Some links in this post contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you use the links at no extra cost to you.
If you’re going on a ski trip and you have decided not to ski or snowboard whilst you are there but you’re not sure what to buy and pack as a non-skier on a skiing trip, I am going to help you out in this post!
I recently went to St Anton in Austria on a ski trip. I did plan on skiing so I got pretty much everything that I needed to ski (that couldn’t be rented there) however I quickly decided skiing wasn’t for me. I, of course, worried about a few things at this point, what I would do in a ski town whilst everyone else was skiing and what was the point in getting all of the ski stuff that I got as surely I wouldn’t need it now as a non-skier?
However, as it turns out, I still had a great time in St Anton as a non-skier, I still wore all of my ski stuff because ski wear is so warm and appropriate in this snowy environment, even for a non-skier and I was so glad that I had all of the ski items that I did, and there are lots of things to do for non-skiers even in ski towns!
I have also aimed this list at European Ski trips as the weather is not as extreme as it is in places like Canada and Japan. I imagine that you may need more layers or more appropriate attire if you were visiting a ski town outside of Europe but not skiing there!
What to Pack for a Ski Trip as a Non-Skier!
WINTER TRAVEL INSURANCE
First up, do you have travel insurance for your trip yet? Remember, even if you live in the UK & Europe and you’re going on a European trip outside of your country, you still need insurance especially for Winter sports like Skiing!! I am covered by World Nomad’s who I recommend, they offer great customer service, a range of policies and were designed by travellers for travellers!
Get a free quote from them here while you think about it:
You’ll want to be connected on your trip! Here are the Best Prepaid European Sim Cards that work all over Europe, which you can buy online and get delivered ready for your trip. I recommend the Orange Bestseller as it offers 20GB of data plus 120 minutes for $49.90!
If your phone is locked and you cannot put another sim card in it, you’ll need to get a portable wifi device for Europe, which you can get delivered to your home free of charge 2-3 days before you leave!
Ski Clothes for a Non-Skier
This is a must, even for a non-skier! Having never owned or even worn a ski jacket before I couldn’t believe how light they are! I went for the Dare2b White Cultivated Luxe Ski Jacket which was very luxe indeed with lots of pockets, a headphones port, inner cuffs to keep the breeze out and it was a really nice fit!
Do non-skiers need Salopette’s if they aren’t going to be up a mountain? Yes! Even if you aren’t skiing you will probably end up a mountain at some point, whether that’s by going up in a gondola to see the awesome views or at an Apres Ski Bar. I found my Attract II Ski Pants so comfy, in fact, I would wear them all the time at home if I could. The only thing I would note about the Dare2b salopettes is that they come up quite small. I had to go for a size 14 over the 10 or 12 but this size fitted just right in the end!
Base Layers – Long Sleeved Top, Short Sleeved Top & Leggings
Even with your salopettes on and even as a non-skier, it’s worth putting leggings underneath for extra warmth, especially if you’re going from day to night where the temperature will drop. You’ll also need a top underneath your jacket, it’s best to wear a long-sleeved top unless it’s unseasonably warm.
Under this, I would recommend wearing a short-sleeved top as an extra layer in case it does get warm. Even if it doesn’t get warm when you’re outside, if you end up in a bar dancing at Apres Ski, you’ll more than likely end up in just this short-sleeved top as the bar’s get so warm!
Skiers will definitely need leggings and a long-sleeved top that are breathable as they are going to be sweating a lot. As a non-skier you may think this isn’t necessary and depending on what activities you’ll be doing it may not be but if you think you may even get a bit warm, regular cotton isn’t going to cut it and will become damp and cold if it gets sweaty. I wore the Dare2b Zonal III Base Layer Set of Leggings and a Long Sleeved Top in Black. For my short-sleeved top, I just wore a breathable gym top.
Does a non-skier need proper ski gloves? Yes! I wore my ski gloves a few times during the day and all evening when we were walking between bars and the hotel. I also went tobogganing and there was no way I could have done it without them.
They’re definitely worth buying and you’ll probably end up getting use out of them on a cold Winters day at home too! I had the Dare2b Grapple Ski Gloves in Black which seem really tough wearing with good grip and they were so warm!
Skier’s don’t wear scarfs, they wear neck gaiters and honestly, even as a non-skier for 2 days I still opted for my Chief III Neck Gaitor in Blue or Red over the scarfs that were in my bag. Firstly because the Ski Jackets are so small, there isn’t much room to tuck the ends of a scarf in like there is in a bigger winter coat and secondly, they’re handy if you do go to a viewpoint and its cold and you need to cover your face and ears more than a scarf could.
Plus I just felt way cooler and part of the ski vibe in a neck gaiter over a scarf!
A wooley hat is a must!
Snow boots or at least hiking boots are a must when on a ski trip, even as a non-skier. They keep your feet super warm and perhaps most importantly give you the extra grip that fashion boots or trainers don’t give.
Keen footwear is a favourite of mine due to their high-quality boots and I took their Hoodoo III Lace Up boots with me to St Anton and they were perfect. They aren’t too heavy and fitted in my suitcase well, they’re insulated and durable and they saved my feet whilst dancing in the bars and tobogganing!
Ok, so even when the skiers and snowboarders are off the slopes, what do you wear? Well, ski towns are generally very relaxed. No one gets dressed up.
A lot of people will still be in their ski wear including salopettes. 1 night we did go back to the hotel to change and I put a pair of jeans on and some thermal leggings along with a jumper, however, once we were in the bar, a few beers in and dancing I was so hot so I would recommend layers again, a jumper but also a t-shirt underneath which you can wear on its own depending on what you get up to. We wore our ski boots, ski jacket, hat and gloves out too!
Moisturiser & Suncream
Finally, we’ve all seen a skier with goggle marks and sunburnt cheeks and you may have heard that the cold weather can chap lips and hand etc but it’s not just the skiers that this happens too. It happens to the non-skiers too!
I came back with really dry hands as I didn’t pack much moisturiser and I was so glad that I packed my lip balm with me at all times. I didn’t need suncream however I did take it and if you were to sit out in the sun outside a bar or restaurant then it’s likely you could still catch the sun. You may not get silly goggle marks but we need to protect our skin all the same!
This applies to skiers too but I know I was quite worried about what big and little bag I should take. If you are getting a transfer from the airport to your hotel then a suitcase is fine! In fact, most people have big suitcases as keen skiers will take their helmets too which take up a lot of room and they’ll even take their own ski’s and snowboards so it’s a given that luggage on a ski trip can be quite large and heavy!
I also took a little backpack around with me all day with some water in my camera etc in, this was, of course, fine as I wasn’t skiing but even people who are on the slopes carry a small bag with them so take one if you need to!
I hope this helps you work out what you need to buy and take on a European Ski-Trip as a non-skier!
- If you like this post, you may also like:
- What I Pack for a European Winter City Break with Hand Luggage Only!
- How to Plan, Book and Have a European City Break on a Budget!
Please note I was gifted the items mentioned in the post but I would never recommend a product and brand that I didn’t truly love!