What to pack for your family ski holidays

Most of us heading for the slopes this winter / spring will be seasoned skiers / snowboarders, but if you’re a ski holidays first timer, what ski wear essentials should be in your suitcase?

No one wants to (a) over-pack OR (b) be under-prepared. If you’re not a ski parent, however, it can be hard to know what’s a must-have, and what you can cross off the shopping list. Here’s the children’s ski wear I recommend, after two decades of skiing with children (from age 0 upwards):


  • warm, waterproof ski jackets and trousers or ski suit. You cannot ‘make do’ with non-specialist equipment here: waterproofing, flexible movement, pockets and padding will make for an all-round better ski experience.
  • mid-layer. This can be a simple fleece, but make sure it has a zip so the wearer can open and close according to weather and exertion.
  • ski goggles. More protective than sunglasses, less easy to lose, warmer for the face on a cold day or when it is snowing.
  • ski gloves. Absolutely essential as it’s miserable to have cold hands, oft expressed by highly vocal wailing. You might also want to throw in a pair of thin glove liners. Mittens are warmer and perfect for little ones. Kids’ gloves tend to get drenched on a daily basis and they are slow to dry, so taking a spare pair is recommended.
  • ski socks. Longer than normal socks with heat-retaining qualities and the right padding in the right places, two pairs of ski socks for a week’s trip will be enough, provided they go on the radiator to dry between wears.
  • snowboots. No child or adult should ever go to the mountains without a chunky pair of cosy, waterproof snowboots. They mean kids can play in the snow without getting frostbite of the toes, and adults can walk to the bar/supermarket/ski school pick-up point without slipping over. Wear them on the journey to cut down on luggage weight
  • slippers/Crocs. Aka footwear you can wear between bootroom and chalet/hotel room. The first sign you will see at the entrance to your accommodation will be: no outdoor footwear. Without slippers (ideally, something robust with a sturdy sole) your socks will quickly be soggy. Yuck.
  • Lip balm and high SPF sunscreen. Take a few small tubes of suncream with you and slip into pockets so you can top up throughout the day. Ditto for lip balms, which are easily lost.


  • handwarmers. Keeping one of these in your pocket for those super-cold ski days can make a big difference, although there will be years when you don’t need them at all. Good news though: they don’t go off, so save them for next season if unused.
  • sunglasses. I would never go skiing without a pair in my pocket, but my kids have been known to stick with goggles whatever the weather. One less thing to lose, too.
  • thermal underwear. I always made sure my young kids wore thermals – and sometimes that was all they needed under their ski suits – but for teens, not essential.
  • helmet. Essential to wear, but easy to rent. You only really need to own one if you’re a habitual skier. For children, make sure there’s a clip at the back to prevent goggles from pinging off. As with cycling and motorcycling, never buy a secondhand helmet: you don’t know what it’s been through, plus build technology has improved year on year so modern styles are safer than ever.
  • ski boots. As above: wait to buy them until your child’s feet have stopped growing/you move to the Alps/you’ve got the ski bug.
  • multi-packs of a favourite sweet snack. Slipping a packet of Haribos or a chocolate bar into a child’s ski jacket pocket provides a welcome energy boost for little ones between runs.

Got children’s ski wear that no longer fits? Pass it on via our preloved ski clothing marketplace. Looking for ski clothes for your family? Browse our peer-to-peer marketplace for high quality secondhand ski gear.

Hurry to WhoSki.com for half-term ski trip essentials

  • Half-term ski trip booked: CHECK
  • Boxes of wintersports clothing retrieved from the loft: CHECK

Like so many others, it’s two years since I last enjoyed a ski holiday (thanks for nothing, pandemic), and – predictably – half the family’s winter wardrobe doesn’t fit.

Sounds familiar? With just a fortnight until thousands of us hit the slopes, there is no chance that any ski or snowboard clothing donated to the charity shop will be sorted and on sale in time to help out another family this season.

But there is still time to shake down your good-as-new clothes, upload them to WhoSki.com (using our new, super-simple marketplace tech) and see them go to a good home.


So if you’re also having a ski kit clear-out, why not sell on your unwanted good-as-new clothing before you head off? And browse our re-launched WhoSki.com marketplace (new items being added all the time) to fill the gaps in your family’s ski and snowboard wardrobe.

Sales via our website are fixed-price so you don’t have to wait for an auction to come to an end, with transactions handled safely by trusted provider Stripe. Find out more about how to buy and sell via WhoSki.com here.

It’s free to register at WhoSki.com, and we donate 10% of our commission to teen mental health charity stem4 on every sale.

Clear out your wardrobe, prevent still useable ski clothing from going to landfill AND do some good: what are you waiting for?

