Before you can enjoy fresh powder and bright, bluebird days, you'll need to get fully packed for your ski trip. Ski trips demand a lot of attention and care during the packing process since there is a variety of equipment and clothing to include. Pack your clothing and gear carefully and you'll enjoy the slopes without a hitch.
Pack your ski bag. If you're bringing skis, consider what else you'll be able to store in the ski bag. Carry your boots in a boot bag and try to stash some of the more bulky outerwear like jackets, pants and gloves in your ski bag. Also pack tools, goggles, helmet and other gear that is strictly for the slopes with your skis. Be careful to pack things in separate compartments and protect them from damage.
Choose a suitcase carefully. Hard suitcases are generally not the best option for ski clothing, since you'll need to pack a variety of bulky items (ski jacket, pants, fleeces, sweaters, etc.). A soft suitcase or bag will better allow you to stuff gear inside without running out of space too quickly. Consider bringing two separate bags--one for casual clothing and one for ski clothing. This way things will be separated naturally and you won't risk having wet, dirty ski clothes get mixed with your nicer casual wear.
Pack according to layers. Pack your base layer in first, as this layer consists of more compact items that can fill in the bottom of the suitcase. Pack base-layer shirts on one side and underwear, long johns and socks on the other. Next, pack your mid-layer. Be sure to compress down bulky sweaters, jackets and fleeces to create more space. Finally, place any outerwear that you're not carrying in a separate ski bag on top. Outerwear to remember includes not only ski jackets and pants but also gloves, mittens, hats/beanies, face masks and goggles. Be sure that your goggles are in a hard case or wrap them in a sweater or jacket to keep them from getting damaged. Compress your outerwear as needed to close the zipper. If you still have room left after packing all of your ski clothes and would prefer carrying only one bag, pack your casual clothes in with your ski clothes. Pull out the outerwear and any bulky mid-layers and pack the small, compact items like socks, lightweight shirts and underwear on the bottom with your base layer clothes. Then pack larger items and outerwear on top.
If you're using a suitcase dedicated to ski clothes, consider other accessories that you'll use on the slopes and pack these into the small compartments of the bag. Some accessories include sunblock, lip balm, MP3 players, camcorders, tissues and cameras. Consider every item that you'll need while skiing and pack them all into the same bag so you're organized from the minute you arrive. One last thing to bear in mind is whether you intend to purchase anything while on your trip. If you're bringing back souvenirs for every family member and friend, be sure that you have ample space in your existing suitcase or bring an extra bag for this purpose.
Trying to stuff all of your ski clothes and hard goods into one or two suitcases can be challenging. When running low on space, be sure you've used space as effectively as possible. For instance, if you have a large pair of hollow boots occupying their own bag, stuff socks, gloves, hats and whatever else will fit inside the boots. The same strategy works for a helmet. You may even save some room by stashing some small items inside a jacket or pants pocket. If you begin to run out of room when stacking clothes, consider rolling smaller, lightweight clothing up so that you can better squeeze it in around large, hard items. Before you reach for that extra suitcase (and extra baggage fee), make sure that you've exhausted all possible space. Don't forget to consider what you will wear when traveling--you may be able to save some space by wearing your ski jacket, hat, gloves and other items while in transit.