Tag Archives: Skiing

What to Pack for Ski Trip: 25+ Sno’-Joke Essentials

What to Bring on a Ski Trip

Undeniably, one of the best travel experiences for every adventure lover is waking up each day to fresh snow and that crisp Winter air. But what to pack for a ski trip? This guide will detail what to pack and how to save space while keeping costs down.

Craig and I (Gemma) have had the pleasure skiing at Whistler in Canada, the Cairngorms in Scotland, and Mayrhofen in Austria so feel equipped (boom boom) to offer advice during this ski trip packing list.

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Ski Trip Packing List – Gear Travel

Option 1: Hire on Holiday

Whether you take your own ski equipment with you or not is a personal preference. We opt to hire onsite to keep airfare costs down and for a smooth transit between countries (like us catching a train between Germany and Austria).

Airlines charge between £30/$38-£60/$76 depending on the size of the sports equipment and if you book online or at the airport. Naturally, if you can keep within the baggage measurements and weight you don’t have to pay an additional fee.

Option 2: Carry Your Own Kit

Our friends travel with their kit, not wanting to waste the investment or rely on the potentially lower quality equipment at the resort. They state that it can work out cheaper regardless of additional ski gear charges.

Option 3: Pack the Essentials, Hire the Rest

An ex-colleague and committed skiing friend recommends investing in boots, packing them and then hiring skis (or boards) on holiday. He says this puts the onus on the hire company to ensure that the skis and boards are safe but lets you skip the boot queue which can take the longest.


Wheeled Ski Bags

If you do decide to travel with your own ski or board equipment you will need a durable wheeled ski bag. Wheels are ideal for pulling through the airport, train stations and streets. The awkward length of skies makes carrying on your shoulder a no-no.

The 5th Element ski bag (U.S only) is padded and has a grab handle at the side.

There’s a larger handle at the top which can be thrown over your shoulder. A smaller pocket for items like wax and gloves etc is located at the bottom of the bag.

The padding is ideal for air travel – airlines really aren’t known for delicately handling our luggage!

A helmet is one of the skiing essentials for beginners.

Go for one that is adjustable.

Craig doesn’t ski with poles but I do. It’s entirely up to your skiing style but I like using them to help me turn (or get up during the occasional fall when I’m exhausted!)

They are another thing to pack but should fit in your ski/board bag. You can’t go wrong with lightweight Salomon ski poles (or gear) but they can get pricey.  

What to Pack for Ski Trip

1. Footwear

As mentioned in the evening wear section of our guide, footwear is required to give the feet a rest!

Pack a pair of trainers for the bar, snow boots or just do what Craig does and wear your hiking boots with a good grip if there is snowfall in the town and leave the heels at home.

If staying in shared accommodation with communal showers, pack a pair of flip-flops to avoid verrucas.

Pack enough ski socks for every ski day or one less if your feet aren’t prone to smelly sweat.

Merino wool-based socks are the best bet (see base layer section for more information). Be careful, some socks are not 100% merino. 

Stock up on fresh cotton socks too for the post-shower evening outfit.

Don’t forget your swimming gear if there’s a hot tub or the potential of an invite to a hot tub!

2. What to Wear Skiing

Base Layers

Choosing the best tech apparel will keep you warm and dry.

Although we are inclined to go all out on our snow outerwear, the base layer is actually one of the most important because it controls your temperature and sweat.

You are likely to find that it’s not actually the snow that makes you feel cold but a sweaty layer on your skin. You want your base layers to allow air to circulate throughout (breathable) so the need to avoid sweat drying cold and sticky is essential.

That’s where the materials come into play.

They work because they wick water away from your body to the surface of the layer so it can then evaporate. 

General polyester is cheaper than merino but not as comfortable and if you sweat it will smell quicker!

Personally, for skiing (and hiking) I go for merino options such as I wear Icebreaker Merino wool base layer USA / UK.

A good base layer will keep you warm in cold conditions but cool in hot climates so you don’t have to pack it away come summer outdoors trip time. A great investment.

Sports bras

If you are top-heavy adventure lover like me, don’t forget a comfortable but shockproof sports bra.