Remember, too, to save putting away the stuff you won’t use again by posting it for sale on WhoSki.com when you return. It’s so simple to use our new upload system, you could do it from your phone while hanging around at the airport or in the car on the way home. Simply register, upload pics and details and click POST LISTING. It is literally that easy.

You’ll be helping people who ski later in the season (at Easter, for example) as well as the environment. Did you know that around 75% of clothing donated to charity shops fails to find a home?

Boom time for UK’s indoor snow centres?

Anyone else resigned to another DNS ski season? Like us, you probably have wintersports pals who have abandoned trying to pre-plan a ski trip. Maybe you’ve held back from the Eurotunnel crossing in favour of the increasingly common ‘wait and see’ approach – particularly if you’ve got school-age kids.

The complications of daily testing in resort, the risks of possibly racking up a Covid19 positive before starting the journey home and the dread of forcing children to miss yet more schooling through self-isolation on their return, make a pre-booked ski trip simply not feasible for many families.

Disappointing for us – but good news for the UK’s indoor real snow slopes that look set to mop up the thousands who are not going to make it to the mountains this winter.

The fact is that not being able to get to the Alps or Dolomites doesn’t mean you and the kids have to miss out on your piste time. This could be a bumper season for indoor snow centres as, to be frank, there really isn’t much in the way of outdoor skiing infra unless you’ve got Glencoe on your doorstep.

If you want your fix of the white stuff, you’re probably going to have to ski and snowboard indoors this winter.

Snow centres have come a long way since the Tamworth Snowdome opened back in 1994. Now there’s a growing network of indoor ski and snowboard centres across the UK. Check out the Ski Club of Great Britain info page here for the full range of real snow and dry ski slopes across GB.  

A word of advice: get your sessions booked NOW – we predict high demand this winter, with so many families disappointed by not being able to get their mountain fix. Why not take the opportunity to learn the basics on a snowboard, grab a few lessons to spruce up your technique or even take your Level 1 instructor exams (could be the perfect Christmas present for an older teen…)?

And fingers’ crossed that the health climate improves enough between now and Easter to allow that long-awaited trip to our favourite pistes before the season is through.

Is cross-country skiing having a moment?

With a British cross-country skier making the FIS podium twice in a fortnight, and the Alps beyond reach for most of us this season, is it time to turn to Nordic skiing?

Cross-country skiing has always been hugely popular in Scandinavia, where almost everyone practises the national sport of ‘langlauf’. It’s so important, in fact, that Norway, Sweden and Finland recently pulled their champion cross-country ski teams from international competition to protect athletes’ health during the pandemic. Professional skiers enjoy massive aerobic capacity, so the risk of respiratory damage to x-country mega-stars like Therese Johaug and Johannes Haesflot Klaebo is simply not worth taking, the Scandi pros have decided.

Their absence has left the competition wide open to athletes from countries like the UK, which don’t normally stand much of a chance against the all-conquering Nordic nations (and Russia). In the last event before the self-imposed travel ban was imposed (Ruka, 27-29 November), for example, Norway’s men took 12 of 16 possible medals. The remaining four went to Russia.

Medal success for Team GB Snowsports

As a result, Team GB Snowsport’s Andrew Young has stepped up to the plate and currently sits in fourth place overall and for sprint in the FIS rankings. His team mate Andrew Musgrave is third in the distance rankings.

Young took sprint silver on the Dresden city centre course last weekend – the best ever World Cup result for a British cross-country skier. He won bronze in Davos seven days earlier.

Brilliant results for Team GB Snowsports, who are encouraging young skiers to get in touch if they’d like to join the crew, with an eye on the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Milan.

The current absence of two of the world’s top three cross-country skiing teams in international competition is doing wonders for the profile of the sport in places like the US whose athletes are also podium-ing. If you can’t do it – watch it.

Where to watch it

We are big fans of Nordic skiing here at WhoSki.com, and thoroughly recommend checking out the races you can find on YouTube, Eurosport and the FIS site even if it’s not possible right now to get out on the mountain.

Ski resort safety this winter

Face masks, table service and hand sanitiser are the means that French resorts are employing to help keep skiers and boarders safe this season.

Wearing a face mask whilst on and queuing for ski lifts, in public indoor spaces and on ski buses will be compulsory for everyone aged 11 and over. Meanwhile, it’s bye-bye buffet as bars and restaurants will have tables spaced 1m apart, with table service only.

“In some public spaces, capacity may be reduced,” the guidelines say.

Rules have been devised by France Montagnes, the association bringing together the major players in the French mountain tourism industry.

Have you signed the Ski Train petition yet?

More than 10k people have signed the petition to Save the Ski Train – which Eurostar has cancelled for winter season 2020/21. And there’s still time to add your name to the list.

