Presented in association with Sno, the ski holiday provider
ON THE MOUNTAIN
The main bits of outerwear kids require include a jacket, salopettes and boots. Jackets that have snow skirts and snow cuffs and salopettes fitted with braces are excellent when it comes to keeping the warmth in and the snow out.
Some prefer all in one ski suits for smaller children, but it’s worth making sure they’re easy to get out of when it comes to going to the toilet! If you can, opt for bright colours to make them easy to spot on the slopes.
Don’t forget warm, waterproof snow boots for them to stomp around in when they’re not skiing. Make sure they fit with thicker ski socks when you’re choosing them.
Thermals (long sleeved tops and long johns or tights) and fleeces will keep little ones snug under their outer clothing – and are small and lightweight enough for you to squeeze spares into your rucksack just in case. Synthetic, quick-dry ones can be handy if you need to do a wash during the week. Usually you can get away with re-using the same layer a couple of times to save having to buy / pack too many.
Once you’ve got the main items of clothing, next up is the accessories that will keep kids warm and comfortable in alpine climates.
Goggles and sunglasses – goggles protect eyes from sun and snow on the mountain and will secure onto their helmet, while sunnies are useful at lunchtimes.
Socks – it’s best to have proper ski ones (rather than normal socks or slipper socks), and keep a spare pair at hand in case they get wet in the snow.
Gloves – get waterproof ski gloves, with a cord or wrist straps to stop them from getting lost when they’re taken off. Mittens are thought to keep hands a little warmer if your youngster usually feels the cold. It’s well worth packing a spare pair to ensure hands stay dry and warm throughout the day.
Neck warmer – these are harder to lose than a scarf and more versatile. Opt for fleece or another quick dry material - some can double up as hats and balaclavas.
Small rucksack – so they can carry water, snacks, sun cream etc. with them at all times.
Helmet – you can either buy one or hire it in resort. Helmet covers are a fun way of personalising your child’s and making them easy to identify on the slopes (and persuading them to keep their helmets on!).
Hat – pack a warm hat that will cover your kid’s ears when they’re not wearing their helmet. Some are fleece lined for an extra layer of cosiness.
In your rucksack
Pack a rucksack for yourself, so you can carry all the little extras that will prepare you for any eventuality around the resort.
Spares – gloves, socks, change of underwear and extra layers.
Hand warmers – great for whipping out in the chairlift queue.
Tissues – for runny noses, spillages and empty loo roll holders…
Sun cream – high factor as it’s easier to get sunburn at altitude. Lip salves with SPF are worth packing too.
Paracetamol, ibuprofen and all the first aid essentials.
Snacks – to share around on the gondola and keep everyone’s energy up.
Hand wipes or antibacterial gel.
Water – to keep everyone hydrated without having to pay mountain bar prices.
OFF THE MOUNTAIN
Children probably won’t need more than a couple of changes of everyday clothes – most are happy to potter about in their thermals or onesies in the evenings, so often you’ll only need to dress them properly for travel and any meals out.
Put aside a comfy pair of shoes for the journey (though some are happy in their snow boots) and pack some slippers to wear in the evenings.
If your hotel or chalet has a hot tub or swimming pool – or you fancy an afternoon in the local leisure centre – squeeze their swimmers in the suitcase. Often in European resorts, boys are required to wear speedos rather than loose swim shorts.
Toys & games
Fill your iPad or tablet with their favourite TV shows, films and games to keep them occupied on the journey to resort (and don’t forget to charge it!). Pack headphones too, so as not to disturb other travellers.
Colouring-in books, story books and magazines can also be good distractions. Card games are fun to play together, and won’t take up too much packing space. Don’t forget their favourite teddy to help them feel at home in your ski accommodation.
Food & drink
How much food and drink you need to pack depends on the meal plan included in the accommodation you’ve booked.
Having meals served in your hotel or chalet helps keeps packing (and hassle) to a minimum. This is where all-inclusive holidays can be a godsend, serving all the food and drink the whole family will need for the week and catering to all tastes with varied buffets and theme nights. For babies, many properties provide bottle warmers, blenders, microwaves and even specialist baby food counters with nutritious foods. Sometimes, all you’ll need to pack is Formula.
If you’re self-catering, it’s worth bringing along some of the brands your family are familiar with (cereal, snack bars etc.) as you probably won’t be able to find the same ones in the shops in resort. Pack something like pasta and a packet of sauce for an easy meal on the first night, to save you having to dash out to the shops as soon as you’ve arrived. We cribbed a lot from the comprehensive advice on family ski holidays here where you can read more detail on the different types of accommodation etc.
Misc. Essentials to Add
Phone, iPad, tablets, camera
Chargers for all of the above
Plug adaptor for all of the above
Credit & debit cards
Any necessary medication and copies of prescriptions
Wash products (toothbrush, shower stuff, deodorant, cosmetics)
Travel wash for laundry
Plastic bags for dirty laundry
Besides passports and your travel and accommodation confirmations, make sure to remember:
Health documents for kindergartens.
Winter sports insurance for the whole family.
If the children you’re taking skiing with aren’t your own, you’ll need written permission from whoever has parental responsibility. Also, if your surname is different from your child’s, you should bring proof of parenthood. Check the government requirements here before you travel.
Packing List for skiing with children
To keep on top of your ski holiday preparations, and ensure your child is comfortably kitted out with all they need on the slopes >> Copy and Print this List, to Tick-Off as you Pack!
For the slopes
Salopettes / ski pants
One-piece ski suit
Long sleeve thermal top (3 or 4)
Long johns or tights (3 or 4)
Fleece (2 or 3)
Ski Socks (for each day, with spares)
Ski gloves (2 pairs)
Neck warmer / Gaiter / Buff
Helmet (or organise hire in resort)
Rucksack for you packed with spares, sun cream, snacks
Off the slopes
Onesie / dressing gown
Hoodie / jumper (2)
Long sleeved t-shirts (2)
Underwear (enough for whole week, with spares)
Socks (enough for week, with spares)
Swimwear (if your accommodation has a pool or hot tub)
For babies & toddlers
Nappies / pull ups, baby wipes, nappy bags, cream, changing mat etc.
Sleep sack (if you use one)
Bottles & Formula
Baby food, bowl & spoon
Car seat / carrier / buggy
First aid kit
High factor sun cream
Lip balm / chap stick with SPF
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Any personal medications
Paracetamol & ibuprofen
Bag for laundry
Games & Toys
Favourite teddy / doll
Colouring book / puzzle book / magazine
Charged iPad / tablet with films and games
Pack of cards / Top Trumps / Uno
Phone & charger
iPad / tablet / laptop & chargers
Camera & charger (and a spare memory card)
Plug adaptor/s (an extension gang can be handy if a lot of you will need to charge things)
Scans of passports
Travel & accommodation confirmations
Permissions from legal guardian / proof of parenthood if needed