This is it. You spent the time applying, went through intense interviews and managed to bag yourself a job working in a ski resort for the winter. Ski seasons have a reputation for being a lot of fun, as well as a lot of hard work. The phrase “Work hard, party hard” is wholly accurate, and you need to be prepared for everything the seasonaire life will throw at you.
No doubt, you are in for the time of your life and are just itching to get out there but first, you need to pack. Unlike a normal holiday, this resort will be your home for the next four to six months, so you will need to think about this when you pack. So, just to help you out, I’ve created this big ol’ ski season packing list that I wish I had before I started my first season.
This article is written by Faraway Lucy writer, Hope Titley.
On The Way
Different companies will take you out in different ways. Some may fly you out (the dream), others will organise a private coach for you (still pretty good), or like me, you will be placed on a public bus (really not great). Usually, you’ll end up on a coach of some sort, meaning the journey will take quite a bit longer than you’d think. This means you better plan to take some things to will keep you entertained!
1. Your phone. Whether this is to listen to music, watch Netflix or have a scroll, it’s definitely good to have on you for more than the obvious reasons.
2. A fully charged power bank. Our journey was about 7 hours, so making sure you can keep your devices charged up is important.
4. A pack of cards. An easy ice–breaker if you sit near other seasonaires and a fun way to pass the time. Perfect for endless drinking games or just when you get bored once you’ve arrived T the resort too!
5. Water and snacks! The stops are usually short, so having these with you will make the journey more comfortable.
6. A travel pillow or a jumper you can bundle up. The journey is long, so anything to help you get some rest is a must-have.
Before you head out, it’s definitely a good idea to find out what the weather is like in your resort. This is something I didn’t do. I was in Alpe d’Huez, which is one of the sunniest resorts in the French Alps, so I ended up taking loads of thermals and jackets that ended up not getting worn! On most days, I would ski in just a thermal, t-shirt and a hoodie. This isn’t to say the weather won’t change, just make sure to be prepared, pay attention to this ski season packing list, and pack accordingly.
7. A good ski jacket that will keep you warm and dry.
8. A thick hoodie, for when it’s not cold enough to warrant a jacket. Also, it looks better! If you are heading to a particularly cold place, take more as you will want to layer up.
10. Thermals. If you are heading to a particularly cold place, take more as you will want to layer up.
11. Two pairs of gloves (for when one gets soaked/lost/ruined).
12. Goggles. Ideally, you want something with lenses for both high and low visibility.
13. A helmet – I can’t stress this enough. It doesn’t matter how good you are, accidents happen and it’s not worth the risk.
14. A week’s worth of ski socks.
16. Polarised sunglasses (Google: Snow blindness).
17. Good snow boots.
When you aren’t out and about on the slopes or in your uniform, you will undoubtedly be spending lots of time socialising. Whether this is going to a bar, out for dinner or just chilling at home, you will want more options than you think. (At least, I did.)
At the end of the day, you do start building a ‘communal wardrobe’ with your friends so it’s not the end of the world if you forget some things. (You can also always be cheeky and ask family to send you a parcel, which I definitely did).
18. A couple of pairs of jeans (which I forgot).
19. A belt (which I also forgot).
20. Enough underwear and socks for two weeks. In our accommodation, there was only one washing machine and tumble dryer between about 20 people. Inevitably, you need to wait your turn.
21. A “beer” jacket. (A warm jacket that you don’t mind if it gets lost/stolen on a night out. Sucks, but it does happen.)
23. A couple of pairs of casual shoes. I only took my Dr. Martens and RUINED them. I’d say the best shoes to bring would be a pair of boots and some trainers.
24. Supportive work shoes. When you are on your feet all day, you’ll thank me later.
26. Going out clothes. Take more than you think you’ll need! Again, here is where the ‘Communal Wardrobe’ is the true saviour.
27. Jumpers and fleeces.
28. A waterproof bag/rucksack, for taking to work and snack runs.
You are away from home for a long time and trust me, everyone gets a little homesick. Staff accommodation can be pretty bare, so it’s important to bring things that make it feel more like home. Sometimes, you just need the cosiness of your creature comforts, so remember to pack things that give you a little boost and remind you that home and your loved ones are only a phone call away.
