The 10 things to pack for your winter holidays

Blog French Alps November 2019

Autumn slips away, the air grows crisp, the first snowflakes fall. What does the future hold? Well, even though we can’t see what lies around the corner, we’re pretty sure it involves winter holidays.

The 2022-2023 season begins in a couple of weeks and we hope that whatever road you’re traveling, it leads you to some mountainous landscape.

As we know, packing for a skiing holiday in the French Alps can be a nightmare. If you are also the kind of person who packs 2 hours before leaving and unpacks 3 weeks after returning home, we’ve got some good news and some bad news.

Here’s the bad news: we don’t have any tip for you to unpack quicker. But the good new is, we have this great list of what-to-pack for your winter holidays which should make it much smoother.

1. A Merino Neck Gaiter

Also called a “buff”, a neck gaiter can be easily slipped on and off over your head. Or pulled over your mouth and nose if you’re chilled to the bone. It totally wins the warmth battle against scarves. Besides, merino wool is a powerhouse natural fibre, exceptionally warm and super soft on the skin.

Black merino neck gaiter from Mammut

Our recommendation: Merino Neck Gaiter by Mammut

2. A Thermo Flask

SIGG Thermo Flasks are great: BPA-free, Swiss design, totally leakproof and they keep your drink 12 hours hot and 18 hours cold. And yes, we have a bias towards Swiss products. This will certainly save your winter holidays by keeping your coffee warm all the way from your Alpe d'Huez accommodation to the slopes!

3. A Good Winter Coat

Choose your coat wisely. A couple of things to look out for in a good coat for your winter holidays: longer than hip length, water resistant, has a hood with adjustable drawstring, windproof, designed for cold temperatures below freezing and down filled (or down-alternative filled).

4. Warm Mid-Layers Tops

Underneath your coat, you will want some warm mid-layers to avoid catching a cold during your winter holidays. They will be under your coat but over top of your base layers.

The key to keeping warm in winter is the layer system which is designed to trap in the warm air generated by your body to keep you warm. Any kind of wool will be your best ally: it is good at wicking moisture and retaining heat, even if you get wet. Avoid cotton which is more of a summer fabric. It doesn’t hold as much heat and won’t wick moisture away from the body.

Polyester products can be a good alternative to wool, although not quite as warm.

5. A Pair of Boots

Have you heard of the one-pair-of-shoes rule? We’ve twisted it a bit and suggest you follow our one-pair-of-boots rule instead. In other words, pack boots, not shoes. Boots are great: they keep your feet warm and dry better than sneakers or flats. They match virtually everything. And you can walk for hours in them, even from your Chamonix accommodation to the lifts or the slopes. Warmth, fashion and comfort checks.

6. Warm and Lightweight Socks

Boots alone won’t keep your feet warm, so pack pairs of lightweight socks that won’t take up too much space in your luggage.

Blue and black socks from Smartwool

Our recommendation: Smartwool socks (available on Zalando)

7. Windproof Hats and Gloves

Stay warm, look cool. Accessorise with hats and gloves. Preferably windproof.

8. Sunscreen

Don’t underestimate the strength of winter holidays sun.

As for recommendations, we leave the experts speak: The Best Sunscreens of 2018, According to Dermatologists.

9. A Chapstick

Don’t forget your chapstick, otherwise your lips will never forgive you.

Apricoderm stick by Phytopharma

Our recommendation: Phytopharma Apricoderm stick

10. Your swimwear

Last but not least, you will regret not to have packed swimwear if you realize there’s a sauna, a hot tub or an indoor swimming pool in your Les Gets accommodation. Plus it doesn’t really take that much space, does it?

Voilà, dear readers.

With these 10 things, you should be (literally) covered to make the best out of your winter holidays in any of our destinations:

Bonnes vacances!

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