Ski, Freeride, Freestyle, Ski touring, Snowboard, Family & kids | Oct 11, 2021

The ultimate checklist for your ski holiday

Martin Bieswanger
More about the author

Your ski holiday is just around the corner. Your anticipation is at its peak. If only there weren't so many things that still need to be done! Book, organise, pack – and be sure not to forget anything … The closer your holiday gets, the faster your mental to-do list spins in your head.

Take a deep breath – we’ve got you covered! The winter sports experts at INTERSPORT Rent know this situation very well. That's why we have created a pre-ski holiday checklist for you. On it, you'll find everything you need to think about – from the choice of ski resort to accommodation and a packing list. Step by step, we’ll guide you through the process of getting everything ready for a perfect ski holiday.

These are the questions you should ask yourself

Ski resort, getting there, accommodation, ski equipment, clothing, travel documents, and more: To make sure you think of everything, it's best to answer the following questions as you plan your holiday. Write down everything that seems important to you.


Which ski resort do I choose?

  • In which country do I want to go skiing?
    Tip: The most popular country for skiing in Europe is Austria. France scores points with the largest ski areas in the world. And Switzerland is known for skiing in high, snow-sure altitudes.
  • What are my requirements for a ski resort?
    Snow parks? Black slopes? Children's areas? Ski schools? Off-piste terrain? Guaranteed snow? Glaciers? Modern lifts? Lots of huts?
  • For families: Where are the best family-friendly ski resorts in Europe?
  • Do I prefer large, extensive ski areas or small, beginner-friendly ones?
  • What about the resort itself? Is it car-free? Are there hotels right next to the slopes? Is there a ski bus? What about the local infrastructure (shops, supermarkets, leisure facilities, restaurants, etc.)? Can I find a ski rental shop there?
    Speaking of ski rental: INTERSPORT Rent is represented in the most beautiful ski resorts in the world. Our RENTertainers are at your service in more than 800 shops, ski season after ski season.
  • In which region am I going on holiday? What excursion destinations are there? Is the region child-friendly or rather a destination for après-ski fans?
  • How do I get to the ski resort? By car, bus, train and/or plane? Is the journey easy or does it require thorough planning? Do I drive there on motorways? Are mountain passes part of the journey? Do I have to pay tolls or other fees? Do I need snow chains or a roof box for my car?
    Remember: Your choice of transport will determine what and how much you can pack.
  • How does the ski resort compare in terms of price?
    Are there any discounts on family ski passes? Is it a luxury ski resort? Do small children ski for free? Is the ski resort an insider tip with particularly attractive prices, e.g. for singles?
    Savings tip: It is often worth booking packages that include both the ski pass and accommodation.

What type of accommodation is ideal for me?

  • Self-catering flat, holiday flat or hotel?
    The choice of accommodation depends, of course, on whether you are travelling alone, as a couple, in a group or with your family.
  • What amenities do I want or need while on ski holiday?
    A wellness area with sauna? Accessible accommodation? A breakfast buffet? A family room? Child-friendly offers? Ski storage at the hotel?
  • In which location should the accommodation be?
    Right next to the slopes? In the village centre? On the mountain or in the valley?
  • What should be close by?
    Ski runs, a supermarket, the best après-ski venues, the lift station, the ski bus station, the childcare centre, first-class restaurants, etc.

What equipment do I take with me?

  • What can and do I want to take with me? What do I rent on site?
  • How much space is there in the car? Do I need a roof box for my equipment?
  • What do I have to check in as bulky luggage on a flight?
  • Can I take skis and snowboards on the train? Do I have to pay extra for them?

Tip: You can absolutely leave your equipment at home. This has two advantages: Firstly, you don't have to lug it around. And secondly, at INTERSPORT Rent, you can give the latest ski and snowboard models a try – for a whole new experience on the slopes!

What else do I need to pack?

Clothes, of course. But let’s talk about things that you might not think of at first. For example:

  • as a self-caterer or person with food intolerances and allergies: groceries
  • as a parent: everything your children need every day
  • as a motorist: papers and winter equipment (e.g. snow chains)
  • as a traveller abroad: your passport and other necessary documents
  • if you are travelling from the EU to another country or vice versa: cash in the currency of the destination country
  • as an uncompromising tourist and if your mobile phone camera isn’t enough: camera

Note: The complete packing list for your ski holiday, including details on individual items, can be found below.

Don’t forget to bring your ID with you! You not only need your identity card or passport for travel. It can also be handy at the ski ticket office when it comes to receiving an age-related discount.

What else would I like to know about equipment?

