Packing for a ski trip can seem overwhelming, especially when you are trying to squeeze ski jackets and socks into an already overflowing suitcase!

This list is designed to sit alongside all the usual items you would normally expect take on holiday. If you are driving, for example, you may need some additional kit to make the journey as smooth as possible – see our driving to resort page for more details on what to bring.

Amidst the growing piles of ski jackets and ski socks, it is vital not to forget the essentials:

  • Passports – the EU and many other countries require a minimum of six months validity on your passport after the end of your stay. Don’t forget to renew your passport in good time!
  • Visa – Stays in the EU now require a visa for British citizens or those without an EU/Schengen Area passport if you wish to stay longer than 90 days of 180.
  • Pre-Clearance – ESTA and eTA pre-clearance for the USA and Canada respectively, and new ETIAS for the EU launching in 2024.
  • Transport and Accommodation details – ensure these are to hand to avoid last minute confusion!
  • Insurance details, including proof of insurance for accidents on the slope if required. Remember to apply for a GHIC if your EHIC has expired!
  • Your Ski Club membership card, to allow you to join our Reps and access in-resort discounts

    Here is where the careful planning and preparation needs to happen, to ensure you can squeeze everything in:

    • Ski/Board Jacket – In almost all circumstances, wear your ski jacket on your way to resort and save the space in your suitcase that these bulky jackets can take up.
    • Ski/Board Trousers – You may not want to wear these on the plane though!
    • Ski/Board Gloves – warm, but not necessarily waterproof, ski-specific gloves, to keep your hands warm and dry, especially if you are a beginner and may fall over in the snow a lot!
    • Glove liners – if you are someone who feels the cold, or going somewhere cold, a pair of glove liners can make a world of difference in mittens or gloves.
    • Thermals (Top and Bottom) – You will only need 2 or 3 good quality merino wool base layers for a week. If you are using synthetic or sports base layers, it is recommended to have one for every day you are planning on skiing.
    • Fleeces – if you are layering properly, 2-3 good, technical fleeces will suffice. However, there is nothing wrong with throwing on your favourite hoodie or jumper when the days are bitterly cold, or you are someone who feels the cold!
    • Ski Socks – thinner, technical socks tend to be better then thick “tube” socks. Around three pairs merino wool socks will be plenty for a week. If you are using synthetic socks, it is recommended to have one pair for every day you are skiing.
    • Helmet – it is highly recommended to wear a helmet when skiing. These are usually available to rent as part of your ski rental package
    • Goggles/sunglasses – a good quality pair of goggles or sunglasses is vital to reduce the impact of sunshine reflecting off the snow.
    • Facemask/Balaclava – whether a multi-purpose Buff, a balaclava or a snowsports specific facemask, something to keep the wind and snow out of your face is essential.
    • Hand/Feet warmers – especially if you feel the cold, or suffer from conditions such as Raynaud’s

    Skiing is, after all, a sport! Don’t forget any tape, strappings or supports you need to ski all day:

    • Deep heat cream/spray – to soothe aching muscles
    • Deep freeze spray – to soothe bumps and bruises
    • Knee supports – if appropriate
    • Support tape – if needed
    • Sports bra

    If you carry your own snowsports equipment to resort, this section will ensure you do not leave anything behind:

    • Skis/Snowboard – All airlines require these to be packed in an appropriate bag or case, and not carried by themselves.
    • Poles
    • Day pack
    • Transceiver – ensure you have fresh batteries, and plenty of spares.
    • Boots – check whether your airline allows you to take them as carry-on or whether these need to be packed as part of your hold baggage – see our guide on flying to resort for more information. Make sure you haven’t left any linings or insoles out to dry in the attic!
    • Wrist guards and Backsupports
    • SkiKey – or other lock system to secure skis or boards to ski racks
    • Ski ties

    Don’t forget that you are going on holiday too, so remember to pack everything you’ll need to get around town or for a great night out too:

    • Plenty of “street clothes” e.g. Jeans, T-shirts, tops, and jumpers
    • Underwear including non-skiing socks
    • Comfy trousers/jogging bottoms
    • Slippers
    • Thin gloves
    • Scarf
    • Shoes/boots with a good grip
    • Pyjamas
    • Toiletries including toothbrush
    • Sunscreen, Lipsalve or Balm with SPF, and aftersun/moisturiser
    • Swimming costume/trunks
    • Camera and charger
    • Travel plug adaptor 
    • Speakers and headphones
    • Books and Magazines
    • High energy snacks – chocolate bars/energy bars/nuts
    • Alarm clock
    • Ear plugs
    • Make-up
    • Travel pillow
    • GoPro
    • Hairdryer
    • Hair straighteners
    • Hip flask
    • Handbag


    When squeezing things into a suitcase, here are some top tips:

    • You should have six months left on your passport from the date of your expected return – don’t forget to renew in good time!
    • Save space and weight by using merino wool baselayers – their naturally anti-bacterial nature means two or three pieces will serve a whole week’s skiing
    • Wear your ski jacket when travelling to save space and weight in your suitcase
    • Ensure your skis or board are packed in an appropriate ski bag

    Need advice on what to pack?

    Ask the Ski Club’s expert Info & Advice team are available to make sure you haven’t forgotten to pack anything