Planning your first skiing trip can take a lot of work. If you never engaged in any snowsports before, you might not have much idea of where to start. How do you know when and where to go, what do you need and where should you stay?
There are lots of things to think about, from accommodation to staying safe. If you’re taking the family, you need to make arrangements for the children. And if it’s your first time on skis or a snowboard, you’re going to need some lessons. If you don’t know where to start, use this guide to help you make arrangements. You’ll soon be hurtling down a mountainside, having the time of your life.
Choosing a Destination
Picking the best destination for your first ski trip might be the most difficult part. There are so many different places to choose from. Each of them has different slopes, snow and seasons. For your first ever time skiing, it’s best to pick a resort that will provide everything you need. Look at how friendly they are to beginners and families, if you’re planning to take the kids. You might also want to think about what else there is to do besides ski. Momentum Ski and other travel companies should provide plenty of details about the conditions for skiing and the reasons to choose one place over another.
When to Go
Deciding when to go skiing will depend on where you want to go. You might first pick some dates and look for a resort that matches them. However, you might also choose a destination and then visit when they expect to have plenty of snow. You can find somewhere to ski almost all year round if you know where to look. When there’s no snow in Europe or North America, you might find it in New Zealand or South Africa. There’s always a risk that there might not be as much snow as you had hoped. So it’s often best to go in the middle of the season.
If you’ve never skied before, you should make sure you have some lessons set up. There are a few ways to go about it, depending on how much you want to pay. Group lessons are available much of the time. There are often groups for kids where they can learn in a child-friendly manner with other children.
You could have lessons as a family too, although parents may prefer to learn alone. Hiring a private instructor could get you some one-on-one time or someone to teach just two of you. You may not want to have lessons the whole time. Some people choose to have a few at the beginning and then get used to the easy slopes on their own.
You can’t ski without the right gear. There are quite a few things you’ll need, but you don’t have to rush out and buy it all. You can hire almost everything so that you stay warm and safe. Skis and boots are obviously a must, which you can hire from the resort when you arrive. Ski poles are also useful, although you may not use them much for your first lessons. It’s also essential to wear helmets, and goggles are recommended too.
When it comes to keeping warm and dry, everyone does it slightly differently. To get started, you probably want some salopettes and a ski jacket. Wear at least a couple of base layers underneath, including a thermal layer. You’ll also need gloves, which should be thick, waterproof ski gloves.
Buying a Ski Pass
For most resorts, you’ll need a pass to access the slopes and some of the lifts. Your passes might be included in a package when you book. But if you’re booking things individually, you’ll have to remember to get it yourself. There are usually options that allow you access on different days, times or slopes. For example, you might want to buy a pass only for a couple of days of your trip. You might find some places have options for family passes too.
When you’re not skiing, you’ll need somewhere to stay. There are usually a few options to choose from, including chalets and hotels. When you decide where to stay, there are a few things to think about. Choosing a hotel could be convenient but also expensive. And it means you’ll have to eat in restaurants.
You could stay in an apartment or chalet, which means you’ll have to cook and clean for yourself. If you’re going with your family, make sure to check that the option you choose is child-friendly. You might need the hotel to provide a crib and highchair, for example.
When You’re Not Skiing
Ski trips don’t have to be all about the skiing. Most of the time, there are other things to do too. Some activities you want to do might need to be planned in advance, such as taking a sleigh ride. The place where you stay might have shopping, tobogganing or some great places for an après-ski drink. If you don’t want to ski all the time, make sure you pick somewhere that gives you some other options.
Try Before You Buy
If you haven’t ever put on a pair of skis, it’s a good idea to try it before you book a trip. Not everyone is able to, but many people have a somewhere nearby where they can book a taster session. You might be able to find somewhere local to you where you can give it a go and see if you enjoy it. It would be a disaster to book your trip only to discover that you hate skiing.
If you can’t try it out before leaving, make sure you have a backup plan, just in case you don’t like it.
One last important thing to remember is travel insurance. There is a risk of hurting yourself, and other things could go wrong too.
Planning your trip is fun, but don’t forget about the serious stuff too. Once you know what you’re doing, arranging everything before you go away is easy.