Ski Breaks: How to Pack like a Pro
You’ve booked your flights, you’ve sorted your ski passes and you’re feeling really smug about your accommodation. All that’s left to nail is the packing. Slope off in style with these packing tips from travel bloggers who’ve made a career out of tackling Europe’s peaks while looking instagram-ready, no matter what the mountains throw at them:
“There’s no reason to carry lots of heavy winter woollies, just get smarter about the way you pack. The biggest secret for travelling light during the winter is to take some thermals. You can wear these underneath your clothing to maximize warmth without the need for overly bulky items. Instead of packing loads of knitwear, invest in a set of merino wool thermals that help retain heat close to your body while wicking away moisture from your skin. They keep you dry and warm especially if you’re planning to hit the slopes or you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors.”
– Alexandra Jimenez, Editor for Travel Fashion Girl
“The winter can be really drying on hair, so I always bring a deep conditioning treatment, and wash my hair with cold water to avoid over-drying. Whenever I’m visiting colder climates, I always pack a ‘Wet Brush’ to avoid damaging my thin hair, because it brushes through wet hair gently without breaking the ends! If I’m planning to do winter sports, I’ll be sure to pack a thin beanie hat to wear under my helmet – usually I’ll stuff it into my pocket at the après session later. Nobody likes helmet hair!”
-Kiersten Rich, Editor for The Blonde Abroad
“I spent one year living in Russia so it’s safe to say I have plenty of experience dealing with the cold! In terms of winter skincare my top tip may sound boring but it definitely works.
Moisturise! Don’t just use any old cream – get an oil-based cream (many night creams are) which will coat your skin in a protective layer and retain a lot more moisture than a water-based one. I’d also recommend using one with SPF all year round, because winter sun can still damage your skin! While you’re on the slopes, wear a high protection sun-screen.
I can’t wait to get all wrapped up in my scarf, a big jacket and enjoy winter! I’m visiting Austria this December which is absolutely beautiful when it’s dusted in snow, plus it has some of the most amazing Christmas markets in the world.”
-Sabina, Editor for Girl vs Globe
“My top winter travel gadget is a fantastic camera that is really easy to use. I love photographing my holidays– but photography in cold climates can be tricky! Thick gloves can make it difficult to adjust your camera settings and bulky clothing gets in the way. You want a camera that takes the perfect photo with one quick and easy snap.
I love the Lumix GX8. It’s compact for an SLR, it’s easy to use and those quick point and shoot photos come out perfectly. It has 4K video and photo capabilities meaning it never misses a shot. It captures stills at 30 frames per second making it ideal for winter sports and snowball fights. The flip out screen also makes it ideal for holiday selfies. The GX8 is great in low-light situations too, something we have a lot of during European winters!”
-Monica, Editor for The Travel Hack
“When packing for winter travel I never leave home without my GoPro and a few GoPro accessories. A GoPro makes it easy for anyone to capture their winter adventure to share with friends back home. Be sure to pack a few GoPro accessories like a head-mount, GoPole, or wrist mount to go hands free.
If you prefer to stick to your smartphone to capture winter moments be sure you protect your phone. I use a LifeProof case to protect my iPhone from the elements and it has never failed me. It is waterproof and will protect your phone from damage during your winter getaway.”
– Clint, Editor for Triphackr
Ski Gear Checklist
The best thing about ski fashion is that you can let your imagination run riot. Animal print? Go for it. Neon? Absolutely. The possibilities really are endless but there are a few essentials you’ll definitely need to pack irregardless of colour/style:
- A waterproof jacket
- A hat/beanie – a snug fit will keep your ears warm
- Mid-layer (preferably a microfleece)
- Salopettes or snowboard pants/waterproof trousers (jeans or tracksuits aren’t waterproof and will turn to ice in the cold)
- Gloves – waterproof gloves are essential, as well as a lighter pair that can be worn for aprés ski.
- Thick woolly ski socks – 2 pairs minimum
- Neck warmer/scarf/gator
- Goggles/sunglasses: some people swear by sunglasses but goggles are a godsend when it’s snowing
- Helmet/ski boots/snowboard boots/ skis/snowboard – you can rent these but if you’ve got your own, even better
- Thermal layers (not cotton – proper thermals, they’ll keep you warm and save you packing space, see advice above) – 2 sets mimimum
- Après ski: Think about changes of clothes for the evening. You won’t be spending all of your time wrapped up like the abominable snowman so you’ll need a few pieces for wearing out at night.
- Footwear: When it comes to footwear, invest in snow boots or moon boots. They tend to have better grip than a lot of shoes and are easy to slip on and off
Although not essential, there are tonnes of products, gadgets and accessories on the market that’ll keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Consider packing a few of these little life-savers:
- Boot warmers
- Hand warmers
- Ankle/knee/wrist supports
- Deep Heat/muscle soaks
Got some tried and tested packing tips of your own to share? Leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you!