Checklist for Aussie Snow Lovers Heading to British Columbia

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You’ve finally pushed send on your first BC ski trip and now you’re counting the days ’till you can put down the office stapler and head to the airport with UGGs in hand. We’ve got you covered with everything you’ll need to consider, pack, or prepare for, so tick off the list and thank us later.

Bring Your Boots, Leave Your Skis

You’ll find an exceptional collection of trusted brand skis and snowboards to rent at all the ski resorts, so save your jetlagged shoulders from schlepping your gear across the Pacific. If you love your boots, pack them in your checked or cabin luggage and book your favourite hardware ahead of time.

Pack Your Thermals

British Columbia in winter is a long way from Bondi. What keeps those mountains crisp, clear, and filled with powder snow can be challenging if you’re not prepared. Try Merino-blend base layers that regulate your core temperature, ensure you have a neck gator or balaclava for skiing or snowboarding, invest in heated socks if you have the dollars, and don’t forget your toque (Canuck for beanie) and mittens.

Paw Paw

It’s un-Australian to travel without paw paw ointment so we’ll assume you’ve got it packed already, right? Paw paw will soothe your lips when exposed to the drier air and can be used as a barrier on your nose to help keep frost nip at bay.

Dress Down, Not Up

The laid-back après couture of BC requires no sequins, heels, or blow outs. Think jeans, plaid, rugged boots, and yes, that toque again. Dressing down here is an art form.

ETA

You’ll need an Electronic Travel Authorisation before landing in Canada. It will set you back CAD$7 and is valid for five years. Apply online at least a week before you go; you’ll probably get approved within minutes but better to be organised than scrambling online at the airport.

Get Covered

Not all travel insurance is created equal so make sure yours covers resort skiing and snowboarding and even snowmobiling. If you plan to heli or cat or go backcountry, then triple-check what your insurance company covers. Many will only cover you if you are with a qualified guide.

Adapt or Convert

Grab an international socket adaptor for your Aussie appliances. Canada uses Type A and Type B two- and three-pin sockets with a 110-120 voltage (Australia uses 230 voltage). For basic electrical items such as computers and phones, you can just use an adaptor but if you intend to take your hair dryer or electric shaver, then you’ll need to take a convertor powder adaptor.

Your Licence

You won’t need an international licence to rent a car in BC. Your Aussie one will do. Pack it. Road tripping is the best kind of BC tripping. The views, the views.

Header image: Big White | Blake Jorgenson

Revelstoke Mountain Resort | Andrew Strain

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POSTED BY: Rachael Oakes-Ash

Rachael Oakes-Ash, a.k.a. @misssnowitall, is Australia’s leading ski and snow journo and the founder of Snowsbest.com. The self-confessed snow addict has schussed the slopes of the world’s best ski destinations, including British Columbia, for 15 years by chairlift, cat, heli, and skins and written for all the big guns from Condé Nast to ESPN Freeskiing, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, TIME, and more.

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