Ski Trip Packing List For Flying (For A Family With Young Kids)


There is no doubt, when going on a ski vacation with kids, that getting there will be a fiasco.  And if you decide to fly to this ski vacation destination, and bring your gear rather than renting once you get there….well.  It’s a fiasco and a slog.

But we’ve gotten it down to something of a science by now.  I mean….there’s room for improvement, sure, but here’s the process that’s been working for us.

1. Start With The Ski Bag (And Sneak In Your Ski Jacket and Pants)

The benefit to bringing your skis is that most airlines allow you to check both a ski bag and a boot bag for a single add-on price.  Usually it’s around $30.  The other advantage is that you can use your ski jackets and pants (things that take up a TON of room in a suitcase) to wrap your bindings.

Technically, the only thing that’s supposed to be in a ski bag are the skis, but we’ve employed this method several times with no issues from the airlines.

We’ve also found that one ski bag can fit one pair of adult-size skis (bindings wrapped in a ski jacket and pants), and one pair of kid-size skis (bindings also wrapped).

So for this family of four, we check two ski bags total.

adults’ gear:   skiis | jacket | snowpants | ski bag

kids’ gear: skiis | jacket | snowpants | ski bag



2.  Pack The Carry On….(And If Your Ski Boots Matter…Carry Them On)

So here’s the thing:  Ski boots usually matter.  A lot.  Mike had to have his custom ground down to accommodate his feet, I’m going to have warmers installed into mine, and I know a ton of people who have had their ski boots molded to their feet.  Losing these kinds of ski boots would totally suck.  Because of that, we choose to carry our ski boots on the plane.

The Transpack bags are good for this.  They fit into the overhead bin of *most* planes, and, on one occasion, I was able to stuff mine under the seat in front of me.  It wasn’t pretty, I didn’t like it, but I’m good at puzzles and we got it done.

The ski boot bags are also the easiest way to pack your helmet and goggles if you’re picky about those things (and I am).  Plus, they’re big enough to be able to handle the normal electronics (iphone, kindle, chargers, laptop – just put it in a sleeve first), as well as some cold-weather gear that’s handy to have right when you land (hat, mitts, sunglasses, etc.).

Here’s what we typically pack in our carry-ons:



iphone x | kindle | leica camera | geek bag | kate spade laptop case


ibuprofen | advil | sugar lip balm | supergoop lip balm | colleen rothschild | supergoop setting mist | rei bag | ted baker bag

Essential Wearables

sunglasses (similar) pair 1, pair 2 | goggles | bag | gloves | hat (similar) | helmet


iPhone | kindle | cord carrier | laptop case

Essential Wearables

sunglasses | gloves | lip balm | sunscreen | BULA beanie | backpack| boots | transpack | goggles


Electronics, Snacks, Entertainment

iPhone | headphones | sketchbook | art kit | sock monkey | chia squeeze | pistachios | book | pencil case

Essential Wearables

sunglasses | lip gloss | north face beanie | gloves | transpack | goggles | helmet

Ski Boots




3. Pack Cozy Things In Your Luggage

Mountain towns are pretty low-key, so we stick to sweaters and jeans, with some cute (albeit rugged) boots.  I always make sure I have something chic to lounge in, and something to wear to the outdoor hot-tub.  There’s no good way to walk across snow in a bikini, but flip-flops and a sweatshirt dress are the best options I’ve found so far.

Also, most mountain towns are insanely dry.  I always pack super-thick moisturizer, lip balm, and tons of sunscreen.  I make sure each kid has a sunscreen stick in his jacket pocket.  Lastly, I usually travel with some sort of gentle bubble bath for the kids.  Between the sweat, dry air, and hot tubs…..a soothing bath (followed by tons of lotion) is reallllly nice.

Après SKI

flannel | gray tee | sweater  | white tee | Nordic Boots Sorel Wedge Boots | jeans


cami | CK underwear | joggers | FP leggings


top | bottom | flipflops | sweatshirt dress


geometric top & bottom | blue top & bottom | black top / bottom | jacket | mask | socks


Away luggage


CC Cream | Eye Cream | Body LotionLip Balm  | Ultra Repair Cream


Après SKI

 flannel | jersey long-sleeve | cashmere sweater | green tee | gray tee  | J&M boot | UGG boot | jeans




hoodie | swim shorts sandals


Spyder top & bottom | jacket | socks |  ski mask


Raden luggage

Après SKI

similar raglan tee | graphic tee | crew neck | pullover hoodie  | bootsjeans


PJ set | joggers


shorts | sandals | fleece zip-up


 Underarmour top bottom | jacket | ski masksocks


Away Kids Luggage


bath pods | sunblock


Happy skiing!




  1. My family must have sustained serious trauma from lost luggage in the 1970s, but I won’t put my ski pants, jacket, or swimsuit in my checked luggage outbound (who cares when homebound). Those are items that I just don’t want to have to replace if the airline loses my luggage. I also put one set of ski clothes (fleece running tights, running bra, socks, tech top) in my carryon. Until recently I also carried my ski boots on board, but I have found that bringing good insoles (Superfeet) allows me to rent equipment successfully.

    Agree that bringing your favorite sunblock (that you know doesn’t run and sting your eyes!) is important.

    Happy skiing!

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