When you’re about to embark on your very first skiing holiday, you want it to be special. After all, not everyone gets to go skiing; budget, physical constraints, and other things routinely stop people from enjoying this unique and exciting experience. With that in mind, it’s important to get the holiday right. Of course, it’ll be fun as long as it’s you and your family; you’ll enjoy yourself no matter what. Still, there are things to avoid and things to try and make sure you do. Here are 8 of our best tips on how to have an unforgettable first skiing holiday.
1. Pick a good school or resort
The most important thing about your skiing holiday is where you’ll be going. Most people gravitate towards Switzerland, as that tends to be where the best snow and the most popular resorts are located. This is an excellent choice, but it’s not as simple as just saying “we should go to Switzerland” and leaving it there. You also need to make sure you choose an exemplary school where everyone can learn at their own pace with top-quality instructors. Schools like Matterhorn Diamonds are great places to start, so make sure you do your research!
2. Choose who to go with carefully
If you’re not going on holiday with your family – and even if you are – it’s important to choose who your travelling companions will be very carefully. There may be some people in your party who don’t enjoy skiing or wouldn’t like to accompany you on a skiing holiday, even though you like them and want them to be with you. Don’t simply assume people will enjoy the holiday you’ve chosen for them; speak to them at length before the holiday is even planned and make sure this is what they want. That goes for friends, family members, and even partners.
3. Plan extensively
A skiing holiday requires a lot of planning before it can be executed well. If you’re going to have a wonderful time on the slopes, unfortunately you’ll need to put a significant amount of effort into making sure you’ve got a plan in place. This isn’t just about travel; it’s also about creating an itinerary for when you reach the place and sticking to it when you get there. Do extensive research on your chosen resort before you go. Find out what there is to do in the area and make sure you’ve got everything you want to do on your list.
4. Allow for the unexpected
Even though it definitely behooves you to have a plan, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t allow yourself to deviate from it whenever the opportunity arises. If you find something you didn’t expect and you want to try it out, then find something you can swap out from your schedule. Having a plan actually makes this easier; this way, you can decide whether the new thing you’ve discovered really is something you want to do, because you’ll have to swap something out from your carefully-crafted itinerary in order to accommodate it.
5. Accept varying skill levels
Whether you’re a novice or an expert, there are going to be people in your party who have differing skill levels to you on the slopes. Some people are natural skiers and go regularly, while others will need some extra help to get started. You’ll make the holiday a much worse occasion for those who don’t quite have the skill level if you simply neglect them or leave them behind. Make sure you’re accommodating everyone, regardless of their skill level. Again, this will largely depend on which ski school you go with; try to pick one that caters to different levels.
6. Consider self-catering
Of course, one of the reasons you might decide to go on a skiing holiday is not only to check out the slopes but also to sample the local cuisine. That’s completely understandable, and you should definitely try to find time in your schedule to dine out at a restaurant. Still, going self-catering could save you a significant amount of money in the long run. If you self-cater your holiday, then you won’t need to have those difficult discussions about where you should eat or when; you’ll already have all the food you need. It might also be worth creating a day-by-day meal plan.
7. Make sure you’re match-fit
A skiing holiday requires a decent level of fitness to fully enjoy. Of course, you don’t have to be in peak physical condition, but making sure you’re at least at a reasonable level of physical fitness will mean you have a much better time on the slopes. Skiing is a fairly demanding physical workout; think of it like the cross-trainer machines at the gym, only more grueling and demanding. If you don’t take care of your body before you ski, then at best you may find yourself lagging behind those who have, and at worst you could do serious injury to yourself.
8. Enjoy yourself
This is the golden rule of ski holidays and any holiday at all. You should be enjoying yourself as much as possible. No holiday is going to be completely sunshine and rainbows; there will be tricky times and stressful moments. The overall experience, however, should be a positive one, and shouldn’t make you annoyed or upset. If you find this is happening, talk to your family or your friends honestly about your feelings. An open, honest conversation makes moving on easier, but keeping everything to yourself just means those negative feelings will ferment.