Perhaps you have always said that eventually you would do something impulsive, or maybe it was a last minute decision made at your local with friends. Either way, the result is that you are going on a last minute ski break and that means you need to pack. Fast.
Packing in a rush can lead to important items being left behind; this can include items such as passports, medication and even underwear. You’re not going to have a very successful or comfortable trip without these, so make sure you have packed the essentials before setting off on one of the amazing
last minute ski deals available. Whether you’re heading towards the French Alps or the slopes of Austria, take a tip from the Scouts and Girl Guides and be prepared.
Before you can even leave the country you are going to need to make sure that your passport is up to date and safely stored in a pocket that you can access easily. Last-minute holidays aren’t ideal for anyone who has suddenly realised their passport has expired (remember for non EU trips you’ll need to have a minimum of six months validity remaining), but if you’re willing to part with the cash it is possible to renew a passport quickly.
Once you have double, and triple checked your passport is valid and safely packed, it is essential to organise both travel and health insurance. All UK citizens should have an E111 card that allows them access to health services within Europe. Unfortunately, you will most likely find that skiing and other extreme sports are not part of the basic cover. Don’t panic however, as many insurance companies offer additional insurance policies specifically designed for ski holidays. This health insurance is something that is well worth investing in, as your last minute ski deal might not seem such a bargain if you have to fork out hundreds of pounds to treat a sprained ankle.
It is good practice to search around for the best travel insurance deal. If you are taking your own skis and other specialist equipment, then the financial security afforded by this cover is well worth the expense.
Occasionally, even frequent skiers do not have their own equipment to take abroad. If you are planning to hire equipment once you are over there, all good
ski resorts will have a ski hire shop. If you are in any doubt about this then it is wise to phone ahead. Those planning to take their own equipment will need to make sure that they have forewarned their airline and have paid any additional fees for carriage. If you don’t do this in advance the airline may charge you far higher fees to take it with you on the day of travel, or in extreme cases they may not let you take it at all.
Once you have organised your passport, insurance and ski gear there are still a few essentials that you need to fit into your bag. A first aid kit should be at the bottom of every sensible skier’s rucksack. Pack clothes with layers in mind and rather than choosing your biggest, woolliest jumper, choose vests and t-shirts that can be layered with long sleeved tops. This way it is easier to add or remove extra clothing depending on conditions.
France ski holidays, among others, can be surprisingly sunny so make sure you have a high factor sun cream ready to apply to your face. Sunglasses are ideal to have on hand for when you take your ski goggles off, while hats or a hooded coat will stop the wind nipping at your ears.
Ski resorts have just as much going on during the evenings when the slopes are closed, so bring extra clothes and shoes so you can leave your ski gear at the hotel and enjoy the nightlife.
Finally, while there are plenty of essentials you should take with you on a last minute ski holiday make sure to leave room in your suitcase to bring home some tacky souvenirs. Those snow globes and singing bottle openers will be calling your name.