What To Pack And What Not To Pack For A Ski Holiday

If you’ve ever stressed about packing for a ski holiday, fear not. Here’s the definitive list of what to pack – and what NOT to pack when hitting the slopes.


Top ten things to pack for a ski holiday

1) iPods, iPads and all things Apple: Small, portable and everyone’s got one; the Apple iPod is the perfect device for a ski holiday. It comes into its own at check-in, on the plane, app-ing your way to success on the slopes or drowning out the après-ski Euro-Trash.

2) Sun beaters and blockers: Blocking out the sun at high altitude when surrounded by reflective snow is a ski holiday essential to avoid the panda-eyed tan. recommends a good quality pair of ski sunglasses or, to really impress, designer ski goggles (but remember to remove the protective film). And pack a plastic bag to wrap the suntan cream in to avoid a creamy explosion in hand luggage.

3) Camera (with extra batteries and a charger): Forget catching over-exposed ‘family moments’ in the snow, put the camera on night setting for unforgettable shots and let those après ski nights live on forever. And don’t forget, the mountains will give camera batteries brain freeze, so carry a spare set somewhere warm to avoid missing the unrepeatable.

4) Warm Clothes: A ski holiday wouldn’t be a ski holiday without warm clothes and lots of them. Pack extra pants, tights, t-shirts, fleeces and thermals; snow is very cold. Go for layers rather than thickness.

5) Extra socks: See above, this one is SO important it needs its own special mention. Lots of socks are a must. And not just any socks, good ski socks. They’ll have padded bits with an ‘L’ and an ‘R’ if they’re the real deal. Taking granny knits or Primark bundle packs isn’t an option.

6) Duck Tape: It doesn’t matter where you go, what you’re doing and whom you’re with, you will always need duck tape. Bring your own roll.

7) A Pack of Cards: For quiet nights in a deck of cards can provide a perfect evening’s entertainment after a tiring day on the slopes. A deck of cards can also turn a quite night into a rowdy one when combined with the right amount of alcohol, fresh mountain air and a group of friends with a good sense of humour. So, deck of cards? Check.

8) Your own ski boots: If you’ve got your own ski boots then bring them. If you’re a regular skier, then buy before you fly. Hired ski boots that don’t quite fit can ruin a ski holiday on day one.

9) Marmite and Colman’s Mustard: Quite rightly these are virtually impossible to find in a ski resort. But for those who can’t manage a week without their ‘Best of British supermarket originals’ had best fill their (ski) boots before they fly.

10) Fancy dress outfit: This is an absolute must. What says ‘Yeah, I’m still able to have a laugh!’ better than hitting the slopes dressed as Ginger Spice, Superman or Scooby Doo? The more creative the better; there should be trophies for these sorts of things. There probably are.

ski jumper

Top ten things not to pack for a ski holiday

1) Skis: Don’t lug them through airports, don’t ski on dated skis and don’t keep the transfer coach waiting when ski hire shops have all the latest models. They’re cheap to rent and the hard work is done. Simple.

2) ‘All-in-one’ ski suits: Leave one-seys at home. Throw them away. They are a throwback to the 80s and even when they come around again, it will still be as wrong: ditto to anything camouflage or in metallic effect fabrics.

3) Tea bags: They have tea in ski resorts. And it’s only a week.

4) Liquid: Leave liquids for the après ski bars. Carrying a 150cl aerosol of anti-perspirant through UK airport security can end up with an inquisition, or a blast of white powder in hand luggage, or both. Leave them out, buy in the Hyper Marché.

5) Lots of clothes: Contrary to earlier advice, pack light. Ditch heavy sweaters. A good skier should smell like they’ve run out of clothes.

6) Hair dryer and straighteners: Every day is a bad hair day in a ski resort; keep a hat on.

7) Crocs: The essential year-round footwear for hippies and those from the Home Counties is impractical in the snow. The vibrant colour clashes are likely to clash with ski wear and snow.

8) A passport: Don’t pack it. Keep it in a pocket or hand luggage; it’s probably going to be needed when entering and exiting country borders.

9) A good book: Reading must be kept to a minimum on a ski holiday. If you have enough time to read a book, then you aren’t doing enough skiing.

10) Toilet Roll: ‘Be prepared’ is, and always will be, sound advice. But in this instance you can let your guard down. Ski chalets have toilet roll, and plenty of it. There is no need to bring your own; it takes up valuable suitcase space for your duct tape.

This list was compiled by online ski holiday specialist and top independent UK ski tour operator For information about value ski holidays in France, Austria and Andorra visit

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