The Essential Ski Travel Packing Checklist

There is nothing worse than heading off on your beyond ordinary ski holiday to realise you have left something important behind. So we have made things simple with our essential ski travel packing checklist.

See the list below for all things you MUST take to help you have an enjoyable and hassle free holiday.

1. Travel Documents

Make sure you have an up to date and valid passport. For travel to common ski destinations including Japan, USA and Canada your passport must be valid for the period of intended stay. If you are travelling to other countries, it may need to be valid for at least 6 months beyond intended stay.

Check you have the correct travel visas to transit through and enter your travel destinations. Some countries don’t require you to have a visa depending on where you are travelling from.



  • If travelling to or via Canada, have you completed your eTA online? eTA Canada. This needs to be done at least 72 hours prior to departureIt is recommended to download the ArriveCAN app to complete your Advance Declaration up to 72 hours prior to arriving at the border. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) advise that this will save time at certain Canadian International Airports, including Vancouver. Link to download or for further information: ArriveCAN.


  • If travelling to Japan, NZ and AU passport holders are exempt for a visa. It is recommended to register all travellers immigration and customs information on Visit Japan Web at least 1 day prior to departure.


  • All New Zealand airports can now process passengers with a digital New Zealand Traveller Declaration.
  • All passengers, including children and infants must have their own NZTD.
  • Paper arrival cards are still available and accepted for passengers who prefer this method.

Travel Insurance
It is essential to take out a good travel insurance policy prior to your departure. We recommend and sell Comprehensive Travel Insurance. You can purchase online or talk to us for a quote. If you have a different policy, we recommend you check the inclusions/exclusions carefully.

Airline E-ticket | Itinerary | Vouchers
Read over and check all details before departure. Ensure everything from dates, passenger names and requested accommodation are correct.

Drivers Licence
If you have planned to rent a vehicle don’t forget to take your driver licence with you. Note that some regions require an international licence.

Medical Documents
A doctor’s note is required for any prescribed medicine.

Photocopies of any important documents
Keep a copy of all necessary documents with you and an extra copy at home just in case.

2. Ski Equipment

If you have decided to take your own gear with you make sure you have all necessary items.

  • Skis
  • Ski Poles
  • Snowboard
  • Ski/Snowboard Boots

3. Ski/board clothing

The mountain temperatures overseas are noticeably colder than New Zealand and Australia. With Japan, USA and Canada having a very dry colder climate. Ski gear can be heavy so to save weight ensure you focus on warm clothes. There is no need to over pack as you will likely wear very similar clothes each day on the mountain (especially if there is laundry services or facilities at your accommodation). Personal helmets are also recommended as they are the most safe to have your own proper fitting, well padded protection and keep your head and face warm. Plus take a good pair of warm gloves or mittens.

Pack layers, once at resort you can layer up according to the temperature! Just don’t take big/bulky jumpers – they take up too much space in the suitcase.  – Laura, Ski Travel Expert, travel&co

Ski pants/jackets – roll up tight to squeeze out the air, flatten and put into a large ziplock bag to make room for more gear in your suitcase or skibag. Stuff undies and socks into ski boots and helmet. Claire, ski travel expert, travel&co.

4. Travel Money

Credit cards are accepted at most major establishments overseas. If you plan on taking money out of an ATM be aware you may be charged extra fees from your bank. You may want to check with your bank before departure whether your card will work at an ATM as not all cards are accepted. Debit cards are also accepted in the USA and Canada, plus you can use them with Apple Pay.
Tipping is not necessary in all countries however it is compulsory in the USA and Canada. As a general guide allow 15-20% for restaurant staff/tour guides and smaller tips for hotel staff per day/bag.

  • Foreign currency
  • Credit Card
  • Prepaid travel card
  • Debit cards
  • Apple Pay

5. Electronics

The voltage for electronic equipment changes in various countries so make sure you pack the appropriate travel adapter. Most hotels and condos will have WiFi. Remember to arrange your mobile roaming package.

The voltages for Canada and USA are 110 while Japan is 100.

  • Travel adapter plugs
  • Mobile phone/charger
  • Camera/Go Pro and charger

6. Luggage

Check directly with your airline for baggage allowances, excess baggage charges and any restrictions for carry on luggage.

  • Backpack/Day Pack
  • Ski/Snowboard Bag
  • Combination lock

Be security conscious wherever you go. Hotels will have safes for you to lock away valuables or make sure to always keep them on you. You may also want to take a padlock for your ski equipment while on the mountain as if they get stolen you won’t be able to claim this on insurance.

Use airtags to keep an eye on your luggage. Claire, ski travel expert, travel&co.

7. Extras

Here are a list of extra items that make your ski/board holiday overseas a whole lot smoother. Be sure to check these off before you leave home!

  • Sunscreen/Lip Balm
  • Going out clothes
  • Shoes that will keep your feet dry
  • Toiletries
  • Moisturizer (your hair and skin will get dry with the climate)
  • Swimsuit (lots of resorts have hot pools!)
  • First aid kit/medication
  • Altitude medication
  • Favourite snacks these must be pre-packaged & sealed. Note: Some items may be prohibited from the country you are travelling to. Check this before you go.

To book a beyond ordinary ski holiday including flights, transfers, accommodation and activities call the Active Travel Experts at travel&co NZ Toll-Free: 0800 555 035 or click here for our latest offers

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