Ski-Themed Clothing

Magically, Craig was the only punter in this Piste Again.

It’s a really lovely fit, 80s style jersey. I went for grey with the white writing for his Christmas present.

The print also comes in Ts and other text variations like ‘Snow Board’

3. Outerwear

A quality outwear coat is one of the ski trip essentials you should invest in.

There are two options for outerwear coats. You can either go full ski jacket with a hard shell which is great for all temperatures and conditions or an insulated down puffy jacket with a waterproof softshell.

The latter is ideal for skiers who get hot easily and/or travellers who are packing for a multi-season trip.

I love my Marmot Precip US / UK as it is bright (blue) and folds away into its own pocket.

If you fall into the last category, consider packing thin trousers/leggings and a quality pair of over the overtrousers USA / UK. Saves space and money.

I did this in Whistler, Canada as I didn’t have my full kit with me.

For Austria, I wore slim-fitting O’Niell’s ski pants, the brighter the better.

If you have space go for the first option for a ski coat and enjoy the flexibility of hood adjustments, wrist gaiters and vents. I also like a snow pass clip so I don’t have to remove my gloves when leaving the chairlift (I get cold hands).

Alternatively, go 80s and splurge on a crazy one-piece number.

4. Toiletries and Medical

First up – travel insurance. Make sure your insurer covers adventure winter trips. We use True Traveller, I had to claim in Vancouver and they paid out fast. Check to see if they are right for your trip here.

Regardless of the snow, you still burn!

Buy a high factor face moisturiser like the lovely La Roche-Posay US / UK.

Go eco-friendly and pack soap instead of gels – if you travel with only a cabin bag this saves more space in the 100ml restrictions bag too. Consider solid shampoo and conditioner too.

Ladies, a good tangle teezer is recommended. Why does our hair get so tuggy on the slopes?

Lip salve/chapstick for dry lips. Avoiding licking them if you can.

Blister pads for rubbing, pack just in case.

Hydration tablets US / UK for the next day. Believe us, they work. It was actually a British doctor that recommended them in Cuba after too many rums.

Deep heat or Biofreeze US / UK for achy muscles.

If, like me, you really feel the cold, buy heat pads for your hands.

I’m never one to promote single use but if you are staying in a hotel it is unlikely you will have access to hot water for reheating. Little Hotties state that they are biodegradable. 

5. Ski Accessories

Insulated Gloves

The best investment I made was splurging on these three-finger leather US / UK.

The internal mitten separates from the external leather outer so you can dry the fleece mittens without melting the outside.

The three-finger glove retains the heat because the heat stays circulating around your three-fingered section I made my own mitten straps to ensure I didn’t lose them but they also come with wrist clips.

I only had cheap gloves in Whistler and was left feeling sick with the pain from the cold whenever we stopped skiing (chair lifts, waiting on friends, fixing gear).

If you don’t want to invest, buy cheaper waterproof gloves and also mitten liners.

Shades aren’t just about looking suave, they also block out the glare from the sun but glasses are useless when caught in heavy snow (every day, 3pm in Austria).

You need goggles to help with visibility at this stage.

The best goggles have adjustable head straps and correctly coloured tint (dark colours for bright sunny use, yellows for low light weather).

When wearing a helmet, a headband works best to keep the nip from your ears. Keep a hat in your day bag for lunch stops. Avoid a woollen hat, they get heavy when wet (and ruin).

A headband with pony hole is perfect for long-haired skiers.

Neck warmers are great when they are dry but can get moist when active on the mountain.

The wet just turns cold and is pretty unpleasant! The more expensive versions like the Airhole range have mouth holes to let you breathe, this would resolve the wet issue. 

Snot! Steal some toilet roll from your accommodation or buy a hanky for a more environmentally friendly answer.

Waterproof phone covers, don’t lose the incriminating photos from the bar the night before.

Record the ride, don’t forget your GoPro, body harness and selfie stick.

6. Baggage

Laugh all you want but I like a bumbag (fanny pack) for ski trips so I can easily access my phone/camera, lip salve and some cash.

There are no loose straps to get tangled with either. Handy for the pub at night too.

