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Taking a family ski trip is part of the dream, right? It is the dream unless you’re cold, hungry, and not prepared. Fear not, I have put together everything you need for a successful ski trip with the kids!
Of course, you have your basic items, but the most important thing is making sure it’s made for skiing and snow activities. Having the right type of gear makes certain it’s waterproof and provides comfort and warmth where it matters most.
Ideally, you have long underwear for them that’s specific to the temperatures you are skiing in on your trip. If that’s not an option, you can easily use leggings and regular cotton t-shirts. I say this with confidence because my daughter has been skiing in 20-degree weather with leggings and t-shirts as her base layer and had an amazing time.
Once the hand touches snow without a proper glove or mitten it is immediately freezing and they are likely to freak out. If they want to play with snow, if they want to throw snowballs, and if they fall and use their hands to catch themselves, they need waterproof hand coverage.
There are tons of really cute beanies (winter hat) out there, but cute isn’t enough. It needs to have a liner, otherwise, the cold air reaches right through to their head.
These are the waterproof overalls you see people wearing when they ski. The benefit is that it makes sure there is no chance of skin being bare between the jacket and pants. It also ensures no snow gets down their pants. Not getting snow down their pants is vital for guaranteeing a good time. Be sure to put the suspenders on last, over all other layers (except the jacket) so that using the restroom is easy.
The sun reflecting off of the snow is extremely bright so the goggles provide sun protection. They also protect the eyes from any snow, wind, and cold air.
Pro Tip: worried about the expense of ski gear? Ask your friends if they have gear and apparel you can borrow. Also, check out your local thrift stores for gear and apparel. Check out the second-hand stores at your destination for anything you forgot, left behind, or realized you needed after your arrival. You’ll save hundreds this way!
Food and Drink
As a parent, you are probably well-versed in the snack department. Your ski trip is no exception.
My favorite snack for the mountain are bars that are high in protein and healthy fat. My kids respond well to the peanut butter and chocolate Lara bars and I like them because they’re not messy, they are healthy, filling and they taste amazing. You can also fit a few in your pocket for easy access! A few other favorites are the Cliff Kids bars, peanuts, and pretzels. It’s easy to get dehydrated on the mountain because you’re cold and don’t feel the need to drink water, but it’s still important so keep your kids’ water bottles in the car. The ski resort should provide free water while you’re using their facilities.
Keep M&M’s (or something comparable) in your back pocket (not literally) as a secret weapon. If the kids start to fall apart and need a boost, you can use these as a backup to lift their spirits.
Visit your ski resort website and purchase your passes online. They’ll mail them to you! Make sure you get your picture uploaded ASAP, otherwise the process is delayed. Upon arriving at your ski resort, you’ll see the line for passes and be thankful you were proactive. Keep your pass in a jacket pocket, for easy access (kids’ in their jacket pocket) and you’ll be able to walk into the resort when you arrive. Otherwise, you’re standing in line, in the cold, with restless kids. People, especially kids, have a threshold for being outside in the cold and you don’t want to waste your time waiting in line.
Make plans for hot cocoa. As adults, sometimes the après-ski is half the fun of the ski day, and kids can appreciate it just as much as we do. They might even need it more than we do. Plan for hot cocoa at the ski resort or even back at your Airbnb or hotel room. Pair it with a side of fries at the resort (or another one of your kid’s favorite foods) to boost their mood after their long day on the mountain or hill. Let them know this is the plan; it will help keep them in good spirits and give them something to look forward to if they’re cold, tired, and frustrated.
I’ve never had a problem with the kids being too cold, but, if you are concerned about that, you can get a pack of Hothands hand warmers. Keep a few in your pocket and, if the kids get freezing cold, you can bust those out and put them in their pockets or wherever they need it most. I suggest not using them unless they are miserably cold. Ideally, they don’t complain about being cold and you don’t mention being cold.
Pro Tip: If you want a visual to help get ready, spend some time showing the kids pictures of the ski resort where you are headed and maybe even find some kids skiing there on Instagram! With the clothing and gear covered, your lift pass taken care of and snacks addressed, you’re all set for a great ski trip! Keep the vibes positive and encouraging. Most of all, have fun!
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