First-timer on the slopes?

There’s no better way to blow the Christmas cobwebs away than by hitting the slopes. Whether you’re thinking of heading to Canada to tackle Whistler, France to enjoy Val d’lsére or Finland’s popular Levi; these tips should keep you in good stead for your first time.

Get some practice in

No one is expecting you to take home a gold medal the first time you ski, but it’s a good idea to get some lessons and spend some time on an indoor ski slope before you go. Learn the basics such as a how to do a snow plough, use a ski lift or even just get used to putting on ski boots, and you’ll be able to get going quicker when you get to your chosen destination. There are indoor centres all across the country, Manchester’s Chill Factore, Milton Keyne’s Snozone and Glasgow’s Braehead Snow Factor are just a few that are worth checking out.

Pack properly

The last thing you want to do is get to your resort and realise that you’ve forgotten some essentials. Unless you’re part-Yeti you’ll need your thermals and layers of warm clothing, including ski socks, fleeces and gloves. It’s easy to forget that you’ll need sun cream in cold weather, but it’s incredibly easy to burn in the mountains due to the altitude and reflection from the snow. There are specific brands which are designed for high altitude protection so it’s worth looking into these before you go. Don’t forget the lip balm either; chapped lips are not a good look. Finally, don’t forget some comfortable slippers after a day in those rigid boots. Not every resort will allow you to wear shoes in the chalets, so it’s worth packing something comfy to slip on in the evenings while you sip your hot chocolate – brandy optional!

Hire the equipment

While it’s easy to get carried away and splash out on a knockout outfit and range of kit for your trip, for beginners it’s worth borrowing or hiring whatever you can to save on your bills. You might find after only a few days that your chosen winter activity really isn’t the thing for you. You don’t want to spend a fortune on gear which will just gather dust in your garden shed when you get home. Also, don’t forget that our Winter Sports cover can protect hired equipment as well as equipment you own.

Get fit

You don’t have to spend hours in the gym before your ski holiday, but getting in shape before hitting the slopes is a good idea. A combination of cardio and strength exercises, focusing on your legs, will help you maximise your slope time when you’re there.

Bring your sense of humour

Finally - and this is probably the most important point – you will at some point fall over....good luck! Make sure that you’re covered for your holiday by taking a look at our brand new Travel Insurance or call 0330 100 7825 to get a quote; with children under 18 covered for free*, it’s great for all the family this half term. *some existing medical conditions are chargeable.

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