How to Pack for a Ski Trip?

Image credit: Pixabay

Ridiculous baggage fees, awkward ski equipment and travelling like a packhorse, ski trip packing is a nightmare. Is it any wonder savvy skiers are choosing to leave the bulk behind and hire out ski gear at the resort? But even sans equipment, ski trip packing is nonetheless tricky. Thermals, bulky clothing and outdoor gear eat up valuable packing space and can still cause your suitcase to tip the scales at the check-in counter.

So how do you pack like a pro for your next ski trip? Our handy guide reveals all!

Ski Trip Packing: What You Need Besides Skis

Skiing holidays aren’t regular holidays, therefore it goes without saying that packing for skiing takes a certain skill. Our failsafe list ensures you’re not the fool who freezes to death because you forgot to pack your woolly socks.

Ski/Snowboard Clothing

  • Warm beanie
  • Sunglasses
  • Neck warmer/snood
  • Thermal tops
  • Thermal bottoms
  • Fleeces
  • Waterproof ski jacket
  • Waterproof ski trousers
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Ski/snowboard socks

Other Clothes

  • Jeans/trousers
  • T-shirts/tops
  • Jumper or fleece
  • Underwear including socks
  • Jogging bottoms/leggings
  • Cosy slippers
  • Thin gloves
  • Scarf
  • Shoes/boots with a good grip
  • Sports bra

Our handy ski trip packing list will ensure you don't leave anything behind!
Image credit: Pixabay

Ski/Snowboarding Essentials

  • Backpack
  • Water bottle or Camelbak
  • High energy snacks - chocolate bars/energy bars/nuts
  • Walkie-talkie
  • Hip flask
  • External mobile phone battery


  • Sunscreen - high SPF
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • After sun/moisturiser
  • Boot warmers
  • Hand warmers
  • Ankle/knee/wrist supports
  • Deep heat/muscle soaks

Phew! That’s quite a list! But how will all that fit inside a regular suitcase?
It won’t. When it comes to ski trip packing, it’s best to invest in an extra-large style with a generous capacity.

So which Suitcase is Best for Ski Trip Packing?

The below Baseline expandable suitcase is one of our most voluminous styles due to its 78.7cm x 57.2cm x 37.6cm dimensions and 160.6 litre capacity. Crafted with Briggs & Riley’s innovative CX™ expansion-compression system, the design expands by up to 17%, then compresses back down to its original size.
Finally, a spacious suitcase minus the bulk?

Yes, please. Not only does the Baseline accommodate all your ski trip packing, but is refreshingly light too. Consequently, its 6.5kg weight and 360 degree wheels make handling a breeze.

Best suitcases for ski trip
Baseline Four-Wheel Extra Large Expandable Suitcase in Black, £669.00, Briggs & Riley

Can I Take Skis on a Plane? Or my Board?

It may be cheaper and easier to hire ski equipment abroad, but what if you can’t bear to part with your beloved skis or snowboard?

The good news is that yes, you can take ski gear on a plane. However, it will come at a cost, because most airlines charge extra for sports equipment, with prices varying between each airline. For example, Easy Jet charge £45-£55 for a large sports bag per flight, whilst Ryan Air charge £45 to £50 for one piece of ski equipment.

There is one exception – Swiss Air doesn’t charge for ski equipment, yay! However, the ticket prices tend to be higher than say a budget airline ticket plus the extra bag charge. Always take ticket prices AND baggage fees into account when searching for the best price.

Can I Carry Ski Boots on the Plane?

Again yes, but the same rules apply for ski boots as they do for skis or snowboards. If the boots are packed in a secondary bag expect to pay extra. But if ski boots are the only piece of equipment you’re flying with, try packing them inside a carryon or checked case to avoid the extra baggage fee.

Is There a Way to Avoid the Fees?

Some airlines, such as BA and Air France, allow one free checked bag. This can be a sports equipment bag or regular suitcase. If you can manage to fit your packing and ski equipment in one bag, hey presto! You’ve avoided the extra baggage charge. Just make sure the bag doesn’t exceed the airline's weight restrictions and size dimensions, otherwise, you’ll still end up paying extra for those additional kilos.

What if my ski gear doesn’t fit inside my checked-in bag? No problem. You'll likely pay extra, however, some airlines allow you to pack as much as you want inside your additional sports bag. This is a cool hack to be aware of because you can pack two pairs of skis inside one bag. If you’re travelling with friends and family, this allows you to share the cost. Again, check your airline's weight restrictions however to avoid exceeding the limit.

Alternatively, you can cure the headache of travelling with ski gear altogether by hiring skis, boards, boots and helmets at the resort. This is proven to be cheaper and simpler than travelling with your own equipment. Rental charges vary from country to country, however - expect to pay anything from £33 to £79 for the hire of snowboards/skis and boots for six days. Check out ski rental companies such as Skiset and Inter Sport for more information.

Now you’re clued up on ski trip packing, you’ll be needing an extra-large suitcase to accommodate all your ski gear. From expandable designs to polycarbonate cases engineered to withstand extreme temperatures, Global Luggage has plenty of premium extra large suitcases that are brilliant for ski trips. Check them out!