What to pack for a ski holiday – 13 easy tips
24th August 2015
Sarah Kinloch is a director at Ski Line, the skiers’ travel agent and has been packing for her families ski chalet holiday for over 20 years. Here are Sarah’s top tips about beating the airlines luggage weight limits and packing everything you will need.
Tip #1 Check if a suitcase or an easy to carry bag is most suitable for your chalet or hotel
Firstly check with your travel agent or tour operator if a normal wheelie case is the best idea for your holiday, some ski chalet and hotel locations means that you might have to carry your case, wheelie cases slide nicely on the airport floor, but try dragging one in two foot of fresh snow!
Most airlines will allow one piece of hold luggage, normally 20kg but with some airlines only 15kg and one bag as carry on, the size of which can vary from airline to airline. It’s a good idea to pack heavy items in your carry-on bag.
Tip #2 Underwear
Pack more underwear and socks than you think you might need.
Tip #3 Make sure you have all your ski gear
Pack all your ski gear, use your ski helmet to wrap up any fragile items such as goggles and sun glasses, but don’t pack your ski jacket or walking boots, you should wear these on the flight as they take up valuable weight and it will be cold when you arrive at your destination. If your base layers are made with manmade fibres you’d better pack two pairs, one to wear and one to wash, you won’t be very popular with others in your chalet if you are smelly.
Tip #4 Roll don’t fold
Roll your clothes rather than folding, you will be surprised how much more you can get in. They won’t get as creased as you think either.
Tip #5 Pack a ski boot in a carry-on bag to save weight
Ski boots take up a lot of your weight allowance, if both of your ski boots take you over the allowance why not pack one in your carry-on bag? A rucksack is ideal as you may need one when skiing.
Tip #6 Toiletries can ruin your clothes
Toiletries should be packed in leak proof containers, baggage handlers don’t know the meaning of ‘gentle’. You won’t want your shaving foam or shampoo leaking on your clothes. Don’t forget to pack some pain killers in case you have any bumps and bruises or hang overs. A few blister plasters for “ski boot foot” are a good idea. Check with your travel agent or tour operator if your chalet or hotel include complimentary toiletries, there is no point in taking your own if they are supplied free. Don’t forget any liquids over 100ml must be checked into your hold luggage.
Tip #7 don’t over pack non-ski clothes
You won’t be needing much non-ski clothing, as you will be on the slopes all day, so bear this in mind, it’s unlikely that you will “really” need more than one pair of jeans or trousers, it’s better to save weight for extra ski base layers.
Tip #8 Keep your clothes dry or keep the damp clothes wrapped
We have already mentioned baggage handlers, they don’t care if it’s raining and your case is getting wet, you will be traveling in winter and the chances are it will be raining or snowing at your arrival airport, so it’s a good idea to wrap your clothes in plastic bags, reusable ones are available but failing that normal plastic bags will do, there is nothing worse than unpacking wet clothes on the first day of your holiday. The same bags can be used to pack any wet items on your way home, such as ski salopettes or ski socks.
Tip #9 Swimming costume, won’t take up much room
If your ski chalet has a sauna or hot tub you will be needing your swimming costume, it’s a good idea to take one anyway, most ski resorts have swimming pools in case you get a “no” ski day.
Tip #10 Documents, insurance papers and currency
Passports, travel insurance, a copy of your tour operator’s documents, ski hire voucher if renting equipment. The first two in the list are obvious, but we think it’s essential to take a copy of your tour operators invoice, you’d be surprised how many times tour operators make mistakes, this could be something simple like forgetting to tell the airline that you paid for ski carriage or in extreme and rare cases that you have “actually” booked a holiday in the first place! It’s the same reason you should take your ski rental voucher. Of course credit cards are widely accepted in most ski resorts, you will still need a bit of cash. Don’t pay the extortionate rates offered at airports, plan ahead and order from the Post Office, maybe Marks and Spencer or online, shop around for the best rates.
Tip #11 don’t forget adapters for computers, phones etc. New security issues could affect you
It’s vital that your computers and electrical devices have enough power to be switched on, new airport security measures could mean that your phone, computer, i-pad, kindle or Camera can’t be turned on, you may not be able to bring them on the flight with you.
Tip #12 Sun cream, lip balm
I’m always surprised to see skiers and boarders with sun burn, the combination of altitude and white snow is a lethal mix, make sure you have sun block, even on a cloudy day the sun is very strong. Factor 8 won’t cut it on the ski slopes!
Tip #13 Snoring room mate
Sharing a chalet with friends often means you share a room, if like me you have shared a room with a snoring friend you would give away your ski pass for a pair of ear plugs! If you are the group leader and you know some of the group snore, particularly after a drink, it might be an idea to pack some extras.
Tips On What to pack for a ski holiday Summary:
- Check if a suitcase or an easy to carry bag is most suitable for your chalet or hotel
- Make sure you have all your ski gear
- Roll don’t fold
- Pack a ski boot in a carry-on bag to save weight
- Toiletries can ruin your clothes
- Don’t over pack non-ski clothes
- Keep your clothes dry or keep the damp clothes wrapped
- Swimming costume, won’t take up much room
- Documents, insurance papers and currency
- Don’t forget adapters for computers, phones etc. New security issues could affect you
- Sun cream, lip balm
- Snoring room mate