Are you headed on a ski holiday? Wondering what to take on a ski trip? Whether you’re skiing the slopes at Vail or Chamonix, you’ll want to make sure you bring everything you need for a good time. Our ski packing list includes ski essentials as well as handy tips for getting it all on the plane.
- Thermals & Base Layers. As a base layer, ski thermals will keep you warm so you can spend longer outdoors. It’s best to avoid cotton layers as cotton soaks up sweat, rather than repel it, making you colder faster. For a week, pack at least three tops and bottom thermals.
- Mid-Layers. Worn over your base layer, you’ll also need three to four mid-layers. Fleece, merino or down are the best materials as they offer the greatest warmth.
- Ski Jacket Liner. A ski jacket liner creates an additional layer between your body and ski jacket for extra warmth, and can replace your mid-layer.
- Ski Jackets & Trousers. Ski jackets and trousers are made with thermal, waterproof fabric, so you stay warm and dry all day long. Many also feature handy pockets for storing chapstick, iPods and other bits and bobs.
- Ski Helmet. A ski helmet protects your head in case of a fall.
- Goggles. Whatever the weather, you’ll need a pair of ski goggles (or sunglasses) to make sure you can see the slope. You can’t rent ski goggles anywhere, so it’s essential to bring them with you to avoid high resort prices.
- Gloves. Ski gloves will keep your hands warm and dry. They’re also convenient for carrying your skis and holding your poles. In cold weather, you might want to invest in glove liners to keep your hands extra warm.
- Socks. You’ll need a thick pair of ski socks to keep your feet warm and dry. If you’re going for a longer holiday, you might want to bring a few pairs.
- Neckwarmer or Balaclava. Neckwarmers and balaclavas are fantastic for very cold days as they’ll keep your face nice and toasty. Pack at least one.
You can rent most ski equipment at the resort, but you might want to bring your own. If you’re packing ski equipment, you should definitely bring the following:
We’ll explain later the best (and cheapest) way to get your skis on the plane. However, you’ll probably want to transport your equipment in a ski bag as it’ll protect your gear when it’s being chucked under the hold.
Skiing can be an all-day activity, especially if you’re hitting the backcountry, so it’s best to be prepared. We recommend packing the following:
- Small rucksack. A small backpack lets you bring a water bottle, snacks and hold any layers you take off when carving up the slopes.
- Sun cream and lip balm. Snow reflects sunlight so you can quickly get a sunburn or at least a good goggle tan. Protect yourself from the sun by regularly applying sun cream and lip balm with a high SPF.
- Avalanche Gear. If you plan to ski off-piste, you’ll want to take safety precautions by bringing an avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe. Avalanche gear could save your life in an avalanche.
An essential ingredient to any ski holiday is spending quality time relaxing off the slopes. So, you’ll want to pack a few things to make the most of your time indoors.
- Beanie. After wearing your helmet all day, you’ll probably have a bad case of helmet hair. A hat makes you a bit more presentable, but mostly keeps you warm if you stay outside.
- Light Gloves. Light gloves or mittens keep your hands warm when walking around the resort.
- Swimming Costume. A swimming costume lets you take advantage of your resort pool, hot tub or spa.
- Casual Clothing. If you want to experience the local nightlife, you’ll need at least a few casual outfits. Remember night temperatures can be sub-zero so bring plenty of warm clothing.
- Snow Boots. You’ll want footwear with a good grip, so you don’t slip on the ice when walking around the resort.
- Pyjamas. Skiing all-day certainly leads to a restful night. Be prepared with super comfy pyjamas.
- Card games, books, etc. You might want to bring some leisurely activities for hanging around the chalet. So you can curl up in front of the fireplace with your favourite book or play a game of cards with your loved ones.
In addition to clothing and ski equipment, there are a few extra and very important ski holiday essentials. You’ll certainly need the following for an enjoyable ski holiday:
- Ski Insurance Details & Medical Records. Accidents happen. Be prepared by bringing your insurance details and medical records. Make sure that your travel insurance covers skiing as not all insurance plans include extreme sports.
- Deep Heat. Skiing is an all-body workout and you’ll certainly feel it. Deep heat can help with aching muscles, so you’re ready to go the next day.
- Passport Photos. Some resorts require passport photos for a lift pass. Check to see if you need these before you travel.
- Adaptors. There’s nothing worse than travelling abroad and discovering you’ve left the adaptor at home. Stay charged by bringing at least one adaptor.
One of the biggest challenges to any ski holiday is getting everything you need onto the plane. Luggage allowances limit the amount you can bring. Sometimes you’ll even need to pay a premium charge to fly your ski equipment. Both Swiss Air and British Airways allow skiers to travel with their ski equipment for free as long as you have a ticket that includes checked luggage.
Here are some of our handy tips and tricks for getting everything on the plane:
Roll Your Clothes. Folded clothes take up more room than rolled clothes. Expert packers always roll their clothes. You can further compress items by using rubber bands or purchasing travel compactors. This trick can save you some serious space in your luggage.
Use Extra Space. Stuff socks into your shoes to fill this extra space and pack fragile items into your helmet. Your helmet is a good place to store your goggles, for example. Just make sure to throw a few softer items, like your gloves, for extra padding.
Pack Heavy Items as Carry-On. Packing heavier items in your carry-on can help save on your luggage allowances. Most flights allow you to bring a small personal item like a backpack and bag that can fit in the overhead. Some boot bags qualify as carry-on, just make sure to check the allowed dimensions.
Pack Light Layers, Wear Heavy Layers. Wear your bulkiest ski clothes like your jacket on the plane and pack your lightest layers, like your thermals. Wearing heavy layers on the plane will not only save you much-needed space, but you’ll also be warm when you arrive at your ski destination.