consider if your lodging options offer a hot tub or heated pool, ski lockers or ski check, and if the hotel or condo is ski in/ski out.

Additionally, arranging transportation to and from the resort is essential for a smooth travel experience. Most ski resorts offer transportation to and from nearby airports. This is a great option! These ski transport services have vehicles and tires that can handle snowy or icy roads and drivers with experience. Most resorts have restaurants, small grocery stores or markets so having a vehicle is rarely necessary. Many transportation services can even accommodate car seats but it is always best to call and check on this prior to booking.

Lift Tickets

You can book lift tickets through the resort. Most resorts use credit card like cards that can be tucked in a chest or sleeve pocked for easy scanning at the lift base. Many resorts offer packages where lodging and lift tickets are purchased together. If you are planning to ski for more than 3-5 days if may be more cost effective to consider a season ski pass. Several of the most popular passes include: Epic Passes, Ikon Pass , Powder Alliance, or Mountain Collective . Each resorts accept different passes so check carefully before purchasing. There are often discounts for rentals, lessons, and other perks available with a pass purchase and savings for frequent skiers can add up quickly.

Ski Rentals

Renting skis is a great place to start if you are new to skiing, go infrequently, or have growing children. When renting skis you need to have up to date height, weight, and ski level for each person in your family renting skis. This information will determine the ski length, ski binding settings, and type of ski you will get. A typical ski rental will also include boots and poles and possibly a helmet. Rentals can either be scheduled in advance for pick up the evening before or morning you start skiing and in some cases delivery is an options.

Girl in Ski lessons. Family Ski Trip Check list.

Ski School or Lessons and other Child Care options

Skiing is a lifelong sport and skill your family can enjoy for years to come. The natural beauty and uninterrupted family time are unmatched. Like swimming or riding a bike there is a learning curve at the beginning. Private Ski lessons or ski school days can help advance ability by leaps and bounds in a remarkably short period of time. Most resorts have a school school program with a variety of lesson options.

Ski school is usually a half or full day group lesson. Kids are usually grouped by ability but programs are usually open to sibling or fiend request. Kids will learn the basics ski concepts: stopping, speed control, getting up when they fall and getting on and off different types of lifts. Younger children and first time skiers will usually stay in a dedicated area for novice skiers where they can safely learn. Older or more experienced skiers will venture out onto other slopes to get a broader experience. Full day ski school can include lunch or a hot chocolate break as well as games and other activities. Ski school can also doubles as childcare so that parents can enjoy skiing at their pace. Ski school is usually an all inclusive activity (food, snacks, water, etc). Kids might want to take a little cash, a lip balm with SP,F and tissues in their pocket.

Pre-Ski School and other childcare options for younger children are available at many locations. At some resorts young children are given the chance to ski or at least play in the snow for shorter intervals and then have a great place to play, eat, and even nap during the day while mom and dad or older siblings ski.

Private Lessons are a great options for individuals or families that want more attention and instruction. Lessons can usually be arranged for half or full days. Even for competent adult skiers lessons are great to increase skill and safely on the slopes.

Kids at ski School.
Beginner Ski School

Reservations for other activities

When the lifts wind down (usually around 3-4in the afternoon) your day doesn’t have to end! Most resorts have some fun activity off the slopes too. Snow tubing parks, snowmobile rides, ice skating, dinner reservations, spa appointments, or outdoor nature excursions are just some of the off slope offerings at many ski resorts. Many resorts also host a variety of events over winter such as concerts. music festivals, or food and wine weekends.

Family Ski Trip Checklist: Essential Gear

I have a whole post on packing ski gear for kids with links to our favorites kids ski items. Here, I will be writing about a Family Ski Trip Checklist including ski clothing and gear for parents and other items your family will use on during the trip.

What I wear to ski

  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Neck Gaiter/ Balaclava
  • Base layers or Long underware
  • Midlayer
  • Ski Jacket
  • Ski Pants/ bibs
  • Ski Socks
  • Gloves/ Mittens
  • Small fanny pack/ case with wallet, lip balm, sunscreen and tissues

All My Favorite Ski Gear for Moms here!

Other Items to Bring on your Family Ski Trip

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Good Moisturizer
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries
  • Make up
  • Hair brush/ Hair ties
  • Home medications and medications for a headache or sore muscles
  • Water Bottle
  • Bathing Suit for hot tubs or heated pools
  • Pajamas
  • Small Clothing Capsule of clothing for sleeping, lounging, after ski activities such as dinners out, shopping or ice skating.
  • Sandals for hot tub / pool, warm boots, lifestyle sneaker
  • Gloves or mittens (other than your ski gloves) to wear for when you are not skiing
  • Tech: air pods, extra phone charger, camera, or go-pro
  • Foot/ Hand Warmers
  • Snacks

I also find it helpful to think about packing with entire outfits in mind:

  • Outfit 1: What I wear to Ski (see above)
  • Outfit 2: Travel/ lounge (Wear this on the flight, out to get coffee, or for a movie night in)
  • Outfit 3: Apres/ Family outing outfit- Jeans, layering basics (light weight top for fireside dining), sweaters for shopping or layering and usually one nicer top for a nice dinner out.
  • Outfit 4: Pajamas

Packing Tips

I find packing for a ski trip to be more challenging than packing for a lot of other trips (even packing a dude ranch). In addition to regular outfits you would take on any vacation there is all this bulky gear and big equipment. Compression bags can help with ski jackets and pants. If you are taking your own skis a boot bag can store gloves, balaclava, and ski socks. I try to arrange a quick stop at a grocery store, Target, or Walmart on the way to get snacks as well baby items like diapers or wipes.

I hope you have a wonderful ski trip with your family! If you have any other questions or your own ski trip packing tips please comment below or email!

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