Parenting · travel

4 Ski Holiday Essentials No One Tells You About

Skiing holiday packing is pretty handy really – salopettes, ski jacket, thermal underwear, goggles, sunglasses, gloves, a neck warmer and suncream. That’s your basics sorted. Then you need a few bits and pieces for the evenings – shoes and regular clothing.

Having been on various ski breaks over the years I’ve come up with a list of the extras that I count as essentials but I haven’t read about in other guides.

A good phone camera

Whether you are on the top of a mountain, gazing at snow-topped summits around you or you are snug in a wooden chalet drinking rum-laced hot chocolate, there are going to be plenty of picture perfect moments on any ski holiday. Having a high-spec phone camera about your person or at least within your group of skiers is a great bonus.

Low maintenance cosmetics

With all those photos being taken, you don’t want to look too weathered. There is only so much face a pair of goggles or sunglasses can cover up. Chapped lips and a pasty complexion don’t look well against a glaring white, snowy background. Then again you don’t want to waste you holidays applying a full face of make up. So pack some lip balsam, waterproof mascara and a brush-on bronzer for your face.

                     The time I forgot to wear waterproof mascara and it snowed in my face all day


Fingers crossed you won’t need them,  but the last thing you want to be doing in an alpine paradise is looking for a chemist and wondering what the local lingo is for painkiller. Best to pack a pack from home and bring it with you. From muscle pain to hangovers (see rum-laced hot chocolate, above) to sprained ankles, there are plenty of minor problems you might need a bit of relief for.

And lastly…

An Emergency Plan

Joking aside, this is an absolute essential. When you first arrive, check out where the first aid stations in the resort and particularly on the piste are. Find out if there is an emergency number to call and save it in your phone. Activate an emergency details app on your phone in case you happen to suffer an accident. Speak to your group of friends / family you are travelling with about what to do in an emergency. Hopefully you’ll never need their services on a ski holiday. It can happen more easily than you think. Believe me, I’ve been there.

I was incredibly lucky that a employee from one of the on-piste cafes was nearby and came to our help. Without him I would have been lost as to what to do with my son who had had a serious injury. He contacted the rescue team who came and took us to the lift, go us to the resort and told us how to get to the doctor. From there we were sent to the local hospital. I managed to contact my husband who was snowboarding somewhere on the mountain and to get a message to the ski school where my other son needed picking up.

The whole thing was a terrifying experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It hasn’t kept us from going on ski holidays. We’ve upped our game on being aware of dangers, taking a few precautions and knowing what to do in an emergency.


4 thoughts on “4 Ski Holiday Essentials No One Tells You About

  1. Hallo Fionnuala,
    Over the years we have learned to take something with us which will be quick and easy to cook when we get to our skiing destination (we have been going to the same little village in Switzerland for over thirty years now and always cater for ourselves). Swabian „Maultaschen“ (for those who don‘t know it, it has the shape of a big ravioli with a spiced mince filling in a pasta jacket – Swabians would kill me for that description!) in a broth has been our meal on arrival. Quick and very tasty and everbody loves it. Another thing we appreciate on the slopes is a bite of chocolate. You can see what a man worries about!

    1. Very true. A handy meal on arrival is a great mood booster. My lot love Maultaschen, but there is no way of describing them that makes them sound appetising.

  2. This is really great. Thanks a lot, for sharing in a detailed way. I used to go on ski holiday every year and this year I was planning to go France with my family. I really impressed with this guidance as its really very helpful for me.

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