I’ve been to quite a few different ski resorts out West… Sun Valley, Big Sky, Breckenridge, Winter Park, but I haven’t been to Aspen yet. Located in the Rockies in Colorado, Aspen is a ski resort town known for it’s luxe restaurants, boutiques, and more! I’m headed there today and I could not be more excited!
Some ski-towns are more laid back than others, but pretty much all of them are simply relaxed. Aspen has a glitz and glam reputation, but I’ve heard that the locals are just as down-to-Earth as the rest of the resorts in Colorado and that Aspen offers a little bit for everyone. I’m staying at the Sky Hotel, have you been? From the photos on the website, it looks pretty cute! It’s in downtown Aspen at the bottom of Ajax Mountain. Ajax Mountain (also known as Aspen Mountain) doesn’t have any green runs so I’ll probably be taking my skis over to Buttermilk. Admittedly, I’m not the best skier, but I absolutely love the ski-town culture and the après ski lifestyle.
I’m actually heading to Aspen for Winterskol. Have you heard of it? It’s Aspen’s annual “toast to winter” after the holiday season is over. Per the website, the festival dates back to January 1951 when local Aspenites decided to celebrate Aspen’s unique Nordic lifestyle with an eclectic weekend of festivities. It’s a four-day festival reminiscent of the European Alps that features live music, a soup cook-off, on-mountain activities, a parade, a canine fashion show (!!), snow sculptures, fireworks, and more. In between chilly runs on the slopes, everyone can warm up and re-energize at the Vick’s sanctuary at the base of Aspen Mountain! With a mix of oxygen bars, professional masseuses, as well as hot beverages available.
Now for the big question at hand – what to pack?! My mantra for ski trips is cute and cozy, but also stylish and sophisticated.
Boots – You’re going to want a cute pair of snow boots for daytime when you aren’t on the slopes! But when it comes to going out to dinner and out for a few drinks, I personally don’t feel comfortable in a clunky pair of boots, even if they’re cute. My trick is here is getting a pair of disposable boots. Disposable boots? If you’re wondering WTF those are, don’t worry, I think I just made up the term. Here’s my thought process – Even back in snowy Chicago, I have a few pairs of inexpensive boots that I keep around to wear when the weather gets crummy. While I definitely believe in investing in boots that you will be able to re-sole and re-wear season after season, I don’t wear those boots when it’s snowy, raining, or slushy in the city. That’s when I grab my pair of inexpensive boots (that are still cute!!) so I won’t be worried about potentially ruining them. It’s obviously up to you to decide what price point your “disposable” boots are! Personally, I think brands like Old Navy, Target, and Sole Society fit the bill perfectly. Just make sure to check that the sole isn’t too slippery… You want to look cute, but not bust your bum in the snow.
Some of my favorite low-priced pairs…
Sweaters – Sweaters, sweaters, and more sweaters. Sweaters are the key to staying warm! Fair isle sweaters and vintage-looking sweaters with ski motifs are quintessential après ski must-haves. But don’t forget about your more dressed up sweaters – Sweaters with lots of texture and detail are great for elevating your nighttime look!
Beanies, Scarves, and Gloves – This one goes without saying, no? Any beanie that keeps your head warm is doing it’s part, but I am loving beanies with a fun faux fur pom-pom on top. Fashion meets function, you know? When it comes to scarves, opt for one that is thick! Slinky scarves may look nice, but they definitely won’t keep you as warm. As for gloves, definitely pick up a pair that has touch-screen compatibility so you don’t have to take your gloves off to coordinate plans, look-up directions, etc.
(Faux) Fur – There’s nothing more luxe than a little bit of fur. Definitely pack your favorite faux vest, coat, stole, or hat! It’s a fashionable and functional add-on to just about any outfit.
Lots of Layers – I’m always one to layer a tissue-thin turtleneck under my sweaters, both on ski trips and back home in Chicago, too. I’m notoriously cold and prefer having an extra layer of warmth. Make sure you’re packing more socks that you think you’ll need, too!
Pants – When it comes to pants, a few different washes of jeans, fleece-lined leggings, and even a pair of leather leggings are usually in my suitcase. Army green jeans, grey jeans, black jeans, and a pair of dark rinse jeans are my go-to’s for switching up my look while staying warm. Leave the distressed jeans at home!
Health & Wellness – I always bring a little bit of a mini pharmacy with me when I travel. There’s nothing worse than having to try to find your go-to’s when you’re not feeling 100%. I try to anticipate the potential ways I could be feeling after a few days on the trip. For example, I always bring aloe with me on tropical trips, just in case I get a sunburn. I’d rather be prepared than scouring the hotel gift shop for something that I want to use. For ski trips, I always stock up on Vitamin C packets, I bring my daily multi-vitamins, and I always bring NyQuil and DayQuil to get by if I pick up a little cold along the way. (Since ski clothes are so bulky, I always end up checking a bag when I’m going on ski trips. So no need to have to find travel-size bottles!)
Beauty – On the beauty and skincare front, be sure to pack your SPF (all of the white snow is ultra reflective!), heavier moisturizers, and hand cream. The air is D-R-Y at 8,000 feet! Plan your skincare routine accordingly. I am even packing a hydrating mask in case my skin flares up from the cold and dry air. Most hotel rooms have humidifiers on hand, make sure to ask your hotel in advance. Humidifiers are a must!
Sunglasses — Don’t forget your sunglasses! With all of the white surrounding you, and maybe even some blowing snow, you’ll be a whole lot more comfortable with your eyes protected! And, I mean, sunglasses always look chic. 😉
Oh, and obviously a nice, warm coat is a must-have, too! You probably won’t want to wear your ski jacket out, so a warm wool coat (or a cute puffer!) is ideal. My favorite option would be a bright-colored wool coat with a fur-trimmed hood!
PS: I’ll be hosting a Twitter chat with @NyQuilDayQuil at 6pm Mountain Time tonight. (That’s 7pm for those of you in the Midwest on Central Time and 8pm EST!) We’ll be chatting all things packing so be sure to tune in with any questions and your must-haves for ski trips! The hashtag to follow is #NoSickDays!
If you’re headed on a ski trip soon, pin one of the images below to save this list!
PS: Check back tomorrow because I’m going to be sharing all of my skiing must-haves on the blog! If you’ve got a ski trip coming up, you’re going to want to book mark this one for reference.
Created in partnership with Vick’s
An Aspen Packing Guide!
In the Photos: