When the weather outside is frightful, why not take the opportunity to book a holiday abroad and experience a real winter wonderland? After all, we all need something to look forward to when the sparkle of the festive season begins to fade into the dim glow of Christmas past. Luckily enough, living in Europe we are only a short flight away from some of the most beautiful ski resorts in the world; from popular Chamonix to glamorous Lech, to bustling St. Mortiz with its wide variety of exciting winter sports, we are spoiled for choice.
However, for those that are considering embarking on their first ski adventure, this sort of holiday can seem a little daunting. Let us reassure you with a few common questions:
There are plenty of beginner ski trails out there that will suit first-timers perfectly. Typically, your first slope will be a very gentle incline – if it feels intimidating, or even if you notice it at all, you are probably on the wrong slope. Make sure you head for the beginner area.
Booking a few lessons to gain confidence is a must. A good ski school will offer group classes as well as private tuition so you can pick the package that works best for you.
This is a common misconception of ski holidays, particularly when visiting destinations such as the European Alps. Despite the snow covering the ground, it's very unlikely you will be fighting your way through a blizzard – generally the sun will be out and you will most definitely need to pack your sunblock as all that dazzling white can reflect sun-rays and give you a nasty burn if you're not careful.
The key is to wear layers, although it is wise to also bring something extra warm just in case. A ski suit of breathable fabric and a cosy fleece are essentials, as are sunglasses and a quality pair of gloves.
On your first trip, nothing! Rent instead of buy – standards in rental shops are usually high and staff will be able to provide advice about what equipment is best for beginners. Ensure your boots fit comfortably and skis are not longer than chin height.
The beauty of ski resorts is that you can still have a wonderful time with your friends and family even if you don't ski. In fact, most visitors expect an all round experience with suitable apres ski activities.
Investigate the resort fully so you are fully prepared for all the fun it is possible to have. Sledding, snow-shoeing, ice-skating and dog-sledding are common activities. Most resorts tend to offer a vibrant nightlife as well as plenty of opportunities to sample delicious, local cuisine. For those of you who just want to relax, choose a resort with spa facilities.
If you do decide to book your first ski trip, there's no doubt it will be a memorable experience – just don't forget to ensure you have the correct winter sports and medical insurance in place. Contact us at Medical Travel Compared on 0844 887 2110 and we will help you to choose the best insurance for your trip and your specific needs.