Ski / Travel Tips

Ski Trip Preparation: The Ultimate Checklist

Travelling to the Alps this winter and looking to begin your ski trip preparation? You’ve come to the right place!

Skiing holidays come in all shapes and sizes, and our job is to help you define what type of ski trip you are looking to get your planning underway. Whether you are travelling with family or friends, this post will ensure that you feel at ease before leaving home and leave you ready for a well-planned adventure.

Read on to discover our top pre-holiday tips…

1. Choose a destination

Who are you travelling with?

  • Family: young kids/elderly family members/ a large or small family
  • Friends
  • Beginner or advanced skiers
  • Party lovers/ fans of après-ski

What kind of holiday are you looking for?

If you are looking for a family holiday, you may consider Avoriaz 1800, La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand, Morzine, or La Rosière. Some of these resorts hold the ‘Family Plus’ label and all of them provide good quality ski lessons and childcare. They are all very dynamic resorts with lots of family-friendly events and activities on offer!

Young children learning to ski in ESF ski school
We would always recommend booking ski lessons for young skiers. They’re a great way to learn the basics, improve confidence and make friends!

Family holidays are brilliant, but they can be stressful! If your children are happy, it makes for a more stress-free and enjoyable holiday. Our range of ‘Cool for Kids‘ partner properties provide the ideal base for families with younger guests – be sure to check them out as part of your planning!

If you are travelling alone or with friends, Morzine is again an ultimate option! It is a versatile resort with access to the slopes in Avoriaz. Morzine has a range of fun venues, restaurants, and après-ski bars.

Alternative but equally great choices are Tignes, Courchevel, Méribel, Les Arcs, and Val d’Isere.

From Courchevel and Méribel, you can access Val Thorens with a 3 Vallées Ski Pass. Val Thorens is famous for its après at La Folie Douce and 360.

  • If you are a beginner skier, check out the best slopes for beginners in the French Alps. These may help you choose your destination.
  • If you are looking for resorts with a brilliant ‘après-ski’ scene, this article will help you plan your time off the slopes.

2. Find your accommodation

When looking for ski accommodation, you may have different requirements. Perhaps you are searching for a chalet with easy accessibility, somewhere child-friendly, or pet-friendly…

If you have a car with you, you may want to find somewhere more remote, further up the mountain, or closer to nature.

If you don’t plan on driving, you’ll want somewhere more central that is close to all the essentials such as the lifts, ski rental shops and amenities.

At Chalet Riparian, you can step right out onto the slopes. Although hidden in the woodland, guests can enjoy all the benefits of a well-connected, ski-in ski-out property without any neighbours!

Chalet Riparian set in snowy woodland
With all the peace and quiet, it’s easy to assume Chalet Riparian is in the middle of nowhere. In fact, it’s right next to the telecabine, and just 200m from the centre of La Clusaz!

Find the right ski chalet for you…


3. Purchase lift passes

Different resorts offer different options for ski passes. Some allow you to cross to various other resorts with just one pass. For example, the 3 Vallées grants access to Courchevel, Méribel and Val Thorens.

It is the same case for the Paradiski Pass which combines Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry, and La Plagne. La Grande Galaxie Pass includes Les Deux Alpes, Alpes d’Huez and La Grave. As mentioned above, you can also obtain a ski pass which covers both Morzine and Avoriaz.

Most resorts offer 6-day passes which are perfect for a week-long stay. Usually, this option is discounted, however, you can of course get passes for shorter or longer periods of time too.

Half-day passes are also a good option if you’re looking for a slow morning and a gradual start to the day! The other benefit of this is you aren’t locked into a commitment if you are a first-time skier. Prices tend to range from 30-70 €, and children’s passes are often cheaper than the adult options.

Buying your passes in advance is the best option to avoid the long morning queues and to get yourself straight onto the slopes. Bear in mind that Saturdays tend to be the arrival/departure days in resort. This will be the day with the longest queues for ski passes, ski hire, and traffic, but often the quietest days on the slopes. (Please note, some companies opt for Sunday changeovers.)

4. Reserve ski equipment

Skis and poles in the snow
Photo by: Bernard Hermant

In high season, hire shops tend to run out of stock very quickly, so when organising your equipment hire, make sure to book well in advance.

Different packages exist depending on the quality of the equipment you desire. These packages tend to be described as Bronze, Silver, and Platinum. Bronze will include the most basic equipment and is the perfect choice for beginners.

At Skiset, they will pay attention to your every need. If you are staying in an OVO Network property, you can obtain a discount on your and your group’s equipment. Skiset is based in almost every resort in the Alps and has a fantastic reputation for the quality of its equipment and service.

If you’re staying in Samoens, rental shops such as Sports Experiences and Xtreme Glisses allow you to store your equipment on their sites to save you from transporting it back to your accommodation.

Other posts that can support you in organising your equipment are:

5. Organise your travel documents

When packing for your trip to the Alps, do not forget to check that you have all the right travel documents!

Since leaving the EU, UK citizens now have a limit of 90 days to spend in EU countries per 180 days. Make sure that you and your group have enough days remaining for your holiday. These guidelines change regularly so please follow the instructions on the Schengen visa website.

6. Plan activities

If you are planning to organise other activities like ice skating, spa days, or paragliding, you can usually book online in advance or check out their websites and reviews.

You can find out more about extra activities in the ‘activities section of our blog page.

Don’t forget, if you are keen to stay in the comfort of your rental chalet, there are plenty of services such as private chefs, mobile massage companies and fitness instructors that can come to you! For those travelling with younger children, childcare is a key consideration. Find out more about that with our handy guide.

We hope that this selection of ultimate tips will prepare you for your ski holiday! If you want to find out more, our blog post ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Skiing Holidays covers a multitude of extra handy tips.

Check out the destination section of our blog to find more information on top resorts in the Alps. Once you’ve decided on your destination, be sure to browse our hand-picked chalets to find the right one for you!

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