Moving overseas on a winter working holiday in Japan, Canada or the US can be a stressful endeavor. One of the things that can add to the stress is not knowing where to start with packing for your gap year! Of course, everyone is different and will need different things with them when they travel. With that in mind we have put together a comprehensive list the staples you will need on your winter working holiday!


What to Wear on the Mountain

Heading to a world class ski resort for winter means you are hopefully out on the slope’s multiple times throughout the season! It pays to have some good outerwear to keep you warm and dry in the snow. However, jackets, pants, gloves and goggles do take up a lot of room in your bag so if it’s a few seasons old you could consider buying the gear when you are on your working holiday. If you think it still has a few seasons in it and you haven’t saved as much as you thought you might, it’s probably worth holding onto!


What to Wear When you’re not on the Mountain

Yes, you are going to a world class ski resort to ski or snowboard, but you must remember that there are also times that the ski field won’t be operating. Ergo there will be times where you won’t be wearing your outerwear. You will want to bring a few pieces of clothing to lounge about in after work or after you return from the hill. You will also want to bring some clothes that you can go out in! Something to keep you warm that you don’t mind getting… messy… is crucial! Aside from going out you will also want to bring a lot of base layers, underwear and socks. Laundry on your working holiday isn’t always going to be as available as it is at home, so it pays to have backups.


What to take to keep safe

It should go without saying that you should always be prepared for the worst-case scenario, especially when in or around the wintery wilderness. For that reason, it’s important that, if you have it, you take your safety gear with you. Helmets for everyone! And avalanche survival gear if you can handle yourself. Don’t worry if you don’t think you can fit it in, safety gear for sale is plentiful around the winter season.



To go snowboarding or skiing you will need snow sport hardware. Boots, skis/snowboard, poles etc. – all these things can be pretty heavy and take up the most space in your luggage of anything you might take. If you are attached to your gear, then by all means take it with you. You must understand though that the range of gear available is incredible and probably more reasonably priced compared to back home! You should certainly ask yourself the question “have I gotten everything out of what I own?” before you start packing it all up for your winter working holiday.



Of course, there are a bunch of regular things you need to survive that are regularly lost! Think oral hygiene, regular hygiene, first aid and other goodies that you are likely to forget until you are halfway over the Pacific. Fortunately, its all stuff you can buy when you get there! Other miscellaneous things that are super important are cameras, laptops and mobile phones. But none of those things are all that useful without a charger and adapter so be sure to pack everything.



There are a couple key items that you will need to take with you and that your Working Holiday Coordinator will walk you through before you leave.  Let’s run through them quickly – passport, drivers license, insurance policy, visa documents, any clothing your employer has requested, currency. Check them all? Perfect looks like you are ready to go.



There are obviously a few things that we have suggested you can buy once you get to your winter working holiday destination. But be mindful of the inflation in a resort town. If you are buying up large, do it in a city center rather than when you get to a place that will cost you $28 for a cheeseburger.


Now that you are all packed and ready to go its time to realize that you have missed a few steps! First things first you need to jump on one of our awesome winter 2019/2020 programs by hitting the sign-up button on your country of choice below. After that we will get the ball rolling on your awesome winter adventure!