The Ski Train, which has been running between London and the Alps since 1997, is hugely popular with UK-based skiers. For the last two years, tickets for travel during for the peak February half term week have sold out within five hours of going on sale.

‘Take the train to the slopes’ website Snowcarbon – whose founder Daniel Elkan took part in our #SkiGreen webinar recently – has long championed Eurostar for its convenience and eco credentials.

24k travellers opt for Ski Train over flying, driving

Some 24,000 travellers a year choose to take Eurostar’s Friday overnight and Saturday daytime services. For ski season 2020/21, the Ski Train was likely to have been the option of choice for even more skiers wanting to avoid airports and busy roads.

That’s why it seems a bonkers time to cancel the Ski Train – and why Snowcarbon launched its Save the Ski Train petition.

So why has Eurostar decided to bin the train to the Alps for the coming season? There has been speculation in the French press that the operating company was hoping to convince the Government to offer subsidies as it has done for other coronavirus-affected businesses / sectors.

Eurostar itself says that it is focusing on high-demand routes between major cities, and would find it challenging to maintain correct hygiene measures on longer distance routes.

Cancelling the Ski Train has led to an avalanche of complaints from ski resorts and operators, already facing a likely drop in visitors for the coming season.

#SkiGreen to cut your carbon footprint

The way you choose to travel to and within your ski resort is by far the biggest contributor to your trip’s environmental footprint at some 57%, according to the Mountain Riders sustainability charity.

Swapping plane for train saves an estimated 80% in CO2 emissions, Snowcarbon says, as well as being more relaxing and often quicker than flying.

A large part of the reason we set up WhoSki.com was to help reduce the eco footprint of wintersports – so the Save the Ski Train campaign is one we 100% support. If you do one thing today: sign the petition.

Stock up on half term ski kit

Dusting down your bags of ski clothing ready for the annual half term trip to the slopes? That’s what’s happening in my household, at least. Today was my day for working out what still fits whom, what can be sold on (via WhoSki.com, of course!) and what new kit is required.

It’s now I remember that my daughter’s snowboots were a bit tight last year – and she’s also grown out of those salopettes she’s been wearing for the last two seasons. Sigh. Meanwhile, my son got a full outfit upgrade at the Ski Show (will he EVER stop growing?) as a thanks for helping out at the WhoSki.com chalet, so his #GoodAsNew jacket and ski pants combo is ready to sell on to another ski-keen teen.

Fixed-price instant sales mean there’s still time to sell

If you’re also having a ski kit clear-out, remember that there’s still time to get it sold before you head off next weekend. Our sales are fixed-price so you don’t have to wait for an auction to come to an end, and we are currently (launch offer) giving 100% of our commission (we charge 20% on every sale) to our teen mental health charity partner stem4.

Clear out your wardrobe, prevent still useable ski clothing from going to landfill AND do some good : what are you waiting for?

Remember too, when you return that you can save putting away the stuff you won’t be using again (maybe it’s too small or you’ve bought new kit in resort) by posting it for sale on WhoSki.com. Simply register, upload pics and details and click SELL.

You’ll be helping people who ski later in the season (universities often ski at Easter, for example) as well as the environment. Did you know that around 75% of clothing donated to charity shops fails to find a home?

Be a sustainable student skier

Your uni ski trip is coming up, and you’ve got a small budget and a large social conscience.
Take the easy route to skiing greener, keeping costs down and assuaging your eco guilt: buy your ski essentials SECONDHAND.
Here’s why it’s good for you AND good for the environment.

Keep wintersports clothing out of landfill

Fashion is the second most polluting industry IN THE WORLD (after oil), using vast amounts of water and raw materials to create – let’s face it – far more clothes than we will ever need. Most of them never sell. Many end up in landfill or incineration: a sustainability disaster.
Ski clothing, made of mixed materials (many non-biodegradable) and specialist coatings, is built to last. Yet many skiers and snowboarders wear pants and jacket for a single trip – perhaps they found skiing wasn’t for them, got injured or can’t afford another trip.
Others want a new look for every vacation. And some even buy multiple outfits to wear throughout the ONE week they are away. Yes, really: Instagram, you know? Themed dressing up days, you know?

Make money – do good!

