Ski season is officially in full swing, which means the powder day of your dreams is just around the corner! We’re here to help you get your essential items in order, because packing some simple mountain essentials can make the difference between a good ski trip and a great one.
Fresh air, the smell of pine trees, and snow-capped mountains are some of the major draws to visiting a ski destination. However, along with the high altitude comes a lot of dry air and windchill, which means you’ll need to prep yourself or feel the wrath of chapped lips and dry skin.
The first go-to on your hydration checklist is a good lip balm and a quality lotion to lock in moisture. Get something that offers deep hydration and SPF so you can kill two birds with one stone. Next, you’ll need a wearable hydration pack so you’re not wasting precious time on the slopes looking for a water fountain or stumbling around with a water bottle.
Next, you need fuel because the harder you ski, the more energy you need. Don’t fall victim to an afternoon slump. Keep your favorite protein bar or snack handy to fuel up on chairlift rides so you don’t miss out on what could be your greatest run.
Having the right playlist queued up is key for an awesome descent down the mountain. Make your own playlist with your favorite tunes to feel like a world-class slope shredder (or try Spotify’s Skiing All Day – at 20 hours long, your cruise won’t be cut short).
Finally, there is nothing worse than sitting on a chair lift when it comes to a complete stop and the wind kicks in. Keep your hands warm with handwarmers for moments like those and be sure to layer up with thermal long johns, a neck gaiter, and wool socks to protect yourself from the temperatures and windchill.
Slope Side Savings and Favorite Shopping Finds
Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® has bundled-up the best deals for a bundled-up vacation adventure this winter. Those yearning to hit the slopes, lace up skates, or get cozy by the fireplace will find great wintertime offers—up to 40% off—in this year’s Ski Getaways promotion. With a little more green in your pocket, there’s wiggle room to support local shops at your favorite ski destinations too, making packing for a return trip home almost as fun. Here are our recommendations for where to stay and shop when visiting some of the country’s best winter playgrounds:
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Stay: Get the closest you can to the slopes by staying at Snow King Resort, Jackson Hole’s preferred luxury retreat. Located at the base of Snow King Mountain, this resort offer ski-in, ski-out lodging, which means you’ll be an unbeatable distance to the slopes.
Shop: MADE at 125 North Cache Street, is a small and unique shop that has become a hotspot in Jackson Hole. From jewelry and pottery to leather goods and glassware, it’s a perusing paradise. The MADE WYO patches are great to spruce up your ski jacket, and the Heart in Jackson Dish Towel is an easy-to-pack memento.
Stay: Nestled between the Adirondacks and Green Mountains, with five nearby ski resorts, the area surrounding The Essex Resort & Spa is a playground for adventurers.
Shop: Danforth Pewter at 111 Church Street in the heart of the shopping district offers fine handcrafted pewter gifts, home décor and jewelry, all made in Vermont by expert artisans. Don’t miss the gorgeous hammered Jefferson cup as a souvenir to toast your trip.
Stay: Exploring Vermont’s scenic Green Mountains—with 914 acres of trails in the resort’s backyard—is even better with the Snow Excuses promotion at The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa. All ski season long, travelers will find nearby Bromley and Stratton Mountains both easy to reach.
Shop: All About Vermont at 210 Depot Street is an old-time country store that offers an old-fashioned candy counter, and New England–made specialty foods and goods. Insider tip: pick-up a bottle of Above All Vermont’s Vermont Maple Sriracha Hot Sauce in the specialty foods section.
Stay: There are two great options in Vail. Located just steps from the slopes of Vail Village and Golden Peak (which is an often-overlooked jumping point into the Blue Sky Basin), Manor Vail Lodge is the region’s best condominium hotel. And at Tivoli Lodge, the slopes are at its backdoor and guests will find easy access to Vail’s winter fun, from snowshoeing to snow tubing, ice skating and more.
Shop: Perch, located at 122 E. Meadow Drive in the heart of the village is a women’s contemporary store that offers a wonderful mix of luxury and affordable pieces.
Park City, Utah
Stay: At YOTELPAD Park City ski valet and storage services make enjoying Park City Mountain Resort a breeze, and after a day of winter play, the hotel’s hot tub is an ideal spot to warm up and chill out.
Shop: Burns Cowboy Shop located at 361 Historic Main Street is a unique Western lifestyle shop with a collection of fine custom-made boots, hats, belts, buckles, clothing, and jewelry.
South Lake Tahoe, California
Stay: Travelers can enjoy ski season in the Sierra Mountains at the Forest Suites Resort at Heavenly Village. Located just steps from the Heavenly Village Gondola, getting to cruise the corduroy of Heavenly’s long, groomed trails is a quick lift away.
Shop: On Tahoe Time at 1001 Heavenly Village Way #36B offers unique Lake Tahoe souvenirs, home décor, jewelry, and wall art.
Lake Arrowhead, California
Stay: Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa’s ski offer includes direct-to-lift passes to Snow Valley Mountain, letting guests skip the ticket line and head straight to the good stuff.
Shop: Honey Habits at 28200 CA-189, Suite T-240 is a trendy women’s boutique that offers clothing, accessories, and gifts.