What to Pack for your Ski Holiday - & How to Pack It!
Once you have booked your ticket and the time for departure is drawing nearer, it is time to get your act together and start packing for your skiing holiday. It doesn’t matter whether you are taking off for a week, week-end or a half-term break, planning what you will pack is essential.
Since ski gear is bulky and heavy in general and you want to avoid carrying with you luggage of more than the notorious limit of 15 or 20 kg, you need to be especially careful not to pack anything that you really don’t need.
Of course, the first sound things to do are check with your airline and then verify their luggage limit. Most of them have a baggage allowance of 15 - 20 Kg. In order to stay within the limits and not have to pay extra for overweight luggage, you need to plan what is really essential for your trip.
To help you get organised we have put together the following helpful tips to make packing for your ski holiday this year much easier and more efficient. Finally, a handy check list will help you make sure everything is in order before boarding the plane.
1 – What to Pack for your Ski Holiday
Socks & underwear
Fist, the absolute essentials! Be sure to include plenty of underwear, preferably a pair for each day, plus a couple of spares. If your body is comfortable and clean, you will feel so much better, especially after a long day on the slopes.
The socks protecting your feet inside your ski boots are imperative whether you prefer well - fitting normal socks or the specialised skiing socks. You should plan to pack a pair for each day you plan to be skiing, especially if you plan to hire your gear (who knows how many smelly feet they have accommodated before yours!).
If, on the other hand, you find they are too bulky, pack fewer: you could always wash a pair out in the sink and just take whatever fits into your suitcase comfortably. A tube of travel wash is a good item to have on hand if you want to take as fewer clothes as possible. If you are in a chalet, there may well be access to a washing machine but otherwise, it is best to come prepared. It doesn’t take up much space and maybe one of your fellow – travellers who is not as well organised as you will need to borrow some to save his integrity from his angry roommates.
Bear in mind that you will also need socks or warm tights for when you aren’t skiing.
Ski base layers
Since we have started from the inside out, ski base layers are next.
To be on the safe side it is better to pack at least 2 sets of ski base layers as they tend to get pretty sweaty after a day or two. You need a top with long sleeves as well as long - john type of pants in order to keep warm. The sets which are fabricated from man - made fibres will keep you drier but also become smellier, whereas the wool - based variety don’t get so smelly but also don’t keep you as dry.
Whatever you choose, remember that 1 pair is all you will need for a weekend on the slopes, and at least 3 for a holiday that will 5 to 7 days.
If you are a seasoned skier you will know what to pack without our guidance but for those of you who are new on the slopes, basically you will need the following:
- Thermal layers (fleece or lamb’s wool) of jumpers to keep warm and snug
- Waterproof, breathable ski pants
- Ski gloves
- Sun glasses for glare (if desired)
- Ski helmet
- Ski boots (unless you plan to hire when you get there)
- Any required protective gear or knee braces
- Avalanche safety gear such as transceiver, beacon, shovel, probe, backpack (if skiing off - piste)
- Ski jacket (it may be a good idea to wear this on the plane to save on weight if flying)
- Walking boots which you can also wear for travelling.
Sunscreen & Lip Balm
That is simply imperative: be sure to include sunscreen and lip balm in your bag, as it is far cheaper to buy at home and you will certainly need it.
If you are new to the world of skiing, you would be surprised how strong the sun is on the slopes -even in the winter. The winter sun is reflected off the snow and the mountain air is thinner – all this can result in your face becoming a painfully burned one if you aren’t careful. Use the sunscreen and have a nice tanned face instead - you will feel and look much better!
Lip balm is another useful addition: it will keep your lips moist - and kissable (up in the mountains you will probably use them a lot)! Cracked, dry lips are the last thing you need for your après skiing ventures.
Toiletries & Pijamas
Sometimes, toiletries are so necessary for our holidays, we forget to pack them!
Your toothbrush, paste, creams or whatever you usually use should be put first in your suitcase, but it would be nice to include some aspirins, painkillers, sports tape, waterproof dressings and perhaps some muscle plasters or creams as well. Still, these last ones should not take the place of underwear or socks in your suitcase. Take them only if you have enough space.
Depending on where you are staying, accommodation managers may provide free toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, hair gel etc., but it is a good idea to take your own favourites especially if your accommodation is of the budget variety where even soap may be limited. Ladies may need basic make-up for the slopes and perhaps more for the evenings. Of course men need their shaving kit and after shave.
Pajamas will not only keep you snug in bed but you will feel more decently attired if you are sharing with someone. If you normally sleep in underwear and a t-shirt, pack extra.
Slippers are not normally provided unless you are at a luxury resort and since you may have to leave your shoes at the front door, you will be glad you thought to bring them.
The most important everyday clothes will need on the slopes is gloves or mittens, a scarf and a warm hat. As for the rest, at most ski resorts all you will really need to wear in the evenings is a pair of jeans and a shirt or nice top, since you will be skiing every day from early morning until at least 4 pm in the afternoon.
If you are somehow new to the après – ski experience, bear in mind that you can blend in most bars and après – ski joints with your skiing outfit without any problem at all. Most of the après – ski haunters go there immediately after leaving the slopes, so there is no reason at all to bring with you something really nice.
Your tablet and mobile phone or even your notebook could also be in your list. A Go – Pro camera will probably be a nice thing to have with you. So, try to stuff it somewhere.