Have you always wanted to know how to adjust your snowboard bindings? Or are you wondering how you can wax your skis yourself? Do you want to find out which carving ski is the right one for you? Or whether snowboarding or skiing is the better choice for your child? Then the RENTertainer blog is just the place for you. Browse through our articles and learn more about anything relating to winter sports! 

Never rented skis before? You can find out everything you need to know in our blog post on “Ski rental for beginners”. But don't worry, at all INTERSPORT Rent shops, you can also count on great customer service and individual advice from our RENTertainers! Our winter sports experts will send you up the mountain with only the best equipment.

Booking and travelling – when is the best time?

There is no perfect time to book and travel, as it depends entirely on your plans and wishes. You can get good deals by booking early or last-minute or by taking advantage of the low season. To do this, however, you have to be flexible in terms of the dates, holiday destination or accommodation.

If you are planning a ski holiday during peak season or public holidays, we recommend you book as early as possible. Even as early as spring or summer for the coming winter season. This has several advantages:

  • You might get an early-bird discount.
  • You’ll have a greater choice of offers and accommodation options than right before your holiday begins.
  • You’ll have more time to get excited and to prepare for your trip.

Ski holidays in summer? Definitely an option! Many glacier ski resorts are open during the warmer months. Perfect for all those who can’t wait until the next winter season.

Packing list for your ski holiday

With this packing list for skiing and snowboarding, we want to help you with your winter holiday preparations. You probably won't need everything on the list, and there are certainly things you would like to have with you that are not mentioned below. But here are the most important items:


  • skis or snowboard
  • ski poles
  • ski boots or snowboard boots
  • helmet
  • ski goggles
  • ski gloves
  • hat and scarf, bandana or balaclava
  • perhaps a back protector
  • maybe a backpack

Other winter sports equipment
(as needed)

  • ice skates
  • sledge or toboggan
  • snowshoes
  • cross-country skiing equipment
  • ski touring equipment
  • crampons

Of course, you can rent all your winter sports gear at INTERSPORT Rent – in the best ski resorts worldwide and at a great value-for-money ratio. No space problems when packing. No tedious lugging around of your equipment. Only the latest and best gear for unforgettable moments in the snow!

(in addition to everyday clothes and depending on the length of your stay & options to do laundry)

  • ski or snowboard trousers and jacket or ski suit
  • ski or snowboard socks
  • ski underwear
  • additional winter jacket
  • scarf, hat and gloves for off-piste use
  • sturdy, waterproof winter boots
  • pyjamas
  • slippers for the hotel
  • swimwear for possible visits to the spa or wellness facilities
  • extra sets of clothes for children

What you also need on a ski holiday

  • sunglasses
  • chargers for your mobile phone, camera etc.
  • perhaps a power bank
  • travel documents (printed or digital)
  • other documents, e.g. insurance documents
  • cash

For children

  • toys
  • baby food
  • baby’s dummy/pacifier
  • feeding bottles
  • etc.

For the bathroom
(in addition to the basics such as toothbrush, shower gel, shampoo etc.)

  • blister plasters, e.g. after winter hikes
  • sunscreen and lip balm with UV protection
  • first-aid kit for your backpack
  • first-aid kit for on the road
  • medications and toiletries, e.g. travel sickness pills, contact lenses, etc.
  • umbrella
  • water bottles

For the car

  • spare key (keep separate from the master key)
  • vehicle documents
  • toll sticker for the respective countries
  • ice scraper and broom
  • snow chains
  • navigation system and/or map

In case of emergency

Whether you're on the slopes or off them, no matter which country you're in for skiing: In case of an emergency, it's best to dial the international emergency number 112. In addition, you should always have the emergency numbers of your bank (debit and credit card) and the phone number of your insurance company at hand – in case of theft.

Mountain and alpine rescue by country

  • Austria: 140
  • Switzerland: 1414 or 144
  • France: 15
  • Italy: 118
  • Germany: 140

National weather services

ADDITION: Covid-19 checklist for ski holidays


(may vary depending on the country, regulations and situation at the time of travel)

  • FFP2 masks, mouth-nose protection or bandana
  • certificate of vaccination or “green passport”
  • sufficient self-tests with QR code
  • disinfectant

We recommend: Inform yourself about the current rules and regulations in your chosen holiday region as well as the safety concept in place at the ski resort right before your stay.


Other countries, other customs. If you are travelling abroad for skiing, you also need to think about the local customs, rules and regulations. For example, find out about:

  • compulsory wearing of a helmet on the slopes
  • speed and alcohol limits for motorists
  • language (In Switzerland, there is a different official language depending on the region. Perhaps not all people speak English).
  • other cultural particularities and customs

Would you like to hear some insider tips about the region you’re visiting? You can get them from our RENTertainers at the INTERSPORT Rent shops at your holiday destination!

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