If you’ve never been skiing before, then taking the decision to book your first holiday can be a daunting one. You might wonder whether skiing is really right for you, and worry about having wasted a week of your life on a holiday you’re not going to enjoy.
With the right planning and preparation, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of having a good time. Let’s take a look at some of the considerations.
When are you going?
If you’ve got a limited window to take a holiday because of work and school commitments, then you’ll find your options restricted. You might travel very early or late in the season, when the demand is lesser, but bear in mind that the snow might not be as good. This means that you might consider picking a higher resort with better snowfall.
Choosing a Resort
Certain resorts are much better at catering to beginners than others. Look for somewhere with plenty of blue slopes, like Courchevel. If you’re snowboarding, then long, gentle slopes might actually be more difficult, as you won’t have the benefit of poles to drag yourself to the lip of the next summit.
You’ll have a few different options to choose from when it comes to accommodation. The traditional option is a chalet. A catered one might be worth the extra expenditure, since after a day on the slopes, you might hesitate to head out to the supermarket.
You might cut costs by sharing a chalet with other people. If you can arrange a large group of friends to holiday together, then you’ll end up spending less per head. On the other hand, you might go for a self-catered apartment – though if you end up eating out a lot, then your costs are likely to escalate.
Preparing for the Mountains
Before you arrive on the slopes, you’ll need to ensure that you have the appropriate clothing. This means salopettes and plenty of underlayers, as well as a decent ski-jacket. Men’s and women’s thermals can be picked up online.
If you aren’t comfortable when you’re out there, you’ll have a miserable time. So, stock up! The same applies to eye protection and sunblock. The sunlight bouncing off a clear piste can be dangerous if you don’t respect it. Make sure you’re wearing wrist protection – many a snowboarder has toppled over and broken the arm they used to steady themselves.
Boots and skis, you’ll probably rent on your first trip. Make sure that you’ve got a snug fit.
What Else do I need?
You’ll need spending money for when you arrive at the resort, and perhaps some specialised travel insurance to protect you against any injuries you suffer. If you’re driving, make sure that you have snowchains ready to go. Finally, check the weather before you travel. That way, you won’t be caught out.