29. Photos of friends and family. This makes your room feel homelier too.
30. Blu Tack! I forgot and ending up stealing a lot from my friend. (Sorry, Corinne.)
32. The one thing from home you can’t live without. (My roommates’ was Bovril and mine was Marmite)
33. Teabags. I don’t drink tea, but even I know that Yorkshire Tea was highly coveted amongst the staff.
34. Cards or notes from home. Much like the pictures, sometimes you just need that pick me up.
Okay, I can hear you all saying, ‘I’m an adult, I know what toiletries to take!’ and I agree! It seems silly to be making this list, but aside from the standard items, there are some extras that you should definitely consider taking.
35. Medicine is so expensive in resort, so make sure you stock up on Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Berocca (for that hangover and immune boost), multivitamins, Strepsils, nasal spray, blister plasters, Lemsip and Deep Heat. Things like Strepsils become the equivalent of gold dust. Trust me. You will become ill, it’s inevitable, so make sure you are as prepared as you can be. It’s really important to take care of yourself whilst you are out there.
36. Lip balm. The elements wreak havoc on your lips and skin. Try and get one with SPF!
37. A reusable water bottle.
38. Sunscreen. This is really important. Just because you are in the snow doesn’t mean you can’t get burnt. On sunny days, the sun reflects off the snow and I’ve seen some pretty mean burns.
39. Makeup, if you wear it. It also becomes very useful for the multiple themed nights and when the boys inevitably want to do a ‘Ladies Night’.
40. Hand cream. As I have said, you’ll be working hard and your hands will get pretty sore.
41. Condoms. (Lots of young people in one place… need I say more?)
42. 6 months’ worth of any prescription medicine.
43. Earplugs. Sometimes, you just need a nap.
44. Eye mask. (See above.)
Side Note: If you work in a hotel/chalet, a lot of the time the guests will leave nearly full bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gels behind, so there’s no need to bring refills or extras. They will just take up space in your luggage and add weight!
The Important Things
Again, this may seem like common sense, but these items are worth triple-checking to make sure you have them.
46. Insurance. Especially if you are going to be doing off-piste and going in the snow parks.
48. Plug adapters.
49. An extension lead! There are never enough sockets in the rooms.
So these things are not really essential items on this ski season packing list, but they are nice to have. It can just make your experience a little homelier and more fun.
50. Film camera. (Coming home will be hard, but when you get the film developed and see all the happy memories you made, it’s a little easier.)
51. Fancy dress. There is usually a lot of themed nights, so it’s always fun to be prepared! (We had: 90’s, Spring Break, Jungle and Pirate Party to name a few!)
53. A travel kettle. This sounds like an insane luxury, but the person who had the kettle in their room had all the power. We had no kitchen in our accommodation, so being able to make a cup of tea/coffee/pot noodle was the best.
54. A laptop. Movie night was very much a thing.
Ask The Seasonaires
As always, you do forget something, so who better to ask than the people who have been exactly where you are? I decided to ask some of my friends and fellow seasonaires what the items they wished they had taken with them were, and here’s what they said:
Kat: ‘My electric toothbrush, condoms and a scarf? Pictures! I wish I’d brought pictures.’
Ben: ‘Earplugs, eye mask and a speaker.’
Elsa: ‘Sun cream and LEDS (those were the best thing).’
Ziah: ‘A bucket hat, good boarding goggles and a vintage ski suit seemed essential! (Essential for me anyway!)’
Corinne: ‘A pillow or cushion for the coach, more cool accessories and the odd warm-weather outfit for when the sun comes out!’
Jake: ‘Some earphones for solo missions on the mountain, cool sunglasses and more funky clothes!’
Georgia: ‘Bovril and a retro ski suit for Folie!’ (La Folie Douce was our main Après Ski place.)
Hope (Me): ‘More than 1 pair of shoes, a film camera and a blanket from home (made by my mom).’
I realise this may feel overwhelming right now, wondering what you have gotten yourself into as you stare at this long list, but you have nothing to worry about. Take it from someone who has been in your shoes: doing a season is one of the best things you can experience. I genuinely made friends for life and I have no doubt you’ll do the same. Doing a season is truly an experience like no other.
So, there you have it! An entire ski season packing list guaranteed to carry you through the Winter, no matter what is thrown your way. This list is totally adjustable to you and where you are headed, but hopefully, it gives you the confidence to know you are on the right track. Remember, you can always get anything you missed posted out to you or you can most likely buy it in resort.
But that’s enough from me. Go! Have fun, stay safe and say ‘yes’ to having the time of your life.
I hope this ski season packing list helps you on your way! Are there are other must-have items I’ve left off this ski season packing list? Please let me know in the comments below!
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