Packing for a holiday leaves most of us in a state of perilous quandary at the eleventh hour as the manic rush to squeeze in forgotten essentials begins in earnest. When packing for a ski holiday, however, the intensity levels are ratcheted up from 10 to 11 – in the words of Nigel from Spinal Tap. The suitcase is virtually halved in size once the ski wear and evening outfits have both been accounted for; not to mention the hair dryer, iPod adapters and a helmet. So, here is a run down of the five easily forgotten, yet simply essential, suitcase certainties for first time skiers.
1) Hip flask
After the first few daunting lessons on the nursery slope you will soon find yourself following your instructor to the foot of that nerve-wrangling chair lift to the top of the mountain. Once at the top, with knees knocking and hands shaking, your courage may need a little boost from that of the dutch variety. As well as warming you up amidst the bitingly cold air, a drop from your handy hip flask goes great with a hot chocolate in a mountain hut.
2) Deck of cards
Old fashioned and ridiculously outdated when compared to Apple’s stable of inventions, the humble deck of cards can transform an ordinary night into a memorable one, and a quiet evening into one which ends in the club down the road. As not every chalet in the Alps is equipped with a flat-screen plasma, the chance to unwind over a game or two of Rummy has been a firm favourite with previous guests.
The art of evoking sympathy from those around you, whether you have been struck down by illness or another skier on the slopes, is highly sacrosanct and easily aided by a Walkie-Talkie. Whilst you lay in the bed of your chalet bedroom, you can ask your Chalet Host to bring you up some much needed lemon drizzle cake or vanilla ice cream via the other handset which was conveniently placed in the kitchen. Once you’ve recovered, they’re a great way of keeping in touch on the mountain!
Your chalet host may be more willing to help with number 3 if you have snuck in a timely taste of home for the week. Also, due to many British food items not being readily available in resort, gems such as marmite and Colman’s mustard can help settle even the most ardent anglophile into a European ski resort. Whilst Esprit Chalet staff do their utmost to cater for all dietary and nutritional needs, there are some things which simply just taste that little bit sweeter having come from home.
It appears to have become part of Esprit folklore now – and this applies to parents as well as children – but a holiday in the mountains is seemingly not complete without an evening spent lounging around and enjoying the chalet hospitality in a onesie of some kind. After all, a chalet getaway is centred around the idea of being able to relax in a comfortable home from home environment. They can also be recycled from casual evening wear into a stylish ski outfit for the following day! N.B: Tiger and crocodile onesies are actively encouraged.