How to Plan and Pack for Your Next New York Ski Trip!
Do you want to spend the cold months in a winter wonderland? What about flying down a mountain with some wood strapped to your feet? Or in a lodge with some hot cocoa and good company? Let’s face it – planning a ski trip vacation can be stressful. Determining your budget, where to stay, which attractions to make time for, and what to pack often feels very overwhelming. And don’t forget, a ski vacation is one of the top things to do in New York in winter. Don’t panic! We can help you out. Being prepared with an itinerary, a booked vacation rental, and a packing list of essential things to bring can reduce the stress of vacation planning and make your trip much more enjoyable.
If you are considering a ski trip in beautiful Upstate New York, this New York winter packing list can serve as a handy guide on what to pack and tips on planning and you’ll be prepared to hit the slopes by the time of your vacation!
1. Planning Your Ski Trip
Planning a vacation can be fun, but it can also be exhausting and overwhelming: especially when you’re planning a ski vacation. There are so many things to take into consideration when you’re planning a ski trip and it can feel stressful. Especially if you’re bringing your own equipment! There are a plethora of extra items that you need to remember. Take planning step by step, and check things off the list early so that your ski trip can be stress-free and fun. Follow our guide on how to plan your skiing trip, and you’ll be hitting the slopes in no time!
- Research the Best Ski Spots
Unsurprisingly, finding the best ski slopes are an important step to making sure your ski trip lives up to your expectations. New York State has dozens of ski resorts and infamous slopes including Holiday Valley, Gore Mountain, Whiteface Mountain and Hunter Mountain. Don’t just take my word for it! Search online forums, local blogs, and ask friends and family for recommendations on the best spots to hit the slopes. Don’t forget to check out our 10 Top Upstate New York Ski Resorts For Your Winter Vacation for more information about the main ski resorts in New York state.
Hint: A great resource for communicating with other travelers and vacation rental owners is our New York Rental Facebook group. Are you planning a ski trip in the Catskills? Visit our Catskill Travel Facebook group to chat with fellow Catskill tourists and vacation home renters. We have several active Facebook groups in different New York regions.
3. Find the Perfect New York Vacation Rental
Winters in New York state are cold. Do you picture yourself, and your friends and family, curled up by a cozy, crackling fire and sipping hot cocoa? Or would you rather be perched up in a loft apartment, listening to city sounds and enjoying a cocktail? We all have a different ideal vacation. Finding a vacation rental home is vital to ensuring you have a great, relaxing time on your vacation. For a New York ski trip, a vacation cabin rental in the woods or lodge in the mountains are and ideal spot. Know your vacation style!
4. Book Transportation
If you live out of New York State or even out of the country, finding transportation to your destination (as well as how to get around when you’re there) is imperative. Booking flights and car rentals early ensures that you’ll snag a great deal. This is another great time to head to our New York Rental Facebook group to figure out where you can find the best deals on cars and flights.
5. Put Together an Itinerary for your upstate New York winter getaways
Make sure you get the most out of your trip by putting together an itinerary ahead of time. This technique will help you get the most out of your ski vacation. How long will you be staying? What other winter attractions are in the area? What are the best restaurants, coffee shops, and bars you want to check out while in town? Making a general plan for each day of your trip can reduce the anxiety you may feel trying to squeeze everything in, in just a few precious days.
Packing for Your Upstate New York Winter Getaway
Opening up your suitcase and realizing you forgot your warmest pair of wool socks or your favorite relaxing read can make you feel like the trip is over before it even began! But don’t panic – we have put together this list of things to pack to make sure you get the most out of your trip. Use this handy packing list to make sure you’re prepared for your winter ski trip in New York.
- Long pants
- Long sleeved shirts
- Wool socks (you may want to wear shorter, lighter socks underneath the warm wool)
- Sweaters (layered clothing is important while exploring a cold-weather region)
- Comfortable gym or hiking shoes
- Ski gloves (find gloves that will allow you to comfortably and securely grip the ski poles)
- Warm hat or earmuffs
- Sunglasses (the bright white snow will make it hard to look straight in front of you without eye protection)
- Waterproof snow pants
- Waterproof winter jacket
- Ski goggles (optional – you can also get some that act as sunglasses)
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Soap or body wash
- Shaving cream
- Makeup (for a ski trip, this may not be necessary – but you may want to pack it just in case!)
Ski Equipment (Don’t worry if you don’t own ski equipment. Most equipment can typically be rented at the resort.)
- Pair of skis
- Ski boots
- Ski poles
- *You can also rent snowboarding equipment if that’s your cup of tea!
- Travel itineraries, plane/train tickets, maps, and other travel documents
- Passport (if applicable)
- A book, magazine, Kindle or other reading material
- Water bottles
- Cell phone
- Cell phone charger
- Compass (in case your phone dies while on the slopes)
- Fleece blanket
- Lip balm
- Sunscreen (the bright snow makes sunburns likely!)
- Ear buds or headphones
- A towel (in case your vacation rental doesn’t come with them – verify with the renter before your trip
While on your next ski vacation you may want to read some excellent tips for winter gear storage.
Let’s Talk About the Slopes
Let’s go back to #2, and as a lot of people believe, the most important step in planning your New York winter ski vacation. We want to do the work for you. Here are summaries of what the main mountain resorts in upstate New York have to offer.
In the summer and fall Holiday Valley is a beautiful area with golf, foliage and an adventure park. But! Winter hits and it turns into a winter wonderland full of skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. Holiday Valley is a large ski resort in the lovely village of Ellicottville with 60 trails, 6 terrain parks and 13 lifts.
They also have tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster! Make sure to check out their winter packages and get yourself a deal for the whole family.
In the heart of Adirondack Mountains is the breathtaking Gore Mountain. The mountain has 9 sides of 4 different peaks. With overachieving 110 trails this is a great mountain for the entire family. They’re even powered by the largest solar array at a ski resort! All of that sun is turned into all of that snow. They also have classes so if it’s time for your little ones to hit the slopes for the first time then sign them up for class!
Whiteface Mountain is the 5th tallest mountain in New York state. It hosted the Winter Olympics in 1980 (check out the Olympics Museum while you’re there) which makes it one of the most well known mountains in New York state. The peak of Whiteface offers beautiful views of Vermont, Canada and the Adirondack Mountains. This is the mountain to visit if you love glades. It has 12 lifts, 87 trails, and 53 glades! Take some classes, ride up in the gondola and enjoy a beautiful day on the slopes with the entire family.
Hunter Mountain is the closest large mountain to NYC. They have 67 trails, 4 terrain parks and 4 glades. It’s not the most difficult mountain but they have a good range of trails that are good for intermediate and advances skiers and riders. They even have a decent amount of mountain open for beginners. The entire family will enjoy Hunter Mountain!
There are endless opportunities for an adventurous ski vacation in upstate New York. Start planning now, so that when the time comes you can relax and enjoy the fun around you. They might even have deals and the earlier in the year that you book the more money you can save! Come enjoy a fun filled winter adventure here in New York state.
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