Tips for Packing for a Snow Trip

Tips for Packing for a Snow Trip

Are you packing for a snow trip but need help determining what you need or how to pack a ski bag? The right bags, effective packing techniques, and a snow trip packing list will help you get the most out of your trip, whether you’re traveling by car, plane, or train.

Cleverly Pack Bulky Items

Winter clothing is typically bulkier and heavier than other seasonal wear, which can stretch your airline luggage allowance to the limit. But learning how to pack a bag for a winter trip, like a ski vacation, can help you avoid the extra suitcase or weight penalties. Just follow these simple travel tips:

  • Roll your clothes: Rolling clothes tightly gives you much more space than folded clothes. Start packing with the largest rolls and put smaller items on top. 
  • Use Compression bags: Vacuum-sealing rolled clothing in compression bags sucks all the air out of the clothing, greatly reducing the volume of packed clothes. Most hotels will be willing to lend you a vacuum to repack compression bags for your return trip. 
  • Stay organized: Packing cubes and other travel organizers help you stay organized on your snow trip and keep shoes and toiletries separate from your clothes. 
  • Get creative with space use: Use as much unused suitcase space as possible. Pack your shoes with underwear, socks, and other small items. 
  • Pack a laundry bag: Snowboarding, skiing, and other winter activities can dampen your clothing. Pack a laundry bag to keep wet, dirty clothing away from clean garments. 
  • Wear your bulkiest coat: You don't need to wear the coat for the entire flight. Either stuff it into an overhead bin with your carry-on or use it as a blanket or pillow while you’re in the air.

Choosing What to Wear in Snow

You risk overpacking if you’re unsure what to wear in snowy environments. Instead, use these tips to make a snow trip packing list:

  • Choose layers over bulk: You can stay warm and within your luggage allowance by packing light layers instead of bulky sweaters and coats. Choose moisture-wicking thermal underwear as a base layer, then pack lightweight sweaters, flannel, and fleece garments for your insulating middle layer. Finish up with a light, waterproof, and wind-resistant jacket you can wear while traveling. 
  • Pack complementary clothes: Choose clothing with complementary colors so you can mix and match to make multiple outfits. 
  • Plan in advance: Don’t pack at the last minute. Instead, make a snow trip packing list so you know each piece of clothing has a specific function and will be used on the trip.

Packing List for a Snow Trip

Whether you’re making a skiing or snowboard packing list, the following items are essential:

  • 2 jackets, one lightweight and an insulating puffy jacket
  • 1 pair snow pants
  • 2 pairs thermal underwear
  • Gloves
  • Ski helmet
  • Snowboarding or skiing.
  • Googles
  • Face masks
  • 1 pair of socks per day, plus some extra pairs
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip Balm
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 2 pairs of trousers
  • 2 tops, one flannel and one sweater
  • Underwear
  • Winter boots
  • Ski or snowboard boots

How to Pack a Ski Bag

Pack your ski bag carefully to avoid damage during travel. No one wants to reach their destination to discover broken gear. Take the following steps:

  • Choose a double ski bag even if you only have one pair of skis. You can pack accessories and clothing in the extra space. 
  • Pack your skis first, side-by-side, and use rubber bands to hold the brakes up. Wrap the tips and tails of your skis with bubble wrap secured with blue painter’s tape. 
  • Pack your poles in a padded pole sleeve. You can also wrap the pole ends in bubble wrap. 
  • Stuff socks in your ski boots and pack them in a boot bag. 
  • Pack light, soft clothing around your skis if traveling by road or train. See below for airline restrictions on packing extra items in ski bags. 
  • Keep small accessories in a zippered compartment or packing cube. 
  • Pack your goggles and lenses inside your helmet. Put your helmet in its own bag before adding it to the ski bag.

Planning is Key

If you’re traveling by air, check with the airline for any luggage size and weight regulations. Most airlines limit ski bag weight to under 50 lbs. Anything over this weight is charged an overweight baggage fee, and some airlines will charge extra if you pack lighting or other non-ski/snowboard items in the ski bag. Ski bags and separate boot bags are typically considered one checked item.

If you’re taking a long trip, you may need a checked suitcase to accommodate everything. If you use the packing tips we’ve discussed, though, you may be able to get away – no pun intended – with just a carry-on bag instead. However you choose to travel, make sure you have everything you need to stay warm and dry on your snow trip!

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