Packing List for Ski Holidays
What to take with you on your ski holiday
All passengers must have a valid standard 10-year passport. Visas are not required for travel to France from the UK.
Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
A GHIC gives you the right to access emergency state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any EU country. These replace the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you have a current EHIC this will still be valid until its expiry. You can apply for a GHIC online or by calling 0300 330 1350. You should still have travel insurance in place as a GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to this.
Most of our residences are fully equipped for basic holiday needs but we do recommend that you bring some basics with you such as tea towels, a washing-up sponge, cleaning cloth, washing-up liquid, dishwasher tablets (if your accommodation has a dishwasher) and toilet paper. It’s also handy to bring some everyday basics to save buying these in resort, for example, salt & pepper, coffee, tea, etc. You will of course be able to buy these all locally too. If taking electrical equipment, don’t forget a French 2-pin adapter plug and any chargers you might need.
TV (where listed) generally means a television with only French terrestrial channels unless ‘satellite TV’ is indicated. In this latter case, the number of English language channels may be limited to news channels and other freely available international channels. Unfortunately, we are unable to check television specifications for any of our accommodation.
Equipment and Packing List
Ski and snowboard hire can be booked through us, this means you will not have to take the heavy equipment with you. Please see our ski hire page for more information.
We recommend you wear layers to keep you warm at all times, whether or not it looks sunny and warm. This will allow your body to adapt to any temperature change throughout the day as layers trap the warm air closer to your body. Outer layers need to be water/wind resistant and goggles are key to protect your eyes. Good gloves are also a must - you’ll be very glad of them on cold days!
The weather is very unpredictable up in the mountains, which is why it is important that you have the right clothing at all times; a broken zip or a ripped sleeve on a coat could easily become a real problem in some weather conditions at altitude.
When trying on your ski boots, wear your ski socks so you can make sure the boots are a good fit. This helps avoid blisters, cold feet, and shin splints. Do also make sure that the bindings are adjusted properly (they must release if you fall or lose control) when you collect your equipment. If you fail to do so, you could end up with some quite nasty injuries.
- Heavy-weight fleece or wool sweater
- Light/medium-weight, synthetic long underwear shirt
- Down or synthetic fill jacket with hood (waterproof, breathable), must fit comfortably over your sweater
- Wool or fleece hat
- A good pair of sunglasses
- Waterproof/breathable lined trousers
- Wool or poly socks (medium/heavy thickness)
- Walking boots (waterproof) to be able to walk in the snow
- Wool or fleece mittens
- Ski over-mitts or gloves
Don’t forget to pack:
- High-factor sunscreen (at least SPF 30)
- Pain-relief such as paracetamol or ibuprofen in case of any aches and pains
- Arnica cream – just the thing for any bruises
- A stretchy bandage and plasters
- Proof of up-to-date vaccinations for any children under four years old who will be attending nursery (e.g. a letter from your doctor, they will need this to be admitted).
Driving to the Alps
If you are driving to the Alps please note the following:
- All drivers must carry a full driving licence. You may require an international driving permit but only if you only have a paper licence or if your licence was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man.
- Take your vehicle registration and insurance documents.
- You must obtain a Green Card from your own insurers that extends your cover beyond the basic minimum third-party cover for driving on the continent. Please note that you should allow one month to get this from your vehicle insurance company.
- You must display a GB sticker or nationality sign. This is a legal requirement.
- You need to carry a red warning triangle and reflective safety jackets for all vehicle occupants at all times. The jackets must be stored in the passenger area of the vehicle, within easy reach. You should also carry spare bulbs for rear, side and front headlights – without these you may be liable for an instant fine.
- Make sure you convert your headlights with stick-on deflectors so that they dip away from oncoming traffic.
- It is a legal requirement to carry a breathalyser in your car, however, there is currently no fine for not carrying one.
- Snowchains will be necessary if mountain roads are not cleared of snow. Most common sizes are available in local garages and larger hypermarkets in mountain regions in France or you can buy these in advance through snowchains.com
- GPS or Smartphone radar detectors are now banned in France. Please note that there may not be any signage to indicate the presence of speed cameras (such as you might see in the UK).
- CRIT’AIR Low emission zones have been introduced in some cities. These only apply within the city centre and not on the outskirts. If you are driving through one, you’ll need a sticker to display in your car or you could face a fine. You can order these in advance. Find out more: certificat-air.gouv.fr/en/
Don't forget to get involved with our Winning at Winter challenge and have a fantastic ski holiday!