Top Tips for Packing for a Family Ski Holiday

Packing for your ski holiday

As a beginner, Rhonda Carrier found the most difficult aspect of her first family ski holiday knowing what to take for both the kids and herself. Here she shares her checklist for packing for skiing trips with kids.

With Mark Warner taking care of everything from booking ski equipment and lessons to resort transfers, there was nothing left for me to do when it came to our first ski holiday – in the family-friendly resort of Tignes in the French Alps –  but obsess over layers, ski glove types and the merits of ski jackets and trousers versus ski-suits for a 6 year old.

The first thing to know is that if this is your first ski holiday, it’s best to beg or borrow your ski-wear. We found that lots of people have stuff they are more than happy to loan or even to hand on if their own kids have grown out of it. Ask around and you may find you don’t need to buy anything at all.

You’re more than likely to fall head-over-heels in love with skiing, but it’s once you’re in resort and seeing what other people wear that you’ll get a feel for what to buy for future ski holidays. For instance, I’d definitely buy something in a rarer colour such as orange – it makes it easier for your family or ski instructor to recognise you on the slopes where everyone tends to be dressed in black and wearing black helmets. Similarly, I’d get each of the kids something that make them easy to spot.

In the hope that it helps you plan your ski holiday, I’m sharing my final list of what to pack for a week’s family trip. We didn’t need as many layers as we packed because it wasn’t very cold, but it’s best to take all of the below in case temperatures fall. We also took too many changes of clothes thinking that we’d get sweaty and smelly with all the exertion and were surprised to find that this wasn’t the case. Next time I’ll be more confident about taking fewer items.

Lastly, don’t fret about losing something – despite warnings about resort prices in general, we found that the local shops were generally very reasonably priced.

For each person:
• ski jacket and ski trousers (or ski-suit for younger kids)
• helmet (kids’ may be included in their ski-hire package; adults can also hire them in-resort, but check out sales at places such as Decathlon as it might be just as cheap to buy them)
• UV goggles (or sunglasses)
• waterproof gloves/mittens x 2
• glove liners/thin sports gloves x 2
• disposable glove and boot heaters
• base layer – a thermal top and bottom
• mid layer – tracksuit bottoms or similar plus a (thin) fleece or wool sweater, or both
• neckwarmer, a cotton/thin wool scarf that tucks inside a jacket, a turtleneck or a balaclava if expecting really cold weather
• good-quality medium-thickness socks x 3–5 pairs
• favourite cereal bars to put in kids’ pockets (a drink stop is normally offered)
• sunscreen
• woolly hat
• toboggan(s) if you have the kind that can fit in your suitcase (bum-boards/sliders and bigger circular sledges can often fit in larger cases)
• swimwear (for hotel/in-resort pools and steam rooms).

Read more on Rhonda’s first ski holiday with children, at the Chalet-hotel Aiguille Percée in Tignes.

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