Your Mountain Vacation: Top Tips for Packing Like the Pros

Ahh…vacation time has arrived, but to ensure you don’t run into any road bumps once you’ve arrived, it’s important to cover all bases regarding what to pack and what’s better left behind.

Below, you’ll find top tips for packing like a pro, so you’ll be shedding zero tears regarding what should have been packed beforehand.


Five-star hotels stock bathrooms with toiletries like soap, shampoo, and toilet paper, yet you may need to bring these bare essentials if you’ve rented a cabin in the woods.  That means remembering to bring a blow dryer, hair care items, and an iron if you’re accustomed to wearing wrinkle-free clothes.  Additionally, don’t assume a local store will have your usual staples; actually, there may not be a convenient store close to where you’re staying!  And, don’t forget – regardless of temperature, if you’re closer to the sun and in open areas with plenty of sunlight, you’ll want to stock up on sunscreen.


It’s nice that a number of Whistler vacation homes feature kitchens which provide utilities to prepare your own food.  However, don’t assume the refrigerator and cupboards are filled with food.  If renting a cabin, ask a manager or travel agent about what you should bring regarding utensils (toaster, pots, pans, etc) and whether a few necessary staples (milk, eggs, etc) will be there upon your arrival.  “Do not assume” needs to be the mantra as a lack of ice trays, water filters, and common items may be detrimental to your immediate happiness.  Before leaving, consider your normal routine, noting things you can’t do without (coffee, sugar, etc), and be sure nothing will take away from the serenity found in the mountains.  Moreover, people love grilling outdoors, especially when staying in rustic surroundings, so if this is a preference or something you’re looking forward to doing, be sure you have the necessary resources such as coal or fuel.

Towels and Linens

Again, don’t assume a thing; for example, inquire about towels, linens, pillows and the like, especially if a number of friends and family members will be living in the same unit.  Additionally, inquire whether or not your unit will be equipped with a washer or dryer; otherwise, you’ll have to bring enough clothes and resources for the stay, or find out if a laundry facility is close to the cabin.

Home Entertainment

You’re on vacation; that means it’s likely skiing, hiking, sledding, and other activities are on your itinerary.  However, families grow accustomed to routine, and members may be disappointed to find a cabin equipped with a television does not feature premium movie channels, etc.  Additionally, you may be disappointed to find out that the DVDs you brought along are useless without a DVD player.  Also, if you can’t live without perusing the web or checking your Twitter feed, be sure the cabin has Internet access or resides close to a Wi-Fi connection.  Some phones can be used as an Internet hotspot.


Depending on your vacation destination and time of year, weather patterns may dramatically fluctuate.  That means bringing along attire appropriate for cold, warm, and hot weather.  For example, you may get warm while partaking in an activity under the sun’s rays, but once the sun goes down in the mountains and the wind kicks up, you’ll be glad you brought along a jacket or heavy sweater.  Likewise, you may look forward to dining out during the evening and wearing the appropriate formal shoes, but high heels and expensive leather shoes won’t be useful when trudging through slushy streets or muddy trails.

Charles Fitzpatrick is a travel consultant. He loves sharing his experiences on the web. His articles appear mainly on travel and vacation websites.