Skiing and snowboarding holidays are the norm nowadays and more people are looking to hit the slopes for their next getaway. However, if you’ve never skied or snowboarded before, a holiday to somewhere like the Alps is a daunting prospect. For everything from packing tips to booking flights and affordable accommodation, we’re here to suggest some useful hacks for travelers new to all things snow.
Learn before you leave
If you’ve never skied or snowboarded, it’s best to have a few lessons before you head on your vacation. You’ll find dry slopes all around the country, and a few hours practicing your technique will certainly help when you hit the real slopes. Learning some simple techniques — most importantly the ability to stop — before you arrive at your destination will reduce any risk of injury to yourself and others. Doing a test-run on is also the perfect time to decide whether you like skiing or snowboarding better. If you find out you’re great at both, then you’ve got even more reason to look forward to your vacation!
Book before you go
If you know where you’re going to be spending your entire vacation (whether it’s in one destination or multiple places) remember to book accommodation, lift passes, and equipment hire in advance. You’ll be able to save valuable skiing time and money in the process. Avoid the long queues in the morning at the ski resort and purchase everything you need well ahead of time. Same goes for season passes; if you know you’re going to be staying in one place for a while, research booking a season pass. You could save you money and get rid of the added hassle of getting a new pass.
Pack/hire the correct equipment
Ensure you have all the right equipment and clothing sorted before your trip. If you’re planning on taking a ski vacation on a regular basis, it’s smart to invest in your own ski suit and boots, snowboard or skis. However, if you’re unsure about how frequently you’ll be encountering snow, you can always hire items at a reasonable cost before or during your holiday.
Always remember to pack sun protection and sunglasses. At a higher elevation, UV rays are much stronger and reflect off the white landscape. Even if it doesn’t feel hot — you’re still exposed and at risk of sunburn.
Choose the right destination
You may have read about the latest skiing or snowboarding hotspots in Italy or Austria, or have heard your friends talking about some amazing slopes from their latest trip in France, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best options for you. For beginners, it’s worthwhile researching your destination a little more. If you’ve not had lessons, or have had just a few, look for a resort that has lessons available. Additionally, try to find out what type of slopes are around the area — you don’t want to accidentally find yourself on a black slope when you’re better-suited to blue.
Aprés-ski on a budget
Both skiing and snowboarding can add up to pricey holidays. Save a little bit of money by making the most of après-ski. Early evening around 5 pm to 7 pm, you’ll find a number of places around the resort serving cheap drinks. If after a long day on the slopes you need to unwind with a warming drink, make your way to one of the bars and enjoy a discounted treat. You’ll find you spend less, plus you’ll (hopefully) be able to stop drinking earlier and reduce the risk of a hangover the next day.
Sage Fitzpatrick is a travel blogger currently living in London. She can be found drinking tea, reading and traveling the world. When she’s not traveling she spends her time blogging about her travels over at A Virtual Postcard.