School ski trip planning
Going on a school skiing trip is an absolute highlight of any child’s schooling – and a fantastic chance to learn a new sport with their mates, often whilst enjoying a cultural experience in a foreign country at the same time.
But it can be worrying for parents sending their child away on such an adventure, especially if it’s the first time they’ve been away from home for an extended period, or the first time abroad without you accompanying them.
Of course, most schools/trip providers are very proficient at organising such trips and it probably won’t be their first expedition so try not to worry too much – be advised by them and ask them any questions you may have, however small and trivial they may seem.
WHAT TO PACK for a one-week school ski trip:
Make sure everything is clearly marked, either with a sewn-on name tape or by easily legible marker pen.
Ski jacket and trousers/saloppettes or an all-in-one ski suit
Ski socks (at least 3 pairs)
Thermal underwear – tops and bottoms (ideally minimum 3 pairs as they can otherwise get quite sweaty and smelly)
2 or 3 mid layers (thin polo-necked sweaters are good)
2 or 3 micro-fleeces or hoodies (remember several thin layers are better than one or two thick ones)
Ski gloves or mittens
Balaclava or neck tube (or a scarf)
Good quality sunglasses
Own ski helmet (if child has one)
Sun cream (high factor)
Passport and EHIC insurance card (see below)
Spare normal socks
Spare t-shirts (ideally long-sleeved)
Swimming costume (if appropriate)
Snow boots/sturdy waterproof shoes with good grip
Cuddly toy (if appropriate)
Wash bag and toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, flannel, deodorant, shampoo, shower gel, hairbrush, etc)
Small rucksack/day bag for travelling
Reading book, cards, puzzle books, games, etc
& most important: A couple of big black bin liners to put all the dirty clothing in!
If your children are young or very badly organised, you could consider placing their daily clothing in labelled carrier bags to make things foolproof for them. Each day they simply need to wear the clothes for that day, then put everything into the bin liner at bedtime. However, this does rely on you having countless pairs of thermals and ski socks!
You can find some more packing tips, and information about suitable ski clothing, by clicking What to pack for first-time skiers.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Passport and EHIC insurance card (for European travellers): These should be handed into the school office several weeks ahead of the departure date. A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) enable your child to get state-provided healthcare in all EU countries and Switzerland at reduced (or sometimes free) rates. The quickest and easiest way to get one, is to apply online free of charge at www.ehic.org.uk. The card is valid for up to 5 years. It will normally arrive within seven days, if you apply using the official online process.
Money: Give your child a named purse/wallet with some pocket money – both local and foreign currency. Discuss with the teachers how much is an appropriate amount. I have been advised €50 and £10 maximum for my 9-year old for a week’s ski trip to France. (Note: the smaller the denomination of Euro the better.)
Travel sickness: Does your child need travel sickness medication? If so, give it to the group leader to administer for the journey.
Other medication: Does your child require any other medication? – place it all in a named envelope or container in the child’s main case – to be handed to the group leader on arrival at resort, unless otherwise advised. If medication is required during the journey, hand it to the group leader on departure. Note: Make sure all instructions and dosages are clearly indicated and that all medication is named.
The group leader will almost certainly have medical essentials with them – paracetamol, plasters, bandages, etc – and all accompanying staff should be trained in basic first-aid. If you have any specific concerns, contact the school before departure.
Food and drink: Does your child require a drink and a packed lunch (or snack depending on the flight time) to eat at the airport?
Does you child require a snack for the flight/transfer journey? Go easy on sweets! The mix of excitement, sweets, warm coaches and windy alpine roads can lead to sickness.
Entertainment for the flight/evenings in resort: reading book, magazines, puzzle books, playing cards, Uno, travel board games and/or electrical devices. Make sure everything’s clearly named.
Is there a swimming pool in the resort? Don’t forget a swimming costume, if so. If your child can’t swim or is not a very strong swimmer, you can always opt them out of such apres-ski activities, as long as you let the school know in good time.
Ski Equipment: children don’t need to bring their own equipment as everything will be provided and awaiting their collect at the resort on the first day. If your child has their own skis/snowboard and wishes to take them, most airlines charge an additional supplement for their carriage. (Note: this should be discussed with the school in good time, as it needs to be booked in advance.)
FOR YOUR PEACE OF MIND
Check with the school:
• For any health & safety concerns you may have.
• For details of the school insurance policy. You may wish to take out further insurance. FamilySkiNews.com have a discount with ERV for their dedicated winter sports insurance policies. Click here and remember to use the promotional code FAMILYSKI10 to get 10% off standard rates.
• For school policy for mobile phones and electronic devices (games, i-pods, etc).
• For details of the childrens’ accommodation and teachers’ contact numbers and email addresses, in case of emergencies.
Most schools do not allow mobile phones to accompany children on their trips and discourage contact with the kids whilst they’re away, in an attempt to minimise instances of homesickness. Increasingly, school teachers are sending daily blogs, tweets or Facebook posts. Be sure to find out what your school is planning to do, to keep all parents – and, trust us, you won’t be the only anxious ones – updated!
ONE FINAL TIP…
This was sent through to our Facebook page at FamilySkiNews.com:
Make sure you tape a packing list inside the bag/suitcase so the child knows what they should be packing on way home. With any luck most of it should then actually make it back, bar the odd sock or two!….
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