Well, first and foremost: Snow. Lots of snow.
But a ski holiday isn’t just about the snow of course, as most places in the northern hemisphere see enough of it every winter. It’s a chance to do something not just off the beaten path, but many miles skyward,away from your average holiday. If you’ve never been for a skiing or snowboarding holiday, then you’re in for a unique vacation, one way or another.
There is no doubt that a ski holiday is incredibly fun if you have a gung-ho attitude and plenty of optimism. It might not be for everyone, but it’s absolutely worth checking out at least once in your life. Who knows? You may fall in love with the snow and become a ski instructor yourself one day!
So, if you’ve already had the idea that you’d like to take a skiing holiday soon, then here are a few tips on what to expect before you make the trek.
A lot of borrowing beforehand
Prior to heading off to the mall and spending a fortune on ski jackets, ski pants, goggles, and all sorts of winter sports paraphernalia, see if you can borrow some first. You can easily rent skis, poles, and boots when you arrive at the slopes, but it’s a good idea to check with friends, family, colleagues, or neighbors, to see if they own any items they no longer use. It would be a shame to buy so many things for only one use.
A great place to put your feet up
After a long session on the slopes, retiring to your own picture-perfect chalet is really one of the best parts of the day. It’s absolute bliss just knowing that there’s a warm and cozy room waiting for you not so far away. Some even come with their own saunas or steam rooms, so you can have the ultimate ski holiday experience. While a luxurious cabin isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of a successful ski trip, it can become the cherry on top of a fun vacation.
That said, you might hear horror stories of turning up to a chalet, only to find it is not quite how it was pictured or described online. A good reputation is hugely valuable when finding somewhere to stay via the internet, so it’s highly advisable to go with a company that has been around for a long time. Snowtrex has a good name concerning booking a place in a ski resort, so give them a look if you’re ready to reserve accommodation.
Other than skiing or snowboarding of course, this is what you really come here for. The feeling like you’re standing on top of the world is unparalleled, and the chance to see a sunrise or sunset from snowy mountain peaks is truly remarkable. If nothing else, think of the great chance of updating your Instagram account with all those epic photos.
You better get used to this. It is incredibly unlikely that you could just slide into your skis and zip off down the mountain side like an Olympic skier. Before that, you’ll face a few days of falling forward, backward, and sideways, as you attempt to stay upright on your skis. Going uphill or on even terrain isn’t so bad, but it is incredibly exhausting. Downhill is undoubtedly a little terrifying as the incline gets sharper, but thankfully the slopes are divided into different levels depending on your skill.
If you can stick it out after picking up the odd bruise, bump, or scrape, then you’ll be well on your way. Plus, let’s not forget that you’ll likely have an instructor, or at least someone who knows the drill, so if the motivation is there, you’ll pick it up eventually.
Now this one is a doozy. This doesn’t need to sound like a PSA or anything, but it’s common to only associate sunburn with hot days at the beach. This couldn’t be more wrong. Even if you’re feeling cold, the sun is still up there and burning brightly, furthermore, the rays can reflect from the white snow and bounce up onto your neck and chin. Don’t be the sunburnt one who returns from a ski holiday with a goggle-shaped white spot on your face.
Sore muscles you didn’t even know you had
Ideally, you could train on indoor ski slopes before you hit the actual snow, or at least watch some YouTube tutorials on which muscles to train prior to the trip. This will save you a fair bit of muscle ache, as going into skiing without any preparation will likely leave you with a lot of aches for a few days when you get back home.