Craig tends to ski with a day bag so he can clip our JBL speaker US / UK to it. He’s all about the tunes. It’s waterproof  

He’s also the chief controller of the water bottle and sun cream.

You may also like our guide to backpacks with wheel

Mayrhofen Austria

What to Wear at Night on a Ski Holiday

The apres-ski outfit is something that I thought a lot about before packing for Austria in March.

From my experience, skiers and boarders don’t get dressed up for dinner and drinks after a day on the slopes.

There definitely is a lot of socialising going on but this is done in jeans or leggings, casual tops, flats like trainers and hats.

Pro tip: go for black trainers as they look dressier. I wear black trainers with dresses and jeggings during travel trips.

Surprisingly, there was no snow on the ground in the village at Mayrhofen but there was ankle deep at Whistler so winter boots are recommended for grip. Heading to Whistler? Here’s our affordable accommodation guide

If you are attending a ski festival – pack the glitter, stock up on the superhero capes and look out for the themed night shoutouts!

Snowbombing Mayrhofen Austria

Ski Packing List

  1. Own kit or hire?
  2. Wheeled ski bag with own kit
  3. Helmet
  4. Ski goggles
  5. Gloves
  6. Hat
  7. Buff
  8. Day bag/bum bag
  9. Shades
  10. Outerwear jacket
  11. Ski trousers
  12. Trainers/waterproof snow boots
  13. Flip flops for communal shower rooms
  14. Merino based socks
  15. Merino base layer
  16. Sports bra
  17. Casual night gear
  18. Swimming gear
  19. Toiletries and medicine
  20. Suntan lotion
  21. Heat pads

Final Thoughts

Creating a packing list for ski trip doesn’t have to be daunting. This guide has detailed the essentials and some extras depending on your Winter travel needs.

I’ve also provided some do’s and don’ts of looking cool without feeling cool while skiing and boarding. Ski trips are honestly one of my favourites and nothing tastes better than that first cider after a day’s ski (or maybe just the one on top of the mountain)!

If you are driving to the slopes, scroll to the winter packing list section of our road trip guide.

Ski Holiday Checklist

Feel free to save the following skiing checklist to your Pinterest board

How to pack for a ski trip - Ski packing list

Any questions or comments?
Tell us below


Sandboarding Peru, Huacachina

We always try to avoid the tourist traps where possible, so when we stumbled across Sandboarding Peru during our South America itinerary search, we were praising Pachamama for this gem of a find. Sandboarding Peru, Huacachina are professionals, educators, and world-class competitors in the sport they love – sandboarding. Heading to Huacachina or just mad for adventure sports? Read on…

Sandboarding Peru

Did you miss our last article on Huacachina? Let me describe this area for you. Huacachina is a town with a desert lake which is surrounded by sand dunes. It’s home to lots of hostels for travellers to stay in. At the weekend it is a party town for locals, this changes during the week. You are not seeing a mirage, this is what Huacachina looks like. Restaurants, bars and accommodation surround the lake which is used by locals while cooling off and by kids who play in it.

Huacachina | Sandboardng PeruHuacachina – this is not a mirage!

Sandboarding in Huacachina Peru

Every hostel (and bus company) in Huacachina will offer you a sandboarding experience – if you want the ‘real deal’ don’t choose them. Make your way to Sanboarding Peru next to Hostel Del Barco. If Alejo is there, tell him Two Scots Abroad sent you and you want the ‘same same but different’ from snow, sandboarding experience!

Sandboardng Peru
Huacachina is tiny – you can’t miss Sandboarding Peru

Boarding Peru v Sandboarding Companies

Both Sandboarding Peru and the generic sandboarding tours offer a dune buggy ride, which is a lot of fun! This bumpy ride up and down the dunes, makes you lose your stomach to the hills. It’s excellent for those with GoPros/X-Sports action cams. The main difference between the two is in the equipment and action.

The generic companies mostly provide you with a low quality board, sometimes the boards will have socks / ‘boots’ attached. This type of sandboarding is ideal for those who simply want to tackle the dunes sitting on the boards, so using it like a sledge. It might be of use for travellers who want to try boarding for the first time, albeit accidents can happen. I wouldn’t recommend this unless instructed well. I know our bus tour guides at Peru Hop advise you not to stand up!

