9 top planning tips for your winter ski holiday

Bright vista of snowcapped mountains

If you’re an active traveller you might be planning on hitting the slopes this winter season. Make sure you plan your skiing trip to perfection with these top tips…

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Top tips: ski holiday planning

1) Practice makes perfect

Why not head over to an indoor ski slope to squeeze in some practice before you go? Whether you’re brushing up your skills or getting some beginner lessons, hitting the slopes before you jet off will ensure you make the most of your time abroad.

2) Timing is everything

Snow comes and goes with the seasons, and early ski season (before Christmas) tends to include just a handful of resorts, while the main ski season runs right through until April/May. October and November openers include Val d’Isere and Tiges in France, Cervinia in Italy and Ischgl in Austria.

3) Check the weather forecast

Websites such as On The Snow let you check snow forecasts online so you know what to expect when you arrive at your destination – or if the weather is so bad there’s a risk of flight cancellation.

4) Get it all booked in advance

Don’t leave planning to the last minute; make sure that you’ve covered everything in advance, from the chalet to sorting out the lift pass. If you’re not sure you want to organise it all yourself, that’s fine too, there are companies out there which do just that. Inghams and Crystal are two ski specialists that run escorted tours.

5) Make a kit list

It sounds simple, but planning is important. Make a list of everything you think you’ll need and tick off each piece of kit one by one as you pack it in your case. We would especially recommend taking a helmet, now considered an essential piece of safety kit for those hitting the slopes.

6) Hire it

Technical equipment such as skis, boots, poles and helmets might be best to rent until you’re an accomplished skier. But make sure to book in advance to guarantee the right equipment in the right sizes.

7) Don’t forget the sunscreen

You might be heading off to a snowy landscape, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t need sunscreen. Many people actually get pretty bad sunburn while they’re skiing. Get a chap stick with SPF, too, to protect your lips from both the sun and the cold!

8) Can you ‘carry’ off a rucksack?

The weather can be unpredictable. One moment, it might be sunny with a light dusting of snow, and the next you might be in the midst of a mini snowstorm. Carry essentials with you in a rucksack: lunch, water, some extra clothes. Equally, if the weather picks up and you’re padded like the Michelin man, a rucksack will come in handy, too, so you don’t overheat on the slopes.  

9) Get the right ski insurance

Travel insurance can cover everything from personal belongings – if your suitcase full of ski kit went missing, for example – to accidents. If you get yourself into trouble on the slopes, the cost of emergency rescue and health care could quickly add up.  

Active trips such as skiing and snowboarding winter holidays come with higher risks. Make sure that your insurance policy includes winter activities you plan on doing, and that you have the right level of cover in place.

Our annual travel insurance includes 17 days Winter Sports cover - quote now

Skiiers on chair lift

Female snowboarder sat on mountain