Their waste is your gain – which is where WhoSki.com comes in. We are the dedicated peer-to-peer marketplace that ONLY sells wintersports wear. Focused market means better choice and easier to buy. And we give 10% of our commission on EVERY SALE to teen mental health charity stem4 – so you’re doing good at the same time.
Sustainable fashionistas say that we should all wear every item we own 30 TIMES in order to neutralize its carbon footprint. Tough when you only ski for six days a year – and are sick of the sight of that ski jacket you’ve worn every trip since you were 16.
But remember! A jacket that’s old to you will be new to someone else. So:

  • #PassItOn via WhoSki.com
  • Help keep textiles out of landfill, out of incineration and in circulation
  • Make Livia Firth happy – and cheer up Greta Thunberg too ?
  • Save yourself money (and boost your Folie Douce budget)

And once you’re back from the slopes, save space in your wardrobe and join the circular economy by putting your no longer needed ski and snowboard clothing up for sale – it will help other skiers AND mean you’re schlepping home with less stuff come the end of term.

We love skiing in… Les Menuires

Yes. Les Menuires. That little place you kind of have to ski towards then bypass in order to make it from Courchevel or Meribel up to Val Thorens. It’s easy to overlook, but if you’re looking for a fair priced, low-key ski resort in the Three Valleys, Les Menuires ticks a lot of boxes.

Savvy skiers know, however, that little Les Menuires is higher than Meribel (1850 vs 1750), has more pistes, more lifts and is just one chairlift away from Val Thorens. Even better, you can ski all the way back to the bottom of the Les Menuires valley from a day out in Val without having to take a single lift, except for a hop back up to resort at the very end.


Supermarket and specialist shops in the town centre and more in the hamlet of Reberty.


Largely self-catering apartments. Try the Hameau de la Sapiniere (Erna Low), which is just above the main centre so ski in, ski out, but just a short walk from supermarkets. Bus up from resort centre stops right outside, there’s covered and underground car parking that can be pre-booked, and a ski hire shop literally on the doorstop. Fresh bread can be ordered and collected from reception daily. Hameau self-catered apartments each have their own private ski locker right by the front door.


Les Menuires is a small, low-key resort, not over-endowed with eating spots or après-ski, so best-suited for chalet bunnies and families rather than disco kids. Lunchtime eating and coffee shops mean you’ve got midday options, however.

We say:

If you want to ski across all 3 Valleys, Les Menuires is a brilliant location to stay. The only area not so quick to get to is the far side of Courchevel. But for skiing Val Thorens, Les Men is a brilliant lower-cost resort to base yourself in. It’s unpretentious and super well-connected. Good too for walkers with plenty of trails if you want to Nordic ski or just take a stroll.

Because it’s largely self-catering, busiest night for eating out is Friday as many skiers head home first thing Sat and don’t want to cook, so make sure you book your restaurant early in the week to guarantee a table.

More info:

Check out the official Les Menuires resort website: Friendly Menuires

Who and what is WhoSki.com ?

Hi! We are Sally and Nicola: WhoSki.com foundersWe LOVE skiing. We love looking good on the slopes.

But we don’t like spending a fortune on ski gear. And we absolutely HATE to see perfectly good ski kit go to landfill.

Sally: Why do I love skiing? It’s freedom, family time and the time of year when I can fill my boots with cheese fondue and hot chocolate and STILL feel healthy. That’s why skiing is my kind of holiday!

As for WhoSki.com: why is it so expensive to get stylish ski wear online – especially for children? You buy ski clothing for the kids that fits and clearly has a bit of growing room, but within MONTHS they shoot up, lanky legs, gangling arms, and boom! You’re left with one barely worn, almost new ski suit that no longer fits.

And ski stuff? Well, the industry’s recycling credentials are poor so we want to grow the world of #PassItOn: reuse, recycle and reduce the impact this fabulous sport has on our planet.

Nicola: As the mum of teens who have both been on skiing holidays every year since babyhood, I have accumulated and passed on shedloads – literally – of preloved but outgrown ski gear. But the number of ski families in my immediate circle is limited, so there’s not always a ready secondhand market for my kids’ high quality, good as new snow gear.

(I must admit I’ve also got a bit of a weak spot for a new ski jacket and love to upgrade probably more often than I should…)

WhoSki founders Sally and Nicola

Life’s too short not to look good on the slopes: buying and selling via WhoSki.com makes a piste fashion refresh affordable AND sustainable.   

  •         RECYCLE your secondhand ski clothing
  •         REFRESH your piste style every year
  •         MAKE money
  •         SAVE the planet
  •         CLEAR OUT your clutter
  •         LOOK good on the slopes for less

How it works: we’re an online community of people who ski, who want to pass on ski kit that still has more to give, who want to pick up a great deal on good quality, pre-loved or end of line ski gear.

  • Got a cupboard full of children’s ski clothing that no longer fits? List it on WhoSki.com.
  • Fancy a new ski jacket but can’t justify paying full price? Search on WhoSki.com.
  • Looking for ski gear for your first ski trip? Buy it on WhoSki.com
  • Fancy an affordable ski wardrobe make-over? Style up with WhoSki.com.