While others are clamouring to escape the snow, you and your family are ready to embrace it – on the slopes. Whether you’re heading to Vermont, Colorado or the Alps, packing for a family ski trip is tricky. Bulky clothes are heavy and if you’re flying, you have to concern yourself with shelling out money for extra handling fees. Here’s how to get the most out of your suitcase and save your money for a cup of hot chocolate:

Lighten the Load.
Layers of warm sweaters and long underwear can quickly take over a lot of real estate in your luggage. Save some space by packing your gloves, hats (and anything else you can roll up) in with your skis. Since most airlines let you check a sports bag at no additional cost, you can pack all your gear without sacrificing any non-ski clothing.

Get technical.
High tech sports clothing is lightweight and still protects you and your kids from the cold. You’ll enjoy being outside longer and they won’t weigh down your suitcase. If you don’t want to buy all these pricey products at one time – consider asking friends and family if you can borrow theirs. If they are staying home or heading somewhere warm, they will be more than happy to oblige.

Rent it.
You may love your skis and your son wants to bring his lucky snowboard, but, at some point, you have to cut yourself off. With equipment, boots, jackets, hats, mitts, scarves and … well you get the idea … no matter how well you plan, eventually space will run out. Save yourself the hassle of lugging equipment through a crowded March Break airport and rent skis and boots when you get to your destination.

Layer up.  
Ski jackets take up a lot of room, so instead of packing them into checked bags, have everyone wear their ski jackets onto the flight. You can easily stash outerwear in the overhead bin while airborne, and doing so will free up space in your bag. Even if you’re planning on spending most of the time on the slopes, you’ll need some clothes for exploring the village and town as well.

Your bags are packed. You’ve planned out what you and your family will need while you’re away. Now there’s only one thing left to do: grab the passports and get ready to hit the slopes. Happy March Break.

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