Heading away on a school ski trip? Whether you're a teacher, pupil, or parent, make sure you know exactly what you'll need to pack with our handy guide!
A ski trip is an incredibly exciting adventure - a chance to develop new skills, make new friends and create lasting memories. But there are a few essentials that everyone will need to keep them safe, warm and dry on the mountain. After all, no one enjoys being wet and cold.
Perhaps you're the parent of a child who's heading away on a ski trip for the first time or you're one of the teachers leading the group. Whatever situation you find yourself in, our travel experts have put together this school ski trip packing list to ensure you don't forget a thing.
With 35+ years of experience in organising and running school ski trips, it's fair to say we've seen our fair share of packing mistakes and mishaps, so here's a rundown of everything you'll need.
Download Our School Ski Trip Packing List
Don't have time to read the full article? Or do you want something you can share with all the pupils in your group? Then download our free packing checklist using the link below.
What To Pack For A Ski Trip
Ski gear: skis, helmets and boots
It can be a bit of a nightmare for groups to bring all their equipment with them, especially if travelling by air, as most airlines will charge an additional supplement for the carriage of skis and snowboards.
To avoid this extra cost, we pre-book skis, ski poles, snowboards, boots, and helmets for our groups. You simply collect everything on your first day at the resort. We only work with reputable companies and equipment is serviced by qualified ski technicians. If you hire skis, they will be no older than last season and snowboards will be no more than three years old.
Of course, if you're bringing your own ski gear, then it's a must-pack!
Do I need a helmet?
Legally, in many ski resorts these days, children must wear a helmet and those caught without one may face a hefty fine. Most ski schools will insist on it too. For adults, it is usually up to individual discretion. However, it's increasingly common for helmets to be compulsory for over 18s on certain parts of the mountain.
Of course, a helmet does not make you invincible. The most effective way to ensure you stay safe on the mountain is to adhere to the Skiway Code.
A small but essential piece of every skier's kit.
You need to wear suitable socks that will keep you dry and will keep your feet comfortable. It is not recommended that skiers don two pairs of normal socks, as it is likely that this will simply lead to painful blisters.
Instead, we recommend tube or inner loop ski socks. It is also worth taking the time to cut your toenails before you travel, trust us!
Thermal tops & pants
Make sure to bring at least one set of thermals, depending on how long you're going for. The thermal top along with the thermal pants form your base layers - keeping your top and lower half warm and dry. Get a couple of sets to cover the whole trip.
Typically made of cotton or polypropylene, these materials are effective at transporting moisture away from the body and keeping you warm.
You'll then want to create a series of mid-layers, so most skiers will add a t-shirt and light fleece over their thermal top before putting on their jacket.
The key word here is layers. Not only is layering an effective way of trapping air to keep you warm, but it also means you can remove a layer if you get too hot. That's not an option if you opt for one very thick layer.
Waterproof ski jacket and trousers
Both your jacket and trousers must be water and windproof. Opt for plastic zippers rather than metal (metal can freeze to the skin), and avoid anything too chunky, as you will need to be able to move your limbs freely.
You should ensure that your jacket is long enough to fully cover your kidney area and it is better to choose cuffed sleeves to stay warm.
When looking for ski trousers, it is handy if they unzip at the bottom, so that they will fit around your ski boots. Generally, the most popular type of trousers for skiing are salopettes, as they have both a high back and shoulder straps.
Gloves & mittens
Invest in a good pair of waterproof gloves - cold hands do not make for happy skiers! There are gloves purposely designed for skiing that you can buy, and they're a must.
You may also want a pair of softer gloves or mittens for whenever you're not skiing. Mittens generally keep hands warmer as they permit better circulation than gloves.
Neck buff or scarf
Most skiers will add a buff to keep their necks warm and stop any cold air from entering via the top of their jackets. As an added bonus, you can pull a buff up over the lower part of your face in particularly bitter conditions.
But if you don't have a buff, a scarf can work just as well.
As you can lose up to 40% of your heat through your head, it's essential to keep it covered while on the slopes. In general, we recommend both children and adults wear a warm hat for walking around the resort.
Sunglasses or goggles
Some form of eyewear is essential on the slopes. Goggles are your best bet if it is snowing heavily. If not, you may prefer sunglasses with good UV protection.
UV protection is essential. Even when it is not that sunny, the reflection of the sun's rays on snow can cause snow blindness. If you do opt for sunglasses, make sure that they are made of unbreakable glass (and perhaps take a second pair or some goggles, as backups).
Whether you're having breakfast or you're finished skiing for the day and relaxing at the resort, you'll need a few sets of non-ski clothes. Consider taking:
Walking boots (trainers are often unsuitable due to the slippy and frozen grounds around the resort)
Warm coat (to save packing space, you could double up and use your ski jacket as a coat for the trip)
T-shirts and tops
Underwear, including normal socks
Swimming costume/trunks (some resorts have swimming facilities)
Essential travel items
Aside from your clothes, you'll need several key items:
Sunscreen (essential - it's very easy to burn on the slopes)
Tissues (for runny noses)
Winter sports clothing is notoriously difficult to recycle. And, when it comes to dressing children for the slopes, last season’s clothing will more often than not be too small.
If you're a parent who is keen to save money and help keep winter sports clothing out of landfills, take a look at the WhoSki website. This peer-to-peer marketplace specialises in good-as-new ski clothing. And when the children have grown out of these clothes, parents can resell them.
Plus, WhoSki donate 25% of their commission on every item sold to teenage mental health charity stem4!
Avoid getting burnt
Despite the cold temperatures, sunburn can be a real issue on the slopes. Even when the sun isn’t shining, the reflecting effect of the snow means that any rays that are getting through can easily burn your skin.
Make sure to take high-factor sun cream and lip balm. Apply them regularly each day - the recommended advice is to apply everywhere 20 minutes before going outside, then re-apply every 2 hours.
Take plenty of water
Again, just because it is cold, people can forget how easy it is to become dehydrated on the slopes.
If you're a teacher leading the group, make sure that everyone takes a bottle of water out with them and drinks regularly. There are usually places on the mountains where reusable bottles can be refilled for free.