Don’t forget to get your chargers and a plug adaptor! Make sure to take or buy one at the airport. The following chart will help you find what you need, depending your destination. Please that several countries may use more than one types.
|Type of plug & socket||Helping photo||Mainly used in…|
|Type A||USA Canada Japan|
|Type B||USA Canada Japan|
|Type C||Europe Asia|
|Type E||France Belgium Poland Slovakia Czech Republic|
|Type F||almost everywhere in Europe & Russia, except for the UK & Ireland|
|Type G||United Kingdom Ireland|
|Type I||Australia, China Argentina|
|Type J||Switzerland Liechtenstein|
|Type K||Denmark Greenland|
|Type L||Italy Chile|
Last... What you Should Pack First!
Don’t forget your wallet and travelling papers, including passport, credit cards, plus some proof of a quality ski insurance policy!
2 – How to Pack
When you have assembled all the things you need for your skiing holiday, you are now ready to actually pack your suitcase or bag. Packing for a ski holiday without exceeding the luggage weight limit is a little less than a heroic feat. Still, others have treaded this path before you and you have much to gain from their experience.
Rolling & Stuffing
Well, first of all, rolling your clothes saves far more space than just folding them. Roll your clothes to fit in compactly, then just slot in other items in the gaps to take full advantage of all the space available.
Then, stuff your helmet with fragile items, thus safely protecting them. You can put your goggles in if they have a protective covering - otherwise pack them in their hard cases. Don’t pack your camera or tablet into the helmet as the display screens can crack easily. Any other fragile things will be safe if you put some gloves or whatever to hold them in place.
It is quite a good idea to line your suitcase with a plastic rubbish bag and pack plastic bags around your clothing. There is the possibility of your luggage being left out in the rain or snow before being loaded onto the plane and often dampness can seep through the zips. It is a good precaution to take as you certainly don’t want to arrive with wet clothing.
Use your Carry - on Bag Wisely
To further save on your weight allowance if flying, it is a good idea to pack heavy items such as ski boots in the bag or rucksack you plan to carry onboard. Since you probably won’t be able to fit in both boots, you could just pack one in your carry-on flight bag. To make full use of all space you can pack smaller items inside the boot as well.
On the other hand, specialist ski boot bags are much too deep to pass as carry-on luggage on most airlines. Note that some Airlines have a policy of allowing ski boots and skis onboard free of charge! This is worth taking into consideration when booking your flight this year.
Generally speaking, wearing aboard the plane clothes and items that could take a lot of space in your luggage is a rather good idea. Of course, don’t even think about trying to get inside the plane wearing your ski equipment – they will throw you out!
3 – A Handy Check List before Boarding
Apparently, everyone’s holiday is different, so this is just a handy guide of most of the things you might want to take with you. So just cross out anything you think is redundant and then use this list to make sure you have everything you need for your ski holiday.
- ski/ boots
- ski poles
- powder ribbons or straps
- lift pass holder
- board leash
- ski holder
- boot/hand warmers
- face mask
- neck gaitor
- thermal pants
- thermal top
- ski jacket & pants
- ski socks
- avalanche transceiver
- Everyday clothes, including gloves
Toiletries & Accessories
- lip balm
- sports tape
- toothpaste and toothbrush
- shaving gear
- ear plugs
- eye glasses or contact lenses + the required accessories
- mobile phone and charger
- video camera and charger
- tri ‐ pod
- extra memory cards
- memory stick
- plug adapters
Transactions & Papers
- credit card
- phrase book/ dictionary
- photocopy of passport/ visa
- travel insurance information
- drivers license
- itinerary and reservation confirmations
- maps and directions
- book, kindle or equivalent
Last Minute Advices!
There are also a number of things you should do several days before boarding your plane. For example,
- check if your passport is valid for at least 6 months;
- if you have a pet, decide who will take good care of it;
- make sure you have the visas you may need ready;
- have all medication and prescribed drugs in sufficient quantities;
- check if you will need an international drivers license;
- email any papers or piece of information in case you lose them during your journey, such as
- itineraries or directions,
- accommodation information
- Reservation receipts, etc.
- make sure your mobile phone service is operational abroad;
- check if you will need plug adaptors for your destination and, if so, make sure you buy the correct type;
- verify your ticket information is correct;
- inform members of your family o\r close friends about your journey plans for a case of emergency and entrust them with a photocopy of your passport;
- do not in any way reveal your journey to your social media accounts if your address is known, for safety reasons;
- arrange a currency exchange – you will certainly need some cash during your journey;
- make sure your mail is collected by the right person during your absence;
- arrange for a reliable travel insurance;
One last thing you should be really careful about. Since you will have to get some foreign currency if you are travelling outside the Euro zone, do it several days in advance. In this way, you will avoid overspending on inflated airport exchange rates – it is a pity to throw so much many away instead of making the most of them in your final destination.
So, the best thing to do is visit a local travel exchange or even your post office and take care of this issue in advance.
Skiing holidays are no less than a chest of treasured memories and invaluable experiences waiting for you to open it. So, do your planning well in advance and leave nothing to chance. Whether a lone venture, a romantic trip with your spouse or sweet – heart, a wild adventure with your friends, a nice bonding journey with colleagues, or your covetable time off you wished to spend with your children and beloved relatives, you now know what to pack and how to pack it so as to make the most of it.
So, don’t race about at the last moment in a panic. Get organised and make sure you have all the right “ingredients” for a memorable holiday on the slopes.Back to Blog