So you’ve booked a ski holiday…but what on earth do you take? Welcome to our world! Here at Madame Vacances skiing runs in our veins. That said, the first time you take to the slopes it can be a little overwhelming. It’s essential you come prepared. That’s where our ski packing list comes in. With years of skiing experience, we know what’s essential for your first time on the hill, and what’s not!
We’ve detailed a ski holiday checklist, from ski essentials to what to wear for après ski, so all you need to do is check each item off as you pack, and you can be sure you’ll have everything you’ll need. You will, of course, need to remember to pack all the usual holiday items yourself, but you don’t need us to remind you to bring an adaptor or enough pants…
Ski Wear Essentials
Within this list are the true essentials for any skiing holiday. Without these, you can’t ski, These kinds of items are always available to rent from the resort, but if you’ve already fallen in love with the slopes it might be worth investing in your own. One thing to remember whether you buy or rent is to ensure you’ve got a good fit. There’s nothing worse than a wobbly helmet, and regardless of how un-wobbly your helmet is, and how stable you are on the slopes, remember to bring your travel insurance documents.
- Helmet (can be rented in resort)
- Ski boots (can be rented in resort)
- Skis/snowboard (can be rented in resort)
- Ski poles (can be rented in resort)
- Travel insurance (with printed info)
What to wear skiing
From things you’ll find you won’t be able to live without on the mountain, to the extras that will just take up space in your suitcase, there’s a huge variety of items to wear skiing. We’ve listed the essentials:
- Skiing jacket
- Ski goggles
These items are all about keeping you warm, safe and protecting your body/eyes. Salopettes, ski jackets and ski goggles can sometimes be rented in resorts – but as you’re going to spend most of your holiday in them, it can be nice to have your own. Ski jackets in particular can be pricey additions to an alpine trip, but the savvy-shoppers out there can find bargains in shops such as TK Maxx.
Ski jacket new: £150-500.
Salopettes new: £50-300.
Ski goggles new: £15-50.
- Thermal ski socks
- Thermal leggings, long-johns or thermal tights (not cotton, as it absorbs moisture)
- Thermal long-sleeved tops (lots of layers is crucial, not thick jumpers)
- Scarf or neck warmer
- Good ski gloves
- Thermal inner gloves
- Hand warmers
- For boarders: Wrist guards
- For boarders: Shorts with bum pads
- For women: Sports bra
What to take skiing
It’s not just about what you wear on the hill – are also a whole host of items to take with you when you go skiing. For instance, the sunshine bounces of the snow, so without sun cream you’ll end up with traditional ski goggle panda eyes! Tissues and pocket snacks are also handy for chilly, runny noses and sugar lows.
- Sun cream
- Lip balm
- Hand cream
- Pocket snacks
- Hip flask (well, why not?)
What to wear for après ski
When you come off the hill, there’ll be nothing you want more than a hot shower and some comforting clothes. Remember, you are on a mountain, surrounded by snow, so take lots of warm layers, a hat and thick, warm boots. Bars and restaurants get hot, so make sure your layers are easy to remove once you’ve had a vin chaud and a hearty meal!
While some resorts are very casual in the evenings, in some, people like to get a little dressed up. Courchevel, for instance, does offer some flashy clubs and bars, so something nice to change into in the evening would be appropriate. For women – even if you’re going to a fancy club, we would not recommend heels!
- Fleeces and thin jumpers
- Warm gloves
- Beanie Hat
- Snow boots or decent footwear with good grip
- Swimming costume (most resorts have an indoor pool or a spa)
- Warm socks
- Ear plugs (for nights when you don’t want to party, but others do!)
Ski holiday checklist
These items are the most subjective of the whole ski packing list! There are certain things that you’ll definitely need – painkillers and plasters – and others that you can probably do without – tea bags – but they do make the overall holiday smoother.
- Ibuprofen gel
- Blister packs
- Deep heat
- Pocket snow wax
- Lift pass holder
- Money for food on the go, and change for tips
- Fold-away shovel
- Snow chains (if you’re driving)
- Tea bags
- Power bank
- Portable speaker
- Multi tool