Tips for the Best Family Ski Trip (With Kids) Ever!

Our family does a family ski trip at least once every winter.

My three boys are now 12, 14 and 16, but each of them started skiing at the age of 3. The days on the bunny slopes are long gone, but the memories we made there will last forever.

family ski trip

A ski trip with kids is a challenging coordination event! Over the years I have learned a few things that I would like to share.

loading up for family ski trip

Traveling to the mountain with suitcases, skis, winter gear, kids and everything else we needed was easy with our sponsor, Alamo Rent a Car.

Renting a large SUV from Alamo is such a simple solution. We flew into the Denver airport, took the quick ride on the Alamo shuttle and found the perfect SUV to weather the mountain terrain and the winter weather.

ski trip ride

What to Pack for a Family Ski Vacation

My kids have been helping pack their suitcases as long as we have been traveling. What I do is have them set their suitcases outside their room in the hall where I can supervise all three at the same time and call out what they need to bring. We start at the top of their head (hats, combs, toothpaste/brush) and work our way down to their toes (socks, shoes, boots).

To make it easier, we have created these packing lists you can print and check off:

ski trip packing list

Click HERE to print the packing list for girls!

Click HERE to print the packing list for boys!

To Rent or Not to Rent

The cost of skiing can add up. If you are going to be skiing more than one week, I suggest that you look into used ski gear. In most cases, the cost of used skis, poles, helmets and boots equal about what it would cost to rent those items for a week.

Most mountain towns have several used ski shops and the staff can be a huge resource.

skiing down the mountain

If you are going to be skiing for a week or less, then renting equipment is your most cost-effective choice and it makes it easier for traveling to rent at your ski destination.

Buying Ski Clothes for Kids without Spending a Fortune

For kids’ ski clothing, I have found that shopping at the mountain town discount store works great. Ski coats, ski pants, long underwear, neck warmers and fleece sweatshirts are usually available there for a fraction of what it would cost to buy these items at a ski shop.

family ski trip in the car

There are three items I don’t buy at the discount stores for the kids. They are ski socks, ski gloves and goggles. With these essential items, you get what you pay for. Warm feet and hands and good eye protection are key to having a comfortable day on the slopes.

Starting Skiing RIGHT

No matter if you are an adult or a kid, if it is your first time on the slopes, I highly recommend a day or two of ski school. The first day skiing is hard.

Very hard!

And if you can get tips and training to make it easier, I promise that your vacation will go better.

Younger kids get tired and may not be great with all the ski clothing and equipment required. If that is the case, either signing them up for ½ day lessons or taking them to the bunny slope with you to assist (wear your snow boots, not your ski equipment) can get them acclimated more quickly. Don’t set high expectations for young kids on their first trip!

Remember, it is vacation.

A GREAT vacation.

Rental car in front of lodging

We are always sad to have to pack up the Alamo Rent a Car and head back home!

We may be a little tired, but with a smile on our face and the inspiration to begin planning our next ski trip.

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