So you’re considering a skiing holiday, you’ve booked your first one or you’ve said no to joining your semi-professional-skiing-friends for the millionth time (time to message them and book that flight!). I recently went on my first ski trip aged 25 and here are my top tips focusing on the dumb things no one ever tells you but you need to know.
Sun cream your nostrils – I’m sorry what? Sun creaming your face seems obvious but up your nostrils are completely vital too! Sun reflects off the snow and right underneath your face and will burn your nostrils to a red, raw crisp, like mine.
Zip up your pockets – and no not for the obvious reason that your possessions may fall out. I learnt the hard way that unzipped pockets end up full of snow when you fall over, which in turn melts into slushy icy mush in your pockets which is very unpleasant for the remainder of the day.
3) Sit Down Last
Always sit down on the ski lift last – once your instructor/friend/family member has explained how they work you want to make sure you ALWAYS sit down last so the other passengers take the impact of the lift upon entry (and you avoid bruises). Unless you’re with children then maybe you should put their needs first?
4) Air Out Your Gloves
Air out your gloves – again seems obvious saying this out loud but nobody told me and I ended the week with hands that smelt like Fromage. Apparently you shouldn’t keep your gloves zipped up in your bag all night and instead air them like boots. Don’t be the smelly cheese hand girl like me on Day 5.
5) Don’t Thing About Anyone Else
Don’t think about anyone else – the majority of people who surround you on the slopes (including the 5-year-olds) can ski a lot better than you. So don’t concern yourself with dodging them or looking behind you, they are more than capable of effortlessly avoiding you and some take joy from gliding in and around newbie skiers.
6) Avoid The Baby Ski School
Ski schools are your nemesis – picture a train of 4-year-olds less than 1 metre apart following their instructor in a line, cute right? No, there will be at least 10 and they will take over the whole of your Green Slope. If you are anything like me, you will crash into a trail of children at least twice during your first week. Let them go first.
7) Sunglasses And Ski Goggles
Sunglasses AND ski goggles – you need both! And not just because you want to look hella cool snowploughing down the nursery slope but the weather changes so fast up the mountains! Ski goggles get very sweaty when the sun is out but equally if it’s snowing, goggles stop your face being covered in ice-cold precipitation.
Side Note – no one can see you crying underneath your ski goggles if your boyfriend decides to take you on a Red Slope on your first day. I’m a lucky girl.
8) Don’t Drink
Don’t drink and plough. Yes, you have seen those girls on social media boomeranging their wine glass at the top of the mountain BUT if you mimic this you will face plant. Or potentially worse, choose a Black run instead of your go-to Green Slope.
Alcohol infused decisions are never your friend and don’t let that bottle of wine tell you-you’re an Olympic pro on your second day in the mountains. Breaking a bone is never fun.
9) Ask For Advice
Ask for ‘how to hold your skis’ lessons from a trusted friend. Picking up your skis, boots and poles is all very overwhelming – trying on different boots, clipping, unclipping, sitting, standing, sweating.
Then you are expected to walk out of the shop to make space for other skiers but you have no idea how to even carry your equipment, let alone walk in your ski/space boots. Carrying your skis can’t be described in words so do yourself a favour and ask a friend.
10) Act Confident
Act confident and no one will question you. Wear the fancy kit, pose for those photos and spam everyone with snowy mountains. Nobody has to know you are face planting most days, walk the walk and you will get away with being snow queen.
11) Wear A Backpack
Wear a backpack. I was warned not to bother and just take myself on the mountains as wearing a small backpack may tip me over…? However, I undoubtedly would be unbalanced 90% of the time so may as well carry my much-needed possessions with me. A water bottle is a must, as is packing emergency snacks to avoid hangry Sarah.
Don’t bother bringing the fancy camera up the mountain as you will fall over and break it. I opted for the GoPro which also meant I could capture great videos of me plummeting headfirst into a ski school and didn’t matter if it was covered in snow.
12) It’s Not A Holiday
It’s not a holiday – although you will have booked time off work, told everyone you know you’re going away and updated your social media, at no point will you be relaxing. I repeat this is not a holiday.
Sure it can be relaxing for those who can actually ski and they will be having a great time. You, on the other hand, will be pumped full of cortisol and adrenaline every moment your skis are attached to your feet. When you finally get back to your accommodation you will be so ridiculously exhausted that relaxing sounds like too much effort and food followed by the bed is your best option.
Bonus Tip: Travel Insurance With Ski Coverage
It is really easy to forget to check your insurance coverage when you are caught up in the excitement of booking your ski trip, but this is something you definitely should not overlook! Buying the new pair of ski goggles because you forgot to bring yours is possible, but getting insurance after a ski accident is not.
Travel Insurance is something you should never leave home without and in fact something you should purchase as soon as you book your trip should unforeseen circumstances stop you from going on your trip.
Our recommendations for insurance coverage are:
- World Nomads: We have used World Nomads for many years for long term travel coverage and short trips and have had the need to make claims with them and found the process easy and quick.
- Safety Wing: The world’s first International Travel Medical Insurance developed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and remote workers travelling or living abroad. Coverage with Safety Wing starts at US $37 for four weeks and since it is subscription-based you won’t forget it when you travel!
- Insure and Go: If you are based in the UK, Insure and Go is a great choice for annual travel insurance. Our founder Becky van Dijk, had coverage from Insure and Go at the time of her ski accident and they were very helpful with organising repatriation back to England. With the annual annual Gold coverage this also included coverage for a plus 1 to come and help getting your home.
- Camera Coverage: If you are carrying lots of photography equipment we highly recommend getting separate insurance for your electronic and photo gear – especially if you are taking them with you on the mountain! We have been using Photoguard for a few years and love that you can build your insurance based on the value of your exact set of photographic equipment, but suggest checking specific insurance coverage for your region.
Editor Note: After having a major ski accident which required me to be picked up off the slopes, be taken to hospital and then flown home (requiring three seats) which added up to thousands of dollars, I would never consider going on a vacation or a ski trip without insurance!
I hope I’ve inspired you to go skiing or even join a Travel Girls Getaways ski trip in the future. If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.
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Read More About Skiing
- What To Pack For A Ski Trip
- Top 10 Ski Resorts For Female Travellers
- 10 Things To Know Before You Ski
We Are Travel Girls Senior Contributor Sarah Bryant
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