Ski Holiday Essentials


Selecting the right kit will keep you warm, safe and ready to enjoy your holiday, both on and off the slopes. To avoid heavy luggage and unnecessary items, plan ahead to pack only the essential items for your trip. 

Whether it’s a whole season or just a week of cross country skiing, this guide covers everything you need to be prepared. With answers to frequently asked questions about ski clothing, equipment and travel, you’ll be ready for your next adventure. 

What to take skiing

Planning what to take on a skiing trip should include ski clothing and equipment along with the essentials you need for normal travel. Thinking ahead before you start your trip will ensure that you are well prepared. You can focus on enjoying the snow when you are confident that you have not forgotten anything. Our packing lists are broken down into travel essentials, equipment, clothing and toiletries.


Travel Essentials

Travel essentials for a skiing holiday are similar to other trips, including travel documents, money and your phone charger. Ensure that your travel insurance covers skiing, snowboarding or any other activities you have planned. 

  • Passport

  • Boarding pass and tickets

  • Currency

  • Insurance documents

  • GHIC (EU travel only)

  • Mobile phone and charger

  • Debit/credit cards

  • Documents for lift passes/equipment if hiring


Ski Equipment

The amount of ski equipment you carry will depend on what you already own. For new skiers, it’s a good idea to hire equipment at your resort. This will save the hassle of travelling with large, awkward luggage. If you ski regularly and have invested in your equipment, then pack according to these categories. 

  • Skis and bindings

  • Poles

  • Boots

  • Helmet

  • Ski holder strap

  • Ski skins (if ascending backcountry slopes)


Can you take a ski helmet as hand luggage?

Taking a ski helmet as hand luggage on your flight will ensure it arrives at your destination in one piece. Most major airlines will allow a helmet as hand luggage but double-check with your airline before you head to the airport. 

Ideally, your helmet will fit in the overhead storage compartments. If not, it may be on your lap, which can be uncomfortable on long haul flights. If your airline prefers you to pack your helmet in the hold, make sure it is wrapped securely to avoid damage in transit. 


Ski clothing

Plan your ski clothing by thinking about layers. Choose lightweight base layers made from breathable fabrics. These will keep you warm in cold weather and will wick sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton garments, which will absorb sweat and become heavy. 

Fleece jackets are effective as mid-layers, trapping heat close to the body in low temperatures while still maintaining good ventilation. Your jacket and salopettes provide a tough, waterproof outer layer. 

Use this list to make sure you have the right clothing for the piste.

  • Ski trousers (salopettes)

  • Ski jacket

  • Ski gloves or Mittens

  • Ski socks

  • Neckwarmer

  • Beanie/hat

  • Fleece jacket

  • Thermal tops

  • Thermal leggings

  • Thermal or long underwear


RELATED: Piste, Park or Pow - Match your ski or snowboard jacket to your riding

What trousers to wear in the snow

Ski trousers are one of the most important things to pack for your snow trip. Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding, look for trousers that are hard-wearing, waterproof and breathable. 

Consider packing trousers for the different activities you will participate in on your holiday. For casual wear around the ski resort, leggings or jeans can be sufficient but beware of lower temperatures when the sun goes down. When you hit the slopes, your trousers will need to provide warmth and a waterproof barrier, as well as being durable enough to handle falls. 

The North Face Aboutaday Ski Pants are ideal trousers for snow. They provide a durable and robust layer above your thermals without adding too much extra weight due to their light insulation. For more intense adventures, the Speedtour Alpine Trousers are a great choice. These snow pants are designed for those who enjoy skinning up mountains as well as skiing down them, crafted with quick-drying fabric and a durable water repellent finish. 


Off the slopes 

Spending time off the slopes is as much a part of a skiing and snowboarding holiday as being on the mountain. When you are planning your packing, consider versatile clothing that is comfortable and that you’ll enjoy wearing for apres-ski activities. The length of your stay will affect this part of your packing. Use the list below to ensure nothing is forgotten.  

  • Jeans

  • T-shirts

  • Hoodies or sweatshirts

  • Jumpers

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Gloves

  • Scarves

  • Hats or beanies

Many chalets and resorts have hot tubs and swimming pools, so consider packing swimwear to unwind after a day on the slopes. 



Toiletries are essential on any holiday, and you’ll want to ensure you’re prepared for anything. Ski holidays are typically in colder climates, but UV rays from the sun can still be intense. Make sure to pack sun protection to avoid damage to your skin. 

  • Shower gel

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Makeup

  • Sun cream

  • Lip balm with SPF

  • After sun moisturiser

Fun extras to take skiing

Once all your essential items are packed, think about items that will enhance your enjoyment of your holiday. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned skier, these items should be on your list. 

  • A camera to film all of your downhill adventures

  • Pocket hand warmer to keep your fingers toasty on the slopes

  • Multi-purpose backpack or skiing pack to carry everything you need for the day

  • Foot warming packs to keep your feet warm when you get back to your chalet

  • Pack of cards to keep you entertained in the evenings

  • Snacks for the piste - you can buy these at your resort but need something to maintain your energy levels when you stop for a break.

If you’re packing for a ski season, don’t forget to plan for your days off. You’ll need some downtime to rest and recharge your batteries. 

If you’re staying with a group of people, why not take a few small games to play. If you’re going to be living and working with people you’ve never met before, games can be a great way to get to know one another and break the ice.

Preparation is key

Whether you’re packing for a short trip or planning what to take for a ski season, being prepared is the key to success. Ensuring you pack the essentials will lead to more fun and less worry. Pack your ski jacket and snow trousers, check off the rest of your list, and you’ll be well equipped to take on the slopes.