What Do You Need?
Once you've decided what you want to do, where you want to work, applied for and successfully landed a ski job, you would think you just had to count the days before heading off - well, you'd be wrong. Just like the Scouts say 'Be Prepared', or as my friend Duncan would say "Remember the six P's"! If you're anything like me then you'll probably find it useful to make a list of things to do and a list of things you're going to take with you.
Things to do
- Arrange a goodbye party to say goodbye to all your friends and family (any excuse for a knees up!)
- If you haven't been skiing or boarding before, take a few lessons at an indoor ski centre, this will ensure that when you hit the slopes, you at least know a few of the basics, and will get the most out of your time in resort.
- Make sure your passport is in date and will still be for your return journey.
- If you're going to work in Europe (or Switzerland) and are a European citizen, get an EHIC (European Healthcare Insurance Card) if you haven't got one already (if you do have one, check the expiry date). This is an absolute essential to avoid paying full cost for European healthcare. Be aware that some websites will charge you, but you can apply free of charge via the official site here.
- Get your hair cut. Sounds silly but you might end up in a tiny resort with no barbers or hairdressers.
- Go to the dentist for a check up. It's better to get any little problems sorted before you go. You don't want to visit a dentist in an emergency with a language barrier to complicate things!
- Make sure you've got enough of any medications (eg asthma inhaler, contraceptive pill, etc) to last you the season.
- Check how much your bank will charge you for overseas transactions and if necessary shop around for a more suitable current account.
- If possible cancel or suspend your mobile phone contract. It doesn't make sense to pay for it when you will probably get a local pay as you go phone in the country you will be staying in.
- If you own your own home and it will be unoccupied whilst you're away, speak to your insurance company, as some policies won't cover you whilst you're away. It's also advisable to get a friend or family member to check on your home every few weeks to make sure it's secure and there aren't any leaking pipes or other issues.
- Get a large sturdy bag preferably with wheels.
- If your ski job doesn't include accommodation, then you will need find accommodation in resort.
- Read our article about how to stay safe when going off piste.
What to take
- Obviously any ski or snowboard clothes and equipment you may have! If you are new to snowsports then make sure you take warm clothes, a good waterproof jacket and some waterproof footwear with good grips.
- An alarm clock.
- Anything you will find useful in your new role, ie good knives for kitchen based roles, pen and paper if you'll be attending a training course etc.
- Books and DVDs - you'll need something to do when it's snowing too heavily to hit the slopes!
- Little luxuries eg nail varnish, your favourite tea bags, aftershave, marmite, laptop/tablet.
- Adaptor plugs for any electrical items.