How to Prepare
There are a few vital things you must have ready to ensure your ski trip goes as smoothly as possible. So in order to make sure you aren’t left high and dry we’ve put together a little guide to get you nicely prepped for the time of your life.
What to bring
Now we’ve got the age old ski/snowboard debate out of the way, the rest of it is reasonably simple. When packing for the big holiday there are a few things you can’t leave home without. Apart from the obvious salopettes, gloves, goggles, pants, ski jackets and socks, there are some easily overlooked accessories which can make or break comfort on your holiday.
First up we have the balaclava, an essential for both bank robbers and mountaineers. Winds can reach chilling speeds when you’re 2000m up and the breeze on your face when either on the ski lift or skiing can be very painful. Take the precaution to cover your face if you’re going out on a cold day and trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it.
Second on the list, is sun cream. This is one that is very easy to forget for first timers, sub-zero temperatures don’t exactly remind you of sunburn, do they. But let me tell you, there’s a reason goggle tan is such a big thing. When on the mountains your poor little face is exposed to the sun for about 5 to 6 hours a day, all it takes is one minor burn to make the rest of your holiday considerably less comfortable. It might also be a good idea to get a lip balm that doubles as sun cream for your lips, double protection as your lips do also tend to dry out.
In third place, we have the hip flask. Maybe not a great suggestion for people taking their kids on holiday but for everyone else it’s a shoe in. If you plan on going out at all drinks can be very expensive on the mountain, so choose your poison and fill er’ up – a dash of the good stuff in a regular coke can make your money go a long way.
Finally on the list, we have a reusable water bottle. This is one for you but also one for the mountain. Plastic is used all too often in resort and one of the saddest things you can see is the beautiful scenery ruined by a stray plastic bottle left by some imbecile on the side of the slopes. On top of this, all recycling must be carried out at sites not in the mountains and transport of your rubbish adds significantly to the carbon footprint. So don’t be silly and bring a water bottle to do your bit in helping out.
Choose where to go
For your first time choosing where to go doesn’t have to be a hassle. On our site, we have plenty of resort guides with markers in the headings outlining what you can expect. Look out for resorts marked beginner friendly for a bit of a helping hand, these resorts will be quiet with plenty of beginner runs and easy access to ski schools.
The biggest piece of advice I’d give to any first time skiers would be NOT to go to one of the big resorts. You will end up overwhelmed; queues will be massive and often these resorts are built for intermediate skiers leaving you battling for space on the piste – which is definitely not what you want when learning. In addition, the larger resorts are considerably more expensive, while this might be worth it if you are capable of exploring all the nooks and crannies of its terrain the chances are you won’t be at that level for the first few days and you will not be making the most of your honest dollars. Instead, do a bit of resort research, we have plenty of guides and blog posts about skiing off the beaten track and if you follow our advice you’ll thank yourself. Look into some resorts in Andorra or the smaller ones in Switzerland or Italy.
The second thing to consider is what you’d like to get out of your holiday when you’re not skiing. If you’re taking family with you maybe this consists of child friendly restaurants but bear in mind you won’t need to plan too much for the kids outside of skiing as chances are they’ll be knackered most evenings. All of our family friendly resorts have crèches and hotels with babysitting services. If you still really need to tire them out choose a resort with a playground or tobogganing. For a wholesome family orientated holiday choose one of our resorts marked as ‘family friendly’.
If you’re going with your friends and fancy a drink or two chances are you’re going to want somewhere with a lively après. If you haven’t been before these post ski parties are some of the most fun you can go to. The scenery is idyllic, there’s decent music, and the drinks flow. Golden hour in the mountains is also unrivalled; it’s a hell of a time, just don’t forget you might have to ski home! If you fancy a holiday with a few drinks, make sure you look at one of our resorts marked with ‘lively après’ – they’ll have good clubs, bars, and piste parties.
For a couples get-away child friendly restaurants and crazy mountain parties might not cut it, but don’t worry we have you covered. We’ve made sure each of our resorts labelled with ‘romantic getaway’ are perfectly suited. We’ve chosen the best resorts with the classic alpine charm, gold standard restaurants and luxurious spas so that you and your S.O. can fall in love all over again.