Taking the kids on holiday to a cold climate is a whole different ball game to packing for the summer holidays and can take some careful planning, especially when it comes to suitcase weight limits.
The key to keeping warm in arctic temperatures is to layer up, but getting those layers right is key.
What to pack for a skiing holiday with the kids
Good quality ski clothes:
Either a ski suit, or jacket and salopettes, with braces for kids, to prevent snow getting where it shouldn’t. Decent ski gear keeps you warm and dry, and gives you flexibility depending on the weather.
Personally I prefer individual jackets and salopettes as the jacket can be worn at home too during the winter months. This ski jacket from Reima comes with sealed seams and the technical material is water and dirt repellent and breathable.
In Europe, wearing a Ski Helmet is often compulsory for children, as it helps to prevent serious head injuries which can be caused by collisions or an impact with the snow, often happening at high speed. Make sure you check with the resort before you travel.
Thermal Base Layer:
A thermal base layer is your first line of defence against the cold. Base layers are designed to regulate your body temperature and should be close fitting to trap a thin layer of warm air against your skin and from experience, a merino wool base layer offers unbeatable warmth and will also ‘wick’ away perspiration from the skin to keep you dry.
If you get the base layer right you are much more likely to stay warm in sub zero temperatures and it is wise not to opt for cheap and cheerful.
On top of your base layer, an effective mid layer will provide great insulation by working hand in hand with your base layer to trap air between layers, resulting in enhanced warmth and comfort.
Microfleece is an ideal mid layer for kids, as it is lightweight and highly breathable. Warmth without weight is important, not only for packing restrictions but also during active use, as fleece is ideal for keeping them warm without restricting their movement.
Avoid jeans as these can be very uncomfortable under the snow suits. Warm, fleece tracksuit bottoms are ideal, although for Eliza jersey leggings did the trick perfectly.
To wear over regular socks to ensure your feet stay toastie and warm
Waterproof gloves or mittens will ensure your hands are kept warm when throwing snowballs, building a snowman as well as hurtling down the slopes.
A neck gaiter is a neck warmer that can be pulled up over the lower face to help keep you cosy and warm when venturing out in the cold.
Walking boots or similar with a decent grip for travel. For the kids we invested in some BOGS° insulated waterproof boots which did the job of keeping them warm and dry perfectly.
Our handwarmers were a godsend in Scotland last year after playing in the snow and are perfect for warming little fingers if they get cold.
The wind can chap your face and lips, it is a good idea to use lip balm and moisturiser before you go out, but avoid ones with a water base as this can freeze.
A good supply of high energy snacks or biscuits and treats to keep the kids going.
The trick with a skiing holiday is not to pack too many changes of clothes. It is not a fashion show and resorts don’t expect you to dress up for dinner – warmth and comfort is paramount!
Have you been skiing with the kids, is there anything I have missed?