Planning the ultimate ski holiday
First ever skiing holiday? Or perhaps you’ve been nominated as the chief ski holiday organiser, and don’t know where to begin? Don’t panic, as we have got some top tips to help you plan your ultimate ski holiday.
Where and who?
Choosing the right resort is key, as some only cater for skiing pros, whereas others cater for those who are more inexperienced on the slopes. There are fantastic ski resorts throughout Europe, with Italy, Austria, Switzerland and the French Alps very popular choices. There are also some great skiing resorts throughout Canada and the USA.
You need to assess the experience of the people you’re skiing with: if you’re going with some beginners, you will need to factor in whether the ski resort has nursery slopes or at least areas where beginners can have a go without having to worry. Research into how many coloured pistes there are, as the more green the better; these are the easiest for new skiers.
If you’re bringing the family, consider how accessible the slopes are, as these may be too challenging for the young ones. There is a host of family-friendly resorts that come equipped with kids ski schools as well as child-minding facilities and some even offer free children’s lift passes.
If travelling is also a big consideration, investigate if the resort you’ve had your eye on is easy to get to (i.e. it’s near an airport). Travelling in snowy conditions can be very difficult, especially if it is a long journey to your ski resort.
What sort of place are you looking to stay in? There is a myriad of choices when it comes to finding the perfect skiing accommodation for you.
You can choose from: a hotel (with various board options, although B&B is the norm), a chalet (which is usually catered), a shared chalet or self-catered apartment. Have you decided on your budget? Price also varies from resort to resort, with some exceptionally high, and others reasonable. You can decipher this with how much the lift passes are.
Other resort variations are the closure of the lifts; it’s important to know when they shut, as then you can plan your late afternoon and evening entertainment around this. Many resorts have fantastic evening entertainment with oodles of après ski fun.
What things do you need to bring? You won’t need to weigh the car/ferry/plane down with bundles of skis and ski boots, as these are all available for hire at many resorts. However, it is better to have your own pair of ski boots if you’re a regular on the slope, as these are fitted to your feet, making skiing a lot more comfortable. Don’t forget to invest in a warm ski jacket, salopettes (ski trousers), gloves, thermal underwear and a helmet.
Skiing is a seasonal holiday, so bear in mind what timeframe is convenient to go in.
- December - If you’re after a bargain, early December is great as it’s just in off-peak season, so you can get lower priced lift passes and hotel rates. The only downside is that the snow isn’t at its best.
- January - Post-New Year is also great for nabbing the best bargains and the snow is also very good at this time. An added bonus is that there aren’t any queues!
- February - Prices skyrocket in February due to it being the school holidays and the peak skiing season.
- March - March sees the sun make an appearance, with warmer conditions. This is great if you’re after some late winter sun, but means that the slopes become sludgy.
- April - Spring has arrived! The sun stays out for longer, the weather is pleasantly hotter, and the slopes are more peaceful.
Are you ready to hit the slopes? Don’t let yourself get in a (snow) flurry, why not book an airport hotel before your departure?