by Chris Weiss
Any vacation is difficult to pack for, but a ski vacation is one of the most difficult. You'll need a variety of skiing clothing, equipment, accessories and other items, and it's easy to forget one or two items. Ski resorts are notorious for high prices on nearly everything, so you'll want to be sure to pack every last item that you need for a successful skiing trip. Follow a few simple tips and you'll be on your way.
Schedule: Begin packing several days or even a week before your trip, especially if it's your first trip of the season. This allows ample time to organize, find all your snow sports clothing and equipment, and double check your list for completion.
Categories: Pack in terms of categories. Since you need a large variety of items, use these types of categories to organize the overall packing process: snow sports equipment, miscellaneous equipment (phone, camera, music), ski outerwear and accessories (like goggles and gloves), ski undergarments (mid and base layers), casual clothing, hygiene (deodorant, hairbrush, toothbrush) and health products (medication, sunblock, lip balm, aspirin and first aid).
Lists: Make checklists for each category above and for each person going on your trip. Finish packing completely for one category and then move onto the next. Start off with the ski-specific categories, and when you're done with those, the rest of the packing will resemble every other vacation. For example, for sports equipment, you'll want to include skis, poles, boots, helmets and any other equipment you use on the slopes.
Equipment: If you intend to bring your ski equipment, buy a quality, wheeled bag. This makes it easy to organize and transport your sports gear. Buy a bag that is large enough to fit other equipment, such as clothing and helmet, to cut down on your overall luggage and keep everything in one place. You may also want to purchase a boot bag for your boots.
Clothing: If you can fit your outerwear and ski accessories, such as gloves, into the ski bag, that will save space and keep things organized. If not, decide how many pieces of luggage you'll need and begin packing clothes. To cut space and weight, plan garments or outfits that can be worn several times. Pack a number of different weight garments, especially for your skiing mid-layer; even with a weather report in hand, you never know exactly what the weather will be until you're in it.
Organization: If you need more than one suitcase, try to organize the suitcases by your categories. Having one suitcase for ski clothing and one for casual clothing, for instance, will make packing and finding the right clothes much easier. Always pack on the warm side and bring extras of things like socks and underwear. Bear in mind that clothing might get soaked and dirty, so pack more than you think you need to be on the safe side.
Casual clothing: Though packing hygiene and casual clothing items is like packing for other vacations, remember your destination. Pack warm clothing, such as jackets and sweaters, and also a pair of waterproof boots or shoes. It's also a good idea to pack casual gloves and hats if you'll be walking around during the evening.
Travel information: Keep all of your travel information, such as passport, identification, plane tickets, confirmation numbers, shuttle information and hotel address and phone number, in a safe place, like a carry-on bag, where you can access it quickly when you need it.
Double check: With so many items to remember, you'll want to double check that everything is packed and ready to go the day before you leave. That's the beauty of your category list system. Go over each category list, make sure every item is packed, and you're ready to get out and enjoy a successful ski trip.