The ski holiday has finally been booked, the anticipation is rising, but so is your stress level. Good preparation, from the packing list to the insurance coverage review, can help. SnowTrex gives helpful advice for your ski holiday preparation.
Pack your suitcase
When planning a trip, it is important to keep a cool head in order to think of everything: thick winter clothes, many additional utensils and, of course, the ski equipment. If you go on a winter holiday, you have a lot of luggage with you. Parents in particular have to think of so many things that they can quickly lose track. SnowTrex has created a helpful packing list for winter sports fans for this situation. The most important things at a glance:
- Travel documents and vouchers
- Debit or credit card
- Cash (in local currency, if applicable)
- ID card
- Documents of the international health insurance
- Ski/snowboard jacket
- Ski/snowboard pants
- Ski socks
- Ski goggles
- Ski gloves
- Ski mask, if applicable
- Fleece pullover/jacket
- Ski shirt made of breathable material
- Long underwear
On the piste
- Sunscreen with high sun protection factor
- Lip care stick with sun protection factor
- Mobile phone
- First aid kit
- Small backpack
A complete packing list for printing and ticking things off helps you to pack in a structured way and not to forget anything.
Packing list apps
Packing lists on the smartphone can be a useful tool for luggage organization. Apps like “TripList”, “KofferPacken” or “Pack the Bag” have many features like to-do lists, which are ticked off on the screen, luggage categories and reminder functions. The advantage of digital packing lists is that they are always available and have a certain momentum of their own: you create them once, save them and edit them later. Meanwhile, the smartphone thinks for you and does the above tips and tricks on its own. There are ready-made lists that can be edited manually, as well as the subdivision into target groups such as families, couples or business travellers.
With most apps, you still have to write or edit your personal list yourself, and if you want to use a pro version, it costs extra or you constantly have to put up with ads. However, such an assistant is very useful for structuring an individual list. The app suggests the articles that could fit based on the given data like destination, temperature etc., groups articles into categories and reminds you to close the window or turn off the stove before leaving. With an app, you don’t have to think about anything anymore. Healthy brain jogging looks different, but many travellers are certainly well advised to use a pack app.
If you have your own skis or a snowboard, you should first check your equipment thoroughly. What does the surface look like? Are the edges still bare or already rusty? What does the plastic look like? If the material is in order, the professional ski service takes over the fine grinding with waxing and sharpening. But the correct binding setting is also important. Only a correctly adjusted binding releases at the right moment. The binding with the correct Z-value is set by the specialist in just a few seconds. Parents should check their children’s equipment and clothing. Are the skis still long enough? Do ski boots and snow boots still fit? Is the clothing too small?
On a skiing holiday, as on any trip, unpleasant incidents can happen, such as an accident, illness or theft. It therefore makes sense to take appropriate precautions. There are various insurance policies that holidaymakers can take out directly at the time of booking or with providers such as the German Ski Association (DSV) or the ADAC. It is advisable to book insurance directly with the trip, as this saves money and you can remove this item from your to-do list. It is important to pay close attention to the services included and to a sufficiently high sum insured. Duplications should also be avoided.
- Travel cancellation insurance: it covers cancellation costs in the event of short-term cancellation, for example in the event of illness.
- Travel curtailment insurance: it covers costs incurred in the event of travel curtailment, e.g. early departure from the holiday destination.
- Foreign health insurance: acute treatments are covered by this insurance.
- Private accident insurance: it pays in the event of permanent disability after an accident
- Car cover: this covers the costs in the event of a breakdown, accident, theft or repatriation if the car breaks down.
- Luggage insurance
- Ski breakage insurance
- Ski and snowboard insurance
In case of emergency
It can never hurt a winter sports fan to have some important utensils with them in case of an emergency. The phone numbers of the mountain rescue, for example, should be stored in their mobile phones. For Europe, this is the well-known 112. In addition, each country also has its own emergency number.
Sunscreen is of fundamental importance for a skiing holiday. It should have a sun protection factor of at least 20 (30 or 50 for children) and a high fat content to protect the skin from drying out. It is also a good idea to have a small first aid kit with you. The classic cold remedies, such as nasal spray, cough syrup and throat pills, are important for everyday use. A fever thermometer, headache tablets, medication for nausea, stomach pain, diarrhoea and constipation can also be a blessing. Suppositories against fever and pain as well as ear drops are useful for children. Blister plasters, bandages, wound and healing ointment and disinfectant solution are also advisable.
Check & Prepare your car for winter driving & snow
Those who travel on holiday with their own car should definitely have their vehicle checked for winter suitability. Winter tyres are a must in the snow-covered mountains. The cooling water for the windscreen wiper system must contain frost protection and a set of snow chains should be available in the boot. A warning triangle, warning vests for all occupants and the first aid kit are mandatory in the car. Also helpful in winter are ice scrapers, brooms, de-icing spray and a powerful torch. Drivers should try installing the snow chains before they leave. In addition jump leads and tow ropes belong to a fully equipped car. SnowTrex also provides details on driving a car in winter.
Loading the car properly
The following basic rules must be observed when loading the car: in general, the heaviest pieces of luggage should always go below, if possible directly behind the seat back. The luggage should not be stacked higher than the top edge of the back seat. If the skis are stored inside the car, they must be fixed securely. Ideally, they should be transported on a ski rack or in a roof box. Car owners should seek good advice when making their choice, as not every box is suitable for every model. Also the skis must not slide around freely in the box.
With children in particular, you should be well prepared for a long traffic jam. Card games, colouring books, radio plays and other activities are recommended for entertainment. In the rare case that it takes so long that it becomes uncomfortable, a 5-litre reserve canister with petrol, sufficient blankets, warm drinks and a fully charged smartphone should be on board.
Where are tolls mandatory?
Some winter destinations in the Alps and other regions can only be reached via toll roads. A toll is payable for the continuation of the journey on motorway sections and expressways. In Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, a vignette is bought in advance and stuck to the windscreen. In France, Spain, Italy and Poland, the charges are levied directly at the toll stations. SnowTrex knows the details about tolls in Alpine countries.
Tip from Trexpert Felix Neureuther
“The most important thing you can have on the piste is a backpack in which you can put everything: spare goggles, drinks, fitness bars, etc. If you’re even smarter, choose a backpack with an integrated back protector to help you get through the ski day safely”.
Once the ski equipment and the car have been checked, the packing list has been ticked off and everything is safely stored in the car, you are ready to go. SnowTrex wishes you a safe journey!