Top tips to ensure a stress free ski holiday this year

A skiing trip can be great fun, whether heading to the slopes for the first time, or making an annual return to that favourite resort. Buying essentials, booking ski passes and finding the right accommodation all need to be done beforehand, though understanding what to do if things go wrong is also vital. Ensure a smooth run on your ski trip and swot up on the procedures to follow in the event of a holiday accident.

Prices are often hugely inflated in ski resorts, so make sure you pack all the essentials before you leave. The obvious items like hats, gloves and scarves should be included – and duplicates too, if space allows. A thermal layer is also important, and for ultimate comfort opt for silk garments. Helmets are a sensible idea for preventing injuries, especially if you are a novice: if on a one-off trip it’s usually more cost-effective to hire these. It may be chilly but don’t forget the dangers of the sun too, and pack a high factor sunscreen, lipbalm with SPF and sunglasses with suitable protection. An aloe face cream or aftersun is also helpful for calming sun-beaten skin. Many resorts and hotels have chic bars and restaurants for après-ski drinks and dining, so be sure to look the part and remember to pack a formal outfit or two.

To save money, time and hassle pre-book your ski pass rather than doing it on arrival. Many websites offer discounted passes and, if holidaying in Europe, these have the added benefit of allowing you to pay in sterling online, rather than Euros on location. Make sure you do this as early as possible, as many operators have sussed this money-saving trick and restrict the number of passes available in advance.

Skiing is no longer seen as a holiday option for the elite, as it once was. As such, accommodation options vary widely. An all-inclusive resort or chalet may be handy for those who have a set budget and want to know what their costs are upfront. Alternatively, if you are thinking of driving or taking the train a self-catering chalet can be a good option, especially for families, as provisions can be bought cheaply in the UK and brought with you.

The dangers of skiing should not be forgotten and accidents and illness can easily occur. To enjoy your holiday it’s important to both take preventative action beforehand and understand what to do if things go wrong. To avoid muscle pulls and strains start a fitness programme before you leave, and warm up every morning pre-ski. Always check weather conditions on the slopes and heed any warnings from local authorities. Always check your equipment is maintained to a high standard and, even after skiing, ensure you’re kitted out correctly by wearing non-slip shoes.

It is essential to take out travel insurance beforehand. Companies usually offer specialist insurance for winter sports, and the best deal can easily be found using a price comparison site. If you suffer from an accident which wasn’t your fault whilst skiing, it may be possible to claim compensation by seeking professional legal help. Being in a foreign country and not knowing the language can make things tricky, but these firms can usually be relied upon on to provide guidance at each point of your claim. If you are sick or ill whilst on a skiing trip inform your insurance company and, in severe cases, the British Embassy. If holidaying in Europe remember your European Health Insurance Card, and don’t forget the value of safety measurements, like wearing a helmet.

Fight the flab with a ski holiday

Looking for a way to shift those extra pounds put on over Christmas? Well, one airline, is advocating skiing and snowboarding as the perfect way to whittle off the weight put on by festive feasting.

Apparently, whether you are an absolute beginner or a seasoned pro, each hour on the slopes provides a complete body work-out burning between 300-500 calories (source livestrong.com).

Skiing and boarding also improve aerobic fitness, strength, muscle tone, balance and agility.

Jet2, which offers flights to many ski destinations, has suggested the following ski fit tips to help make the most of your time on the slopes:

  • Improve ski stamina with three 20 minutes sessions of uninterrupted cardio each week
  • If cycling, running and other more traditional exercise regimes are not for you, try joining the Zumba craze to boost cardio fitness
  • Biking, the cross trainer and step are great for building up leg strength
  • Yoga or general stretching help with suppleness making your muscles more prepared
  • Pilates and abdominal exercises help with core strength giving vital back support when you’re on the slopes
  • Strengthen leg, bum and tum muscles with squats and knee raises
  • Don’t forget to give shoulders and backs a boost to build core strength and help balance.

The airline also suggests taking care of mind, body and soul when you arrive by:

  • Skiing away stress – clear your mind and whittle down your worries as you focus on overcoming the mountain terrain rather than everyday stresses
  • Burning more calories – it doesn’t get much healthier than a ski trip. Burning calories and fresh clean air combined with exercise at high altitude means a better aerobic workout
  • Getting a natural high – mountain air, magnificent views and exercise are great for releasing serotonin – making you feel happy and increasing natural immunity
  • Stretching before and after is just as important on the slopes as it is in your pre trip regime
  • Respect the environment – observe and follow the information and advice regarding your resort, be mindful of weather predicted, respect the boundaries of the piste unless you have experience and equipment for off-piste environments.

Ian Doubtfire, Managing Director of Jet2.com, said: “To be able to maximize enjoyment of the holiday and to avoid annoying aches and pains whilst away we recommend an exercise programme prior to hitting the slopes. At this time of year many people are looking to rid themselves of extra inches accumulated over the festive period and getting fit to ski provides a great way to recover from over indulgences.”