15 Must-haves in your family winter vacation packing list


Taking a family ski trip is part of the dream, right? It is the dream unless you start suffering from the cold weather, hungry, and not prepared. So after carefully selecting your ski resort for this family vacation on the Gowhee app, you will wonder “what do I pack?”

Fear not, we have put together a series of must-have family winter vacation packing lists.

Kid skiing. family winter vacation packing list cover photo

Apparel and Winter packing list

Of course, you may already have your basic items for a winter trip. But make sure you are equipped to stay warm while skiing and snow activities with proper water resistance.

1. Baselayers

 Ideally, you have long sleeves 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. Linzey from the family fun tour explains: “my daughter has been skiing in 20-degree weather with leggings and t-shirts as her base layer and had an amazing time”.  Don’t forget to adapt the layers and clothing with age and level of physical activity.

2. Waterproof mittens or gloves

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.


3. Beanie with a liner

There are tons of really cute beanies (winter hats) out there, but cute isn’t enough. It needs to have a liner, otherwise, the cold air reaches right through to their head.

Little girl wearing a pink beanie
Proper beanie . Source: @thefamilyfuntour's Instagram

Must-haves in your family winter vacation packing list

4. Bibs

These are the water 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 to prevent painful frostbites. Be sure to put the suspenders on last, over all other layers (except the jacket) so that using the restroom is easy.

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5. Ski goggles

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.

6. Wool socks

Make sure kids have wool socks that are both warm and breathable. A misconception is to buy really thick socks to stay warm in snow boots. In fact, you want a pair of socks that will allow proper circulation and will not make their feet sweat. Here are our favorites.

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Food and Drink for winter vacations

As a parent, you are probably well-versed in the snack department. Your ski trip is no exception.

Parent tip: To make the most out of the day on the slopes, try to stay away from heavy food and sugary snacks at the beginning of the day. Find accommodations with a kitchen in the room and plan for immune-boosting smoothies and food each day. This way kids will have more energy throughout the day and will not suffer from the sugar crash.

7. Snacks

An all-time favorite snack for the mountain is bars that are high in protein and healthy fat. Kids respond well to peanut butter and chocolate bars and parents like them because they’re not messy, they are healthy, filling and they taste amazing. 

8. Water


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 asking kids to drink to prevent feeling hill afterward. You could go with a traditional water bottle or opt for a smart way to get your water ratio on the slopes with a hiking backpack with a water pouch like these.

Two kids drinking hot chocolate
Hot cocoa for apres-ski.

11. Hot Cocoa or Hot caffeine-free tea

Making plans for hot drinks in the après-ski is half the fun of the ski day. Back in your hotel room, plan a movie night with their favorite warm drink, popcorn, etc… It will 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.

>>> Find family-friendly accommodations with kitchen on the Gowhee App

10. Chocolate / Treats

Keep nuts for regular snacks but keep  M&M’s / treats 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. 

Other Items for your winter vacation packing list.

11. Packing cubes


They will save space and money, especially if you traveling with a large family. Keep in mind that packing for a ski trip is different than a regular vacation. So use smart packing solutions for a hassle-free winter vacation.

Packing cube with clothes insde
Packing cube space saving. Source: @thefamilyfuntour's Instagram

12. Lift Pass


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. Make sure to keep your pass and the kids’ in a jacket pocket, for easy access.

>>> Discover great ski resorts for families here

13. Emergency Sewing kit


Nothing is more annoying than having to spend a lot of money on a new pair of snow pants a day before living. And it would be a shame to cut the trip short for a small dent into the waterproof attire.
Come prepared with a small sewing kit, to do some quick fixes to get you to the end of the trip.

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14. Eco-friendly Hand Warmer

If you are concerned about kids being too cold, hand warmers are a great option. However, they are horrible for the environment so here is a great eco-friendly alternative for your next family winter vacation packing list.  Keep it charged in your pocket, if the kids get freezing cold, you can just have it ready to go. We recommend not using them unless they are complaining about the cold so it will last longer.

15. Bathing Suit


I know what you are thinking, it’s too cold! But keep in mind that a ski trip is more than a few hours on the slopes! Ski resorts often offer a heated pool, sauna, hot tub, etc… and after a long day in the cold, you will want to enjoy these perks.

Most importantly, keep the vibes positive and have fun! Did we miss something? Tell us below.

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