What do I Need to Pack for My Ski Holiday?
There’s no better way to throw a spanner in the works of your ski holiday than forgetting a critical bit of kit.
In addition to the inconvenience it causes, once you’re in a ski resort you’ll often find yourself paying over-the-odds to replace things you already have sitting at home – so follow our comprehensive ski trip packing list and make sure you pack for your ski trip like a pro!
For those of you who like to go through things with paper and pen we’ve made a printable ski packing checklist available to download here.
Note that this list was originally made pre-Covid, so don’t forget to pack your masks and anything else required in your destination country at the time of your trip.
Ski Holiday Packing Guide
In order to enjoy a stress-free ski holiday, what you’ll need to pack can be broken down into six sections:
Documents & Travel Essentials
Make sure you’ve got these in your hand luggage
- Passports – make sure all passports are valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel.
- Travel tickets & details – flight, ferry, coach, transfer, accommodation, etc.
- Local currency – it’s usually cheaper and easier to exchange currency at home.
- Credit / debit cards – don’t forget to let your bank know you’re going abroad.
- Ski / Travel insurance – see our article here for more info.
- EHIC card – a must have for any ski or snowboard holiday but well worth topping up with ski insurance.
- Prescription / regular medication – make sure you pack enough for the whole trip and have a photo of your prescription just in case.
- Phone – don’t forget your charger and an external battery pack as the journey can be long. A local SIM card bought once you land can help cut down on charges.
- Travel adaptor – so you can plug in your chargers
- Driver’s licence – if driving out or renting a car.
- Snacks and entertainment – if you’re coming out with children it’s always a good idea to have a few emergency snacks on hand in case of delays with flights or coaches. Similarly, making sure the little ones have enough activities to keep them entertained can be a real life-saver!
SkiBro’s top tip: Take pictures of all your essential documents and email them to yourself, that way you’ll still be able to access them should they get misplaced!
You can hire the bigger bits of ski gear in resort which can make for an easier (and in some cases cheaper) trip.
- Ski boots / snowboard boots* (check if your airline will allow you a boot bag as a second piece of carry-on)
- Skis / snowboard* (in a ski bag – check your airline’s sports equipment policy)
- Ski Poles* (unless you’re a snowboarder)
- Day backpack* – great for carrying miscellaneous items like phones, water, snacks, extra layers, etc.
- Goggles – some ski hire shops are now renting goggles, but it’s rare and they usually aren’t great quality.
- Ski Lock – unfortunately ski theft does sometimes happen.
SkiBro’s top tip: We’ve marked items generally available for in-resort hire with an asterix; for your first few ski holidays you’ll likely want to hire all of these in-resort until you get a better feel of what works best for you.
Making sure you pack the correct ski clothing means you’ll be sure you’re ready to hit the slopes on day one.
- Ski jacket (waterproof / breathable)
- Ski pants / salopettes (waterproof / breathable)
- Two (or more) base layer tops
- Two (or more) base layer bottoms
- Beanie or warm hat
- Two (or more) fleece jumpers / mid-layers
- Waterproof gloves or mittens
- Neck warmer/scarf
- Two (or more) pairs of ski socks
- Sports bra (not a necessity for everyone but very useful for about half the population)
- Sunglasses (optional but nice to have when it’s sunny at lunch so you can take off your goggles and still protect your eyes from the rays bouncing off the snow)
SkiBro’s top tip: For more information about how to dress for skiing check out our beginners guide to ski clothing.
Because there will be times when you’re not skiing (and it’s probably best not to be naked).
- Snow boots / walking boots – make sure these have good grip as ski resort pavements can be slippery!
- Jeans / trousers
- T-shirts / shirts / tops
- Pyjamas / sleepwear
- Comfortable trousers / jogging bottoms
- Swim trunks / swimming costume – for trips to the spa / sauna / hot tub / pool
SkiBro’s top tip: Depending on how stylish you want to be, you can keep your packing list trim by having your ski outfit double up as casual wear. If sartorial excellence is important to you, you may need to pack an extra jacket and a second set of accessories (gloves, hat, scarf, etc) for when you’re off the slopes.
Just say no to paying €7 for a toothbrush.
- Hairbrush (and hair ties, straighteners, etc)
- Hair Products
- Shaving kit
- Sunscreen (with high SPF)
- Lip balm / lip salve (with high SPF)
- Face wash / makeup remover / wipes
- Small packs of tissues
- Prescription / regular medication – we listed this in Travel Essentials but are putting it down again as it’s a big one.
SkiBro’s top tip: You might think sunscreen is only for the tropics but the sun in the mountains is very strong and the snow acts as a giant reflector making it very easy to burn.
Optional niceties that aren’t mission-critical, but can be nice to have.
- Travel pillow
- Eye mask
- Ear plugs
- Headphones / earphones
- Bluetooth speaker
- Action camera / GoPro
- Cards / Games
- Refillable water bottle
- Thermal drink flask (for hot chocolate, etc)
- You favourite brand of tea bags
- (Hand / foot warmers
- Multi-purpose tool
- Small first-aid kit (plasters, blister plasters, indigestion tablets, etc)
- Book / Kindle
- External battery pack
- Chargers for everything
- Multi-plug power strip – having a multi-plug means you only need one travel adaptor
In case you missed it above, you can download this packing tip checklist here.
Whether you’re off to Alpe d’Huez or Zermatt, following this list should have you all set to enjoy a belter of a holiday on the slopes. Did we miss anything you can’t live without when you’re in the mountains? If so, let us know in the comments!