What to Pack for Your Rocky Mountaineer Train Trip through the Canadian Rockies

 In Canada, Travel Tips

Your Rocky Mountaineer train trip is booked. The route has been decided and hotels are all reserved. All thats left is to pull out your suitcase and start throwing things in so you can hop on your flight to Vancouver. Simple, right?

Rocky Mountaineer Packing

Figuring out what to pack for your Rocky Mountaineer journey is a bit more complicated than you think. While it could be hot in Vancouver, it might be chilly in Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise. This doesn’t even take into account all of the activities on your itinerary.

Do you plan on hiking, kayaking or sitting in a car or motor coach for a few hours after you get into the Canadian Rockies? What will you do on the train for two days? Are you traveling in spring, summer or fall? Are you prepared for early snowfall in autumn?

Like I said, there is a bit more to think about than just throwing a few outfits into a carryon bag.

Rocky Mountaineer Packing

Understanding How To Dress For Your Rocky Mountaineer Train Journey

You will spend two full days on the train. You want to dress comfortably, but this doesn’t mean you get to rock all of your athleisure wear. The Rocky Mountaineer is a luxury train. Dress the part.

Taking a journey on the Rocky Mountaineer train requires some extra planning when it comes to packing for the Canadian Rockies through Banff National Park and Jasper National Park in Alberta Canada. We've got you covered with our best packing tips, travel shoe recommendations, train outfits, seasonal switch ups, capsule wardrobes and more. #alberta #rockymountaineer #banff #jasper #trains #canadianrockies #packinglist

Great Outfits to Wear on the Rocky Mountaineer

  • Jeans and a cute top
  • Leggings with a tunic
  • Sun dresses
  • Maxi skirts
  • Flat, comfortable shoes

Rocky Mountaineer Packing

What shoes to wear on the Rocky Mountaineer

Flats are the only shoes you will want to wear on the Rocky Mountaineer train. You will need to climb up and down steps, sometimes while the train is moving if you are in GoldLeaf coaches.

Flip flops should never be worn on the train. First of all, your feet will get cold. Second, they could make you slip and fall on the train. High heels are obviously a big no, no too. If you go out on the observation deck to stretch or take photos, you do not want to worry about your footwear.

Our favorite shoe options for the train:

Rocky Mountaineer Packing

What to Pack in your Rocky Mountaineer Train Carry On

The best part of your Rocky Mountaineer journey is the scenery. Those glass-domed windows are pretty amazing. Most people don’t think to bring anything to entertain themselves, assuming the environment and meals will do it all.

Not true.

Sometimes you need a break from the glories of Mother Nature. The train is also the best time to get some reading done, or work on that crochet project you have been working on for the past nine years (true story- I’ve been making a baby blanket for a friend’s baby for over a decade. His daughter is now a tween).

Rocky Mountaineer Packing

Here are the essentials you will want to pack in your day bag. Keep your items to a minimum as there isn’t much space under your seat to store your bag if you want ample legroom.

  • Camera + memory cards
  • Phone + charger
  • Journal and pens
  • Book or eBook
  • Deck of cards
  • Medications
  • Passport and travel documents

NOTE: remember that all of your checked bags will go straight to your hotel. If there are any important documents that you want easy access to, bring them onboard. While I have never had anything missing from my checked luggage, you will want to carry on valuables as well. It is always better to be safe than sorry as your bags are transferred through multiple hands.

Rocky Mountaineer Packing

What to Pack for a Trip to the Canadian Rockies: Checked Bags

Your checked bag is where the bulk of your items will go. Even if you don’t check a bag on the plane, your bag will be checked with the Rocky Mountaineer.

Trust me, this is a good thing. Not having to haul your bag on and off the train is a huge perk. Even better, your bag is waiting in your hotel room when you arrive.

The things you will pack in your checked bag will vary on the season. Naturally your undergarments and most of your toiletries will stay the same, but your outer layers will most certainly change up, as will those cute sundresses you thought you could still wear in the mountains.

Rocky Mountaineer Packing

Summers in the Canadian Rockies

It may be summer, but when it comes to the mountains, light layers are your best friend. Dresses don’t do so well in the mountains. Wear your dresses while you are in Vancouver, before the train departs.

What to Pack for Summers in Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise

  • Light Jacket/Rain coat
  • Umbrella
  • Jeans and long trousers
  • Light layers (t-shirts and light long sleeves)
  • Hiking boots or sneakers (our favorites- Altra Lone Peak 3 Trail Runner)

Rocky Mountaineer Packing

Autumn and Spring in the Canadian Rockies

Autumn and spring weather can be pretty similar in Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper.  You could see sunny 70 degree days with temperatures dropping into the 30s and 40s at night, or be hit with an early snowfall in September. That’s the beauty of the mountains. You just never know.

Keep an eye on the weather report the days leading up to your trip. No matter the season, always have a light jacket with you.

Rocky Mountaineer Packing

What to Pack for Autumn and Spring in Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise

  • Medium to heavy-weight Jacket
  • Gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Scarf
  • Wool or wool blend socks that quickly dry.
  • Hiking boots or sneakers
  • Light layers
  • Sweatshirt and sweaters

Rocky Mountaineer Packing

The key to packing for your Rocky Mountaineer journey is to be comfortable, but stay stylish. Less is more up in the Canadian Rockies, and always leave room in your bag to pick up a few things from our favorite boutiques. When in doubt, don’t forget, you can always buy it once you get there. You aren’t headed to the out reaches of Nepal.

Now, grab your passport and your best friend. It’s time to go on a new adventure. The Rocky Mountaineer is calling “all aboard” and you don’t want to miss the train.

This post is part of a paid partnership with Rocky Mountaineer. As always, my opinions are my own. When they aren’t, you will be the first to know. 

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