Planning Your First Skiing Holiday

[Image - Nathalie Gouzee]
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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Summer may be long gone, but that’s no reason to sulk and head into hibernation for the next few months. 

With winter on our doorstep, now is the perfect time to start planning your skiing holiday. If it’s your first, preparing for it can seem a complicated prospect, but with a few simple tips it can literally be smooth skiing all the way.

Where to go?

Due to the lack of ski resorts in the UK, it’s most likely you’ll be travelling abroad for your holiday. There are actually a plethora of skiing resorts out there, presenting us with an instant problem, which one should you choose? Luckily, there’s a basic range of criteria to find the one that best suits your needs.

Most resorts offer packages available to beginners and families, which is always a great place to start. Whether they are ‘Learn to Ski’ or ‘Learn to Snowboard’ packs, you know that the resort will be catered towards your family’s requirements.

Packs will typically include a lift pass, tuition and equipment, which will not only make things a lot of easier but save you a considerable amount of money on items that are otherwise bought independently.


If you are going with your family, you definitely need to ensure that the resort is family-friendly. Whether this includes childcare or services designed for children, it’s wise to check in advance if your resort offers these options. Skiing trips are some of the most popular family holidays around, which means the majority of destinations offer family-orientated packages and discounts on accommodation and ski packs.

Another thing to look out for if you’re travelling with the kids is that you book child care or ski lessons well in advance, as they can be quite competitive with lots of people vying for limited spaces. This also saves you lots of hassle if you do it before you set off and will mean your holiday runs a lot smoother.

Get some practice!

A useful idea is to check out one of the UK’s many indoor ski slopes to help you get to grips with the experience. Not only will this give you some practice runs, it’s the perfect way to get prepared for the real thing and stop you making too much of a fool out of yourself. You’ll feel more confident and ready to try out the harder slopes, meaning you could get a lot more out of your trip than expected.

Get in gear

The right clothing is also essential to ensure you don’t freeze when you head off to the slopes. Whether you choose to hire or buy it, make sure you get proper clothing, gloves, goggles, sunglass and hats. However, don’t just pick the first thing you see as even socks can make a huge difference to your experience.

Ski socks are vital, but they can also be incredibly uncomfortable if you get the wrong type. Your best bet is to go for knee-high non-ribbed ones, which don’t wrinkle inside your boots – the main cause of blisters. Clothing-wise, get some ski trousers or salopettes along with a ski jacket, and if you are travelling with kids, remember to bring extra layers, as the mountainous weather can be quite unfriendly.

Gloves are another important element of clothing. Ski gloves can be a bit difficult to put on, but mittens work as a perfect alternative. Sunglasses and goggles are necessary, as it gets extremely sunny on some days and visibility could be rough. These are especially advised for children because the sun reflecting off the snow can be a lot brighter than you think, and you’ll want to protect their eyes from any damage. Lastly, headgear is more or less compulsory for kids so do your research before heading off.

Skiing is one of the best experiences out there and an entire holiday centred around it can only equal fun. If it’s your first time skiing or heading off to a resort, the whole idea can seem a little terrifying and the preparation, ridiculously full of hassle. However, take it from us, it will all be worth it in the long run and if you keep these essentials in mind, you are sure to have a great trip.