02 December 2015

Ski holiday checklist

If you’re one of the lucky people who’ll be slaloming down the slopes on a ski holiday in the coming months, the chances are you’ve got a lot to organise before you jet off.

As well as the normal packing and holiday logistics, you’ll have to sort out specialist insurance, organise all your kit and make sure you’ve got enough warm layers.

Check that you’re on track to enjoy a stress-free break on the slopes with our ski holiday checklist.

What to organise

  • Travel money: If you’re exchanging money, make sure you do it in advance to get the best deal – exchange rates at the airport are likely to be among the worst around. It’s also worth thinking about how else you’re going to spend while abroad. If you plan to use plastic or withdraw cash while you’re there, check how much it will cost you to use your card overseas.

  • Tell your bank: It’s important to let your bank or building society know before you travel abroad so they can keep your accounts secure and protect you from fraud, without having to interrupt your holiday. If you bank online with Nationwide you can let us know in just a few simple steps.

  • Insurance: You may wish to consider taking out travel insurance to protect you from hefty hospital bills if you take a tumble on the slopes. You’ll need specialist winter sports cover and costs can vary, so it’s worth exploring in advance. If you have a Nationwide FlexPlus packaged current account, for £10 a month, you’ll already benefit from worldwide travel insurance for you and your family, which includes winter sports cover provided by U K Insurance Limited. Check the policy’s limits and exclusions before you travel to see if you’re already covered for your requirements.

  • Equipment hire: If it’s your first time skiing and you don’t have any kit, it might be sensible to hire boots and skis rather than splashing out before you know if you’ll like it. Search around for the best deals online as prices can vary significantly.

  • Lift passes: These tend to be quite pricey so make sure you budget for them before you arrive – it can be cheaper to book your lift passes in advance too.

  • Check your baggage allowance: You need a lot of kit for skiing and even if you’re not taking equipment, your suitcase will be full of warm layers. Check your baggage allowance in advance and use some bathroom scales to weigh your packed suitcase before you set off. Taking out a few items could prevent you from being charged extra. Remember, if you are close to the limit, you can always wear your ski boots on the plane!

What to pack

  • Travel documents: You won’t get very far without your passport and tickets so make sure you put them somewhere safe a few weeks before you jet off and check they are in your hand luggage just before you leave. It’s also worth checking your passport is still in date well in advance of travelling as it can take around 3 weeks to get a new one.

  • Ski equipment: If you’re a keen skier it can work out cheaper in the long run to buy equipment rather than hiring it. There are also some bits of kit, like goggles, which you can’t hire. It’s probably worth buying them before you set off as they’ll be pricey to purchase at the resort. All airlines have different procedures for transporting ski equipment, some will let you carry gear as part of your baggage allowance, but some budget airlines charge an extra fee, so make sure you check in advance.

  • Warm layers: Lots of layers are the key to staying comfortable on the slopes. You may find you work up a sweat despite the cold weather, which is why it’s good to have layers you can easily take off and on. If you’re a beginner then waterproof trousers and a jacket are a must, you’ll very quickly get cold and wet when you fall in the snow without them. And it’s worth taking a few pairs of ski socks too, they’ll protect your sore shins from the ski boots.

  • Sun protection: Even though it may be icy cold, you still need to wear sun cream and sunglasses on the slope to protect you from the glare of the sun, especially as you’re likely to be out in it all day. Again, it’ll be more cost effective to take these with you rather than paying a premium in the resort.

  • First aid kit: Aching muscles, bruises and blisters are all part and parcel of a skiing holiday, so make sure you have the kit you need to tackle them.

  • Small backpack: If you’re spending the full day on the slopes you’ll need a small bag to carry essentials like a bottle of water, your wallet and sun cream.

Heading on a skiing trip?

Find out about more about our packaged current account FlexPlus which includes worldwide winter sports travel.

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