It is fair to say that summer is officially over – the leaves are turning and snowy alpine pictures are starting to appear all of the internet as the world gets ready for winter.
If you are booked onto a residential ski instructor course you are probably starting to get really excited as you gather the kit you’ll need and try to figure out how you are going to fit it all into the one suitcase and ski bag. To help you we have gathered together some advice on what to bring and what not to bring in this guide to what to pack for your gap course.
Ski resorts are casual and they are cold so make sure you bring winter clothes and leave your smart wool coat at home. Even on a night out jeans and a casual shirt / top is as smart as you will see most people dressed but while the streets are frozen the pubs are like a sauna so you will want lots of layers. These layers will also be handy if your course runs into the spring weather in March when the sun comes out it can get surprisingly warm.
Bring comfy clothes for hanging out in your chalet after training and since you cannot wear your shoes inside slippers are a real bonus.
You will have the chance to do fitness sessions as part of your course so pack an outfit for this – it also acts as another comfy around the chalet option to so a bonus.
Most resorts also have spa facilities so if you think you might want a trip to the pool pack swimming stuff and don’t forget to pack a towel.
Remember again the casual and cold rule of thumb when thinking about your fancy footwear. Snow boots are a great shout Sorel’s or Timberland’s are really popular or some sturdy trainers are a good idea. Do not bring high heals – trust us on that one. It might be worth taking some lighter trainers or even flip flops if your course runs into late March for the warmer spring weather.
Remember you can do washing while you are in resort so do not try and bring enough to last you for three full months.
You will need to bring all of your own ski equipment – skis, boots, polls, helmet, goggles and gloves. We provide you with your avalanche safety kit but remember you will need a rucksack to keep this in – be sure to get one that has a waist strap as this is more comfortable when skiing and much safer.
We will give you a ski jacket for training but you will warm layers to wear under this – we strongly recommend looking into a puffer or down jacket. You will also need salopettes, thermals and ski socks. Again having layers is a great idea as that way you can make sure to be warm enough on wild days and that you don’t melt with the snow when the spring comes.
Merino wool is a godsend when it comes to warmth, breathability and smelling nice so if you can get your hands on anything made from this you will be winning.
Make sure to look out for our deals and offers when buying kit for your course. If you are buying new ski boots be sure to get this fitted – buying online can save you some pennys but if the boot does not fit you properly then this will cause you much bigger problems down the line.
Toiletries and Medicine
If you need any particular medicine then be sure to bring this with you. There are pharmacies and medical centres in resort, however it’s best to bring any prescription medication with you to last you the full course. It’s also worth bringing some over-the-counter medication (such as pain killers and cold and flu treatments) with you as these can be expensive in resort.
Again ski resorts are causal places and if you’re having a bad hair day you can always throw on a hat but if there are any specific products you feel you can’t live without then bring them along. All the basics like shampoo, shower gel etc. can be bought in resort so don’t waste all of your luggage space on a three month supply.
Other bits to think about
Other things not to forget are adapter plugs and any chargers that you’ll need. Our chalets all have TV’s and wifi but you may want to bring your favourite movies on a hard-drive or books for evenings you spend relaxing at home.
For your training it’s a good idea to bring a water bottle and you will need a pad of paper and pens for the theory sessions.
While the gap courses are fully catered if you can’t live without certain food favourites then it might be worth packing a little stash of things like Marmite, Cadburys or good old PG Tips!
Don’t forget to bring the following documents with you:
- EHIC – European Health Insurance Card – these are free and cover treatment in the EU
- Insurance documents /Carre Neige / Snow Assist – if the worst happens and you find yourself being helicoptered off the mountain, you’ll get your money back.
- Your passport (valid until at least May 2017)- it’s pretty hard to get here without one!
- Bank/debit card (Visa or Mastercard) – Currency Cards – like Caxton or Travelex – can also be useful to save money on cash machine fees when withdrawing money abroad.
So there you have it – everything you need to bring on your gap course – now your only challenge it fitting this in within your luggage allowance! Good luck… and happy packing!