What to pack for a winter sports holiday

With lots of cheap online travel deals on last minute skiing packages, the lure of a winter sports holiday is very tempting. We’ve listed a few essential items to pack in your suitcase for your winter sports holiday…

  • A hat – essential as you lose 40 per cent of your body heat through your head.
  • Good quality ski gloves – to protect against frozen hands.
  • Goggles, sun glasses and sun cream – as the sun reflects off the snow, sunglasses stop the glare, whilst a high factor sun cream prevents burning – factor 30 or above is best. Remember to put cream on your ears, and under your chin and nose as well as the sun is reflected up from below.
  • Ski socks – a pair of thin, good quality ski socks will keep feet warm. They are designed to keep moisture away from your feet, ensuring that they stay warm and dry. If you wear two pairs or thick socks, your feet will sweat, the moisture will freeze and you will end up with a pair of very cold feet. Costing up to £15 a pair from outdoor clothing stores like Millets, these really are an essential investment!
  • Thermal base layers – a thermal top and thermal long johns will keep you cosy out on the slopes.
  • Salopettes and ski jacket – one of each is plenty. Have one waterproof, breathable, outer layer made from a top-quality material such as Gore-Tex. Ideally, it should be just a shell without padding – you can always wear extra fleeces and thermals if it is cold, but if you get great weather, the padded clothing will be too hot. You can also use the same jacket for walking or wearing around town at home, so it’s a much better value buy. The same rule applies to salopettes.
  • Shoes and boots – ideally bring a pair of winter walking boots or moon boots and a lightweight pair of shoes for wearing around the hotel.
  • Mobile phones and adaptor plugs – the two most common things that people forget to pack!
  • Swimsuit – even if you are staying in budget accommodation, you may have access to the resort’s leisure facilities.

If all this is beginning to sound like a major investment, ask around friends and family. Beginners can borrow clothing and hire skis and boots in resort, once you have learnt to ski you will have a better idea of what you want to buy.
Travel insurance with winter sports cover can be purchased for just £11.82* at www.247travelinsurance.co.uk – a small price to pay to be able to really enjoy your winter sports holiday on the slopes!
* Premium £11.82 includes Insurance Premium Tax, Personal Possessions cover and Winter sports cover. Based on a ‘standard’ single trip 24/7 travel insurance policy for one adult aged under 55 travelling to Europe for 3 days. Policy purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (January 2010) and are subject to change.