From the stunning slopes to the charming village, Vail is one of the hottest, errrrr, make that coolest ski destinations in the U.S.! But while choosing Vail for your next trip is an easy decision, knowing just what to bring with you might be a little more complicated: ski, après ski, dinners…
But we’ve got your back! Here’s the stuff you absolutely need to include when you’re packing for a ski trip to Vail.
Layers… lots and lots of layers
Layers are the key to regulating your body temperature and staying comfortable for a day on the slopes.
Whether you’re a pro on the slopes or it’s your first time heading downhill, there are 3 layers to remember when you’re packing for a ski trip to Vail.
Base Layer: Chances are, you’re going to get sweaty while you’re skiing. Long-sleeve shirts and leggings made with moisture-wicking fabric will keep you dry (and warm!). Whatever you do, avoid cotton! It gets way too soggy, and the wet fabric against your body is downright chilly.
Middle Layer: These are your sweatshirts, sweatpants, etc. Opt for middle layers that’ll add warmth, not bulk. You want to be shielded from the bone-chilling wind when you’re racing downhill, while still being able to move comfortably! Light Merino wool or thin fleece are both great options, although wool takes longer to dry if it gets wet (from sweat or snow)
Outer Layer: We’ve got two words for you: waterproof and windproof. The weight will depend on the time of year you’re hitting the slopes. If you’re up for spring skiing, you might even be able to ditch the parka for a lightweight outer shell.
And don’t forget the extras: thin wool socks to keep your feet dry and toasty (without getting too hot and sweaty), waterproof gloves, fleece or wool hats and scarves, and possibly even a neck gaiter.
Off the slopes: après-ski fun
Vail might not be quite as upscale as Aspen, but that doesn’t mean you should plan on hanging out in your gym sweats at the après-ski. When you’re packing for a ski trip to Vail, choose ‘fits for off the slopes that are comfortable AND stylish, both.
Evenings are chilly; a wool coat or down puffer jacket will keep you looking good and feeling cozy if you stroll around Vail’s quaint village after a day of skiing. And bring comfy shoes, since both Vail Village and nearby Lionshead are mostly pedestrian-only.
If you’re planning to visit the local restaurants, pack some dressier options, too. Although there’s no official dress code at most places, people definitely “dress to be seen” at this popular destination! Stick to the Vail vibe: ski chic.
Oh, and here’s an unexpected item to throw in your luggage for Vail: a bathing suit! Your sore muscles will thank you when you take a post-ski dip in the hot tub. Ahhhh…
Gear and Extras
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a list of “gee, I wish I’d thought of that!” items to check off while you’re packing for a ski trip to Vail?
We got you!
Here are our top ski trip must-haves:
– Sunscreen: because the sun is so bright when it’s reflecting off the mountain
– Chapstick (with SPF): same
– Reusable water bottle: you’ll be sweating, a lot, so stay hydrated
– Vaseline: rub it over your lips at night to recover from the sun and wind
– Hand/foot warmers: to keep you cozy
Then there are the obvious non-negotiables. You’ll absolutely need a helmet, goggles, ski boots, poles, and skis. But you guys had those already packed, right?
So there you have it: the complete guide to everything you need for a fun, successful ski trip to Vail! Now, who’s ready for that first run?
Oh, and while you’re in packing mode, skip the costly airline fees and ship your skis and luggage directly to your hotel or Airbnb. No stress over possibly missing/delayed gear, no need to rent a car to lug it all up the mountain. Just you, the slopes, and an amazing ski vacay!