Whether you want to go skiing, snowboarding, curling or ice skating, you have plenty of options, both at home and abroad. Planning any winter break can be exciting especially if you’ve never tried your chosen sport before; if possible, it may be worth considering having lessons before you go. Here are some top tips to help you plan an unforgettable trip:
Choose the right time to visit
You need to double check that the conditions are going to be right – or you could be left feeling disappointed. If you’re visiting the Highlands of Scotland, it snows on average 100 days a year and ski season is from November to April. If you’re wanting to go on a European winter sports holiday in March or April, you need to choose a resort with a high altitude (2,000m or above) as they should still have a decent amount of snow.
Make sure you have the right cover
It’s not nice to think about what would happen if you injured yourself whilst on holiday but it really is important. You need to make sure that your travel insurance covers winter sports. If your current travel insurance policy doesn’t cover you, you’ll need to buy additional cover.
Rias winter sports cover can be added to your travel insurance policy as an optional extra, as long as you’re under 65.
As well as covering you for injuries and falls, you can claim if you lose your luggage, your equipment gets damaged or if your lessons/passes are cancelled. Make sure you declare any pre-existing medical conditions before you take out the policy and read the terms and conditions thoroughly to understand what you’re covered for.
Book early to get a good deal
Often the earlier you book, the better deal you can get. Winter sports resorts are in high demand in December and during February half term so try and book outside of these times if you can. January can be a great time to visit as resorts are usually much quieter and your holiday can cost a lot less.
If you’ve never tried the sport before, you need to check that the resort you choose caters for beginners, as well as for experienced skiers/snowboarders, etc.
Protect yourself from the cold and sun
Your clothing needs to protect you from the cold, the wet and from falls. Buying all the winter sports clothing you’ll need can be expensive so if you can’t borrow from friends, you could look at hiring your jackets, trousers and boots instead. If you hire from a UK based company before you go, it will often be a lot cheaper than hiring from a store at your resort.
- Thermal vests, long johns and socks for your base body layer.
- Fleece, polo neck or under-jacket for your middle body layer.
- Breathable and waterproof trousers or salopettes, balaclava, waterproof jacket or anorak, gloves made from manmade fibres and snow boots for your outer body layer. You’ll also need a good pair of goggles to protect your eyes, lip balm to stop your lips drying out and sun cream (at least factor 25 with a UVA rating of 4 or 5).