So your ski trip for this Winter season is officially booked and you’re already day dreaming about a week of fresh powder, bright blue skies, and dancing on table tops until the sun goes down — the dream, right? Whilst you’re fantasising over mountain meals and day-time drinking it’s easy to forget even the essentials when it comes to packing, let alone those extra items that will have you the envy of your ski squad. Aside from the obvious ski gear and weather proof boots we've selected five staple items that should be at the top of your packing list. Read on for Pollen’s ski trip packing hacks, because when it comes to packing there’s coming prepared, or Pollen prepared…
First up: the humble extension cord. While you’re probably adept at remembering to bring a European adapter plug with you to the mountains (or panic-buying one at the airport) bringing an extension lead is a stroke of genius that’ll have you wondering why you ever travelled without one. Hotel rooms across the world have notoriously unhelpful plug placement and you’ll usually find yourself precariously balancing electricals or almost certainly risking injury as you secretly unplug your roomie’s charging phone to dry your hair. Bringing an extension lead with you means no more fighting over limited plug sockets, the need for only one adapter, and a moveable plug — perfect for when you’re too hungover to move from bed but desperately need to rewatch your stories from yesterdays après session.
Speaking of après brings us to packing hack number two: a hip flask. Seasoned après professionals know that due to a monopoly on the market — aka being the only alcohol retailers crazy enough to position themselves halfway up a mountain — après bar drinks prices can be extortionate. Having already forked out for equipment hire, a lift pass, and perhaps some tuition, you might find your pockets feeling pretty empty by the time you make it to après. Bringing your own hip flask is a cheaper way to enjoy those magical mountain moments without the price tag. Compact in size you’ll easily fit your hip flask inside your backpack, or if you prefer a hands free ski, you can pop it in your inside coat pocket for safe keeping whilst you’re tackling those blacks.
The morning after a day sesh at the best après bars in town you may wake up feeling a little worse for wear, but don’t worry, this is where packing hack number 3 comes into play: your favourite hangover cure. Whether you swear by Berocca, or Alka-Seltzers are what fixes you, bring a pack with you to help beat that banging headache and refresh you for another days skiing in paradise. Paired with the kind of fresh air that only exists in the mountains you’ll soon be feeling back to normal and ready to tackle another day. Remember — hangovers don’t exist in the mountains, so get yourself back outside and on the hill.
Whether you’re in ski boots or you’ve packed your brand new ones, beware of the basic blister. There’s nothing worse than limping around feeling sorry for yourself with your ankles rubbed raw whilst your friends are all having fun and telling you to lighten up. Step in your knight in shining armour: blister plasters. There’s plenty of branded and unbranded options on the market, but make sure you choose the sports version as they often come with extra cushioning which will help protect your feet whilst you’re skiing. Normal plasters can help, but blister plasters feel like they’ve been sent by the Gods when you’re struggling to ease that pain. Pack them and relish in being pain free for the whole week — and if by chance you don’t need one but your friend does, it’s only fair to be re-paid in pints, right?
You might be headed for snow rather than sea, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find use for Pollen’s fifth and final packing hack: a swimsuit. Most mountain hotels have a pool or spa facilities. After a few days back on the slopes using muscles you didn’t know you had, you’ll definitely want to make use of the spa to ease those aches and pains. Finding a swimsuit or a pair of trunks in a ski resort isn’t easy — for some reason the shops stock beanies over bikinis — so you’ll need to bring your own if you want to relax and recuperate in the sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, or pool. If you’re taking a trip to the spa, bear in mind that in much of Europe, steam rooms and saunas have a nudity policy as swimwear is deemed unhygienic in high temperatures. If baring all isn’t your thing you can poolside pose or jump in the jacuzzi — just steer clear of the sauna!