Champagne to Blisters: A Beginner’s Guide to Ski Holidays


Whether you’re heading out on a ski trip for wine by a roaring fire, spas,and luxury, or planning to make your very own version of ‘Snow, Sex and Suspicious Parents’ with your friends from university, there’s a few things you should know before you head to the slopes this season.

Number One: Know Your Area

There’s nothing worse than planning for some hardcore Après Ski and arriving in a family filled resort, or attempting a romantic get-away and ending up sharing your hotel with the ‘lads on tour’. The best way to avoid this is by doing your research, a quick Google before you start booking anything, is vital. Checking out sites such as Trip Advisor or Ultimate Ski can also be really helpful.

Number Two: Pack the Right Clothes

We’ve all heard that timely phrase repeated by parents throughout the ages “It’s not a fashion show” and while in part for skiing this isn’t true, nevertheless arriving at a ski resort in a pair of jeans and some suede trainers is just not ideal. Get yourself some decent socks, a proper waterproof ski jacket, and some salopettes, but don’t forget something for Après Ski or those romantic evening meals.

Number Three: Get Some Lessons

If it is your first time out on the slopes there is a temptation to just crack on and give it a go, especially considering the price of lessons, but I definitely do not recommend doing this. Not only will your skiing technique end up resembling something not dissimilar to Bambi on ice, but from personal experience, a friendship can reach the brink of collapse when you’re 3000ft up and you’re relying on a friend to get you to the bottom without breaking anything. Always book lessons with an affiliated ski school to guarantee the quality teaching: ESF for France, ESS for Switzerland etc.

Credit: Laura Swinburne

Number Four: Don’t Scrimp on Insurance

Yes, it can be found cheaply on some obscure websites, but when it comes to snowsports, dodgy insurance providers should be avoided at all costs. After all, snow sports are dangerous, and speaking from experience when you’ve had an accident and the hospital bill is starting to rack up into the thousands, the last thing you want to be worrying about is if the insurance company is going to cough up the cash. Martin Lewis’ website can help you compare costs and cover if you are unsure which provider to go with.

Number Five: It is Never Too Late to Learn

There may be some of you put off at the thought of a ski holiday, terrified as you’ve never done it before, envisaging 3 year olds whizzing past while you join the back of a pack of children snaking down the slopes – Don’t panic! Adult or private lessons are available, and every year I meet a range of people who are giving skiing or snowboarding a go for the first time. Even if by the end of the holiday you aren’t quite carving up the slopes like an Olympic hopeful, I guarantee that with the right group of friends you will have an amazing holiday.


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