Sandboarding Peru will measure and kit you out with boards with boots and depending on your package, skis.

Sandboardng Peru | Ica

Taking on the Dunes

Alejo, us Two Scots, and one of the kids from the club, Jhonny, trekked up the side of a dune (this was quite tough, the hardest part of the day). Alejo then taught us how to use the sandboard facing away from the dunes, using our heels to stop. The first time I tried boarding on the sand it was tense! I fell a lot, my body refusing to relax. The second and third time, we flew down, still falling! Falling on sand is not the same as falling on snow, much softer and no freeze burn.

Alejo also instructed us on how to use the board facing the dunes, using our toes to stop. I found this more difficult but Craig was a natural.

Sandboardng Peru | Ica

Dune Buggy Rides

A dune buggy (with another group completing the ‘normal’ experience) collected us and this is where we experienced the fairground style driving! All you can hear on the dunes is joyful screams (there are heaps of touristy style companies out at the same time).

Dune Buggy | Sandboardng Peru

Sand – Skiing in Peru

Next stop – skiing! I could tell Alejo was a bit unsure about me skiing since I have only skied once before on snow (Craig is a bit of a pro). Not to worry, once I remembered how to actually get into the skis I slowly (very slowly) made my way diagonally down the dune using the ‘French fries’ (horizontal legs) not ‘pizza’ (crossing the skies into themselves) method. The coolest part was skiing towards the end of the dune – as the wax wears off towards the end of every ride (you need to replenish) it naturally stops you so I could ‘bomb it’ (as Craig calls it), without fear, down the dune.

Looking back up at the dune I thought to myself, it’s a mystery we made it down. One of the most surprising parts of the trip was the amount of time we spent on the slopes. Quite a few fellow travellers were jealous of our ‘real’ sandboard and ski experience.

Sandboarding Peru + the Local Community

Sandboarding Peru have three areas to their business model

  • The first is the tourist side of sandboarding (be that tourist!)
  • The second is educating the local young people (of Ica)
  • Finally, the competitive element

As a teacher, it was encouraging to see the work the team do with the local children. There were young kids in the office, helping with the equipment. They normally hit the dunes at the weekends, which we missed unfortunately. Alejo says it’s mostly boys who participate and commit, a couple of girls join them less frequently. He reckons it’s mainly down to stereotypes, which he’d like to see change. The competitive part sets them aside from other companies too. Part of the team is Victor ‘Dito’ Chavez, the only Peruvian pro – snowboarder!

Sandboarding Peru also puts on competitions for kids and adults to participate in; they want to get them hooked with their young and develop that passion as they grow up. It was a privilege to listen to Alejo speak about the school in this way. Regardless of (around about) 28 degrees heat in Huacachina, they still took part in World Snow Day! Sand and snow boarding – same same but different!

Dune Buggy | Sandboardng Peru

Dune Buggy | Sandboardng Peru Check out Sandboarding Peru on Facebook and give them a like.

Sandboarding in Peru – What to Pack

  • Suntan lotion
  • Sunglasses (it’s dusty)
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Action cam (like GoPro)
  • Wear trainers (sand can be hot)

Sandboarding (or sand skiing Peru) is one of the ‘must do’ things to do during your travels around Peru. For more details on Peru tips, itineraries, transport, accommodation, and culture see this Peru travel guide. We get asked often – is Huacachina worth visiting, and I say yes (we actually stayed for three nights!)

Sandboarding Peru, Huacachina

    • Sandboarding Peru: Website
    • Contact: +51 986 986 188
    • Address: next to Hostel Del Barco
    • Price: $49 per person (equipment included)

Pin to your Peru board!

Sandboarding in Peru | Huacachina sand dunes.


Have you ever sandboarded?


Disclaimer – Craig and I would like to offer our gratitude to Alejo and the team, as well as Jhonny who helped a sister out on the dunes! As always an honest review, we even paid above the discounted rate as we felt we were robbing them after such a great day on the sandy slopes!