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What to pack for skiing – and what to leave behind


Ski Beat have been hosting guests in Alpine chalets for 30 years and know a thing or two about skiing. When it comes to packing, they’re very much on the ball too. Here are the top best and worst items to pack for a ski holiday…

What to leave

Skis – if you’re a beginner or once a year skier, don’t waste your time or money or energy taking skis from home to the resort. Ski technology changes so fast, rent, don’t buy, and you’ll always be ahead of the game.

Hand baggage?Tea bags – come on, surely you can survive a week without your cuppa? Either way, don’t even think of bringing your own, Ski Beat chalets have plenty of English Breakfast and Earl Grey tea bags.

Marmite and mustard – Skiers have been seen to dig both out of their back-packs in mountain restaurants. Try to blend with the crowd and not make the Brits look even more parochial than we are.

High heels – an absolute no-no. Chalet owners won’t appreciate stiletto holes in their wooden floors, flat boots are best for bars and it’s a definite snow-go outdoors, especially for the guys.

Toiletries – don’t risk a foamy mess in your luggage, hotels and chalets have shampoo, shower gel and conditioner and Ski Beat’s guests are treated to L’Occitane products. Or if you really need your own, they are on sale in supermarkets in every ski resort. But make sure you leave them behind, ditto foamy mess.

Books – OK, it’s nice to curl up with a book by the roaring Ski Beat chalet fire at the end of the day, but seriously? Get the board games out, watch a film, or chat with your fellow skiers over a bottle of wine or three

And what to take

A plug bank – the kind with six sockets and one plug. Then you’ll only need one travel adaptor and can use all your appliances with their UK plugs.

Duct tape – it was invented in WWII to keep ammunition dry. On a ski holiday it repairs rips and tears, seals luggage tightly closed, you can leave notes for friends (bring a Sharpie too), or tape keys, lift passes and money safely in jacket pockets.

External phone battery pack – cell phone batteries run out faster in the cold, take an external pack and a spare charger to avoid losing contact on the slopes.

A lanyard – geeky? Yes. Useful? Undeniably. Dangle your keys, your lift pass, even your gloves if you want a crafty cigarette on the chairlift. Bring a few and be the coolest lanyard wearer on the slopes.

Nail clippers – there’s never enough time to trim them at home and long talons are highly incompatible with ski boots and gloves. While you’re about it, bring a foot mask too. An hour in front of the fire in a Ski Beat chalet and you’re feet will be baby soft.

Slippers – highly nerdy, in fact the nerdier the better, but you’ll be the one laughing when others are clomping around the chalet in heels or rubbing their blisters when feet are throbbing from the day’s skiing.

Ski Scene

Mary Stuart-Miller provides this very sensible advice on behalf of Ski Beat, purveyors of catered chalet holidays across Europe.

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