With winter approaching, you might be getting the itch to take a ski vacation.

If you’re an avid skier, you’ve likely got your trip preparation routine down pat. But as you gear up to hit the slopes, keep these ski trip hacks handy.

1. Be a Master Packer

You’ll need all the right gear to ski — boots, gloves, helmet and goggles included — but packing doesn’t have to be a nightmare. To save space:

  • Pack clothes and socks in your boots.
  • Stash goggles and gloves in your helmet.
  • Pack your skis and poles towards the sides of your ski bag and stow extra gear in the middle. Or, rent skis and poles when you get there – you’ll save on having to haul them and you can try out new equipment if you’re in the market.
  • Bring along extra socks, gloves, neck warmers, and any other items likely to get wet so you can swap those out as needed.
  • Performance fabrics can help you regulate your temperature, keeping you warm on the chair lift up, but breathable enough to prevent overheating while you ski down. And they usually take up less space as well!

2. Try Night-skiing for Shorter Lines

For shorter lines and lower ticket prices, see if your destination offers night skiing.

For shorter lines and lower ticket prices, see if your destination offers night skiing. Scout out the area you’ll be skiing during the day first, so you’re familiar with your surroundings.

If you ski at night, consider:

  • Skiing with a partner so you won’t be alone if one of you gets hurt or lost.
  • Switching out your daytime ski goggles for ones with clear or night lenses so you can see properly.
  • Wearing heavier gloves and socks if temperatures drop to help avoid frostbite.
  • Wearing a headlamp or LED flood lamp to help avoid collisions with other skiers.

3. Make it Fun for the Entire Family

If you’re taking the kids along for a family ski trip, these hacks can make your outing smoother:

  • Bring comfortable shoes you can swap out for your ski boots if you’ll be spending part of the day trekking up and down the beginner’s area.
  • Break up your day into blocks so the kids don’t get worn out on the slopes. Check out the resort’s other amenities in the morning, like ice skating or tubing. Then plan to ski in the afternoon when lines may be shorter.
  • Consider renting your child’s equipment as opposed to buying it, since they will quickly outgrow boots, skis, and other gear.
  • Use mitten clips to secure gloves and mitts to your child’s jacket, so they don’t end up lost in the snow.
  • Rent or buy a sled to stack your gear on so you don’t have to carry everything.
  • Take advantage of kid-friendly programs or child care at the resort so Mom and Dad can have some ski time to themselves.

4. Carry a Go-To Supply Stash

Don’t head up the mountain without some essential first-aid and fix-it supplies. A good kit should include:

  • Zip ties
  • Duct tape and/or super glue
  • Band-aids or zinc tape
  • Bandage wraps
  • Hand and foot warmers
  • Lip balm
  • Dried, non-crushable snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • A water bottle

These items can help with minor emergencies or simple injuries. For example, if you take a tumble and rip your snow suit, duct tape can patch it up. Bandages can be used to tape a wrist or ankle, while lip balm can soothe blisters or windburn.

5. Have a Worst-Case Scenario Plan

While no one expects to sustain a serious injury while skiing, you should still be prepared for one. Before you head out for the day:

  • Know what to do and who to call in case of a serious injury.
  • Write down the resort’s emergency or first aid services number.
  • Fully charge your phone so you can call for help if an accident does occur.
  • Store your phone in a plastic bag, then wrap it in a hand warmer or keep it close to your body to prevent the battery from dying in the cold.

And of course, replace any damaged gear if there’s an accident. Skiing with a cracked helmet, for example, could lead to a serious head injury if you collide with a tree or take a hard fall. Remember, the goal of your ski vacation should be to have fun and stay safe.

Make sure you’re protected on your next out of province or out of country ski trip as your provincial health care plan doesn’t cover everything. Get a travel insurance quote or speak to an advisor on how you can plan ahead to get the protection you need in case you become injured and can’t work.


This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.