Packing for your child’s school skiing trip – top tips and a packing list.

Skiing with school - what to think about

Four out of the five of us are fortunate enough to be going skiing this February. Packing for a ski trip, for school or otherwise, can be quite a minefield so I thought I’d write a quick blog post on it and my top tips!

A skiing holiday is quite a big thing to prepare for and I am by no means an expert! Both my older boys went skiing with their school whilst in year 6 and my youngest is heading off in year 5 this year. All the schools have been great with meetings and advice, but I think it’s those little tips that us parents share with each other that make things a little bit easier.

I posted out to my facebook friends and have had a few tips come back, so along with my own ideas I’m sharing them with you in the hope they will help.

Bexley family photographer Nina Callow

Packing - Yikes!

Something we all dread with any school trip! I pride myself in being able to travel light, and pack for a family of 5's summer holiday into two large holdalls - yes for 2 weeks! This isn't going to be possible for skiing of course! Having packed for quite a few school trips - here are my top tips:

  1. Firstly, a list is a really good idea! If you’re feeling really organised - and happen to own one - you could laminate it to make sure it doesn't end up in a screwed up ball! This list can be really helpful for your child to make sure they bring back exactly what they take. Of course, this may not help but for the sake of typing it up, it’s something I've found to be useful over the years. It can also help you once they are home, and the dreaded lost property list gets sent out from school!
  2. A second list (go on - laminate this one too!!) with what your child needs to wear each day. This is tricky with skiing and, whilst they will soon get used to it in the first couple of days, a list telling them to put on their base layers under their ski trousers and to pack their lip balm, tissues and sunscreen in their pocket, could save a lot of trips back to the dormitory!
  3. Clothes for the evening - I have always packed for all school trips by rolling an outfit up and packing the correct amount of outfit sets. Tracksuits, pants, socks, t-shirt and jumper all rolled together and neatly packed can make life easier (mine have all being going away on their own since they were 7 years old). This way, they literally pull a roll of clothes out their bag and the "job’s a good’ un" as they say!
  4. Label everything - we all know this, the school tells us all the time - but honestly, the amount of times it doesn't happen. Just grab a sharpie; there is absolutely no need to turn into “Kirsty’s handmade home” and start sewing labels in! My son will be the only one called Jackson and that’s all I will be writing on his clothes!
  5. ski ties/ carriers are great -you won't believe what a difference £2.99 can make!! My friend Binnie from Belinda Grant Photography  has recommended sending stickers in the case; they can stick them all over their boots and skis and this will help them to find them in the boot room and save them from putting on another child's boots!
  6. This one is a bit controversial and I won't be doing this on my son’s upcoming trip because its not allowed but, if you can, several friends have suggested fun sized chocolate bars or Haribo in their pockets for an energy boost when out on the slopes. 
  7. Two large bin bags - whilst they will be using a drying room each day at their accommodation, it may be handy for chucking the day’s ski wear in before heading back home. Lots of trips will ski all day on the last day before departing for home, late in the day, or overnight by coach.
  8. Lastly, make sure they have a wheelie bag/case because they will need to get their own bag to their bedroom. Also, make sure it’s not too small. It’s all well and good when we pack it as we can make everything fit but when your tired, distracted and frankly not-bothered-in-the-slightest 10 year old is trying to get it back into his or her case - well, we all know how that will go! Additionally, put something very recognisable on the handle; I have a big red ribbon which Jackson finds easy to spot! 
Bexley family photographer Nina Callow

Packing list

  • Base Layers: bottoms x 2 and tops x 3 (I either use the boys’ sports under layers) or have bought thermal ones from Decathlon or Uniqlo 
  • Long sleeved thin tee's x 3 - mine are from Uniqlo
  • Thin zip up tops/fleeces or similar. I’ve bought these ones from Decathlon which are fab (and the thumb holes are a hit with Jackson!)
  • Ski socks - I have bought mid cost socks as there’s nothing worse than having cold feet! 3 pairs will hopefully be enough for a week.
  • Ski trousers/sallopettes. This year I have bought these from Boden
  • Ski Jacket - O' Neil make some nice ones.
  • Ski Buff and beanie hat.
  • Snow boots - don't go into one of the big retailers and fall in love with the very expensive ones! We did but I simply cannot justify the £80 price tag, especially when they won't fit next year! Again, head to Decathlon. We have these.
  • Gloves - we've been told if you spend money on one thing, spend it on gloves. I bought some mid priced ones, these were pretty expensive for Decathlon but pale into insignificance price wise, when you go to some of the big retailers!
  • Slippers.
  • Lip balm, sun screen and tissues.
  • Goggles. For adults I'd also suggest packing sunglasses but for children just buy some goggles. I’ve splashed out on these as Jackson fell in love with some Oakley ones at the airport last year, but I’ve managed to get them for around £50 from this web site.
  • Evening clothes packed in rolls one for each day they are away.
  • 2 x Pj's or onesies.
  • Wash kit - shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb
  • Towel
  • swimming shorts/towel and goggles if required (there is often a pool in ski resorts and lots of schools will go there as one of their evening activities).
Bexley family photographer Nina Callow
Bexley family photographer Nina Callow

I hope this will be of some help and I hope all your little ones have the best time ever! My youngest is going with school; his half term starts a week before the other boys’ and I'm taking my teenagers to meet friends the week after! Of course, I’ll  write all about it when I get back........ and if you have enjoyed reading this post, why not check out some of my other blogs here.

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Nina is a documentary photographer and mum of 3 boys based in Bexley Village.