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Ensure your ski holiday goes without a hitch

31 March 2012
Ski News brought to you by, specialists in Ski Holiday Deals and Cheap Ski Breaks.

For many people, heading on ski holidays is the highlight of their year, with nothing comparing to the thrill of schussing and slaloming down the slopes and the unique juxtaposition of blazing sunshine and crisp white snow.

However, there is a lot to think about before packing up and jetting away to the Alps, and winter sports enthusiasts – particularly first-timers – need to bear a few things in mind to ensure their ski holiday goes without a hitch.

First and foremost, a ski trip could not be any more different from a traditional beach holiday, as far as temperature goes, and the clothing people take with them to the slopes needs to reflect this.

As well as ski jackets and salopettes, it is important to wear plenty of layers that are waterproof and wind resistant and can help to insulate people more effectively than one bulky coat.

These can then be gradually taken off or added to depending on how warm or chilly people are feeling.

It is also advisable to bear in mind that plenty of specialist equipment needs to be worn on the slopes, ranging from snow boots to skis, as skiing expert Tristan Seymour explains.

"If you are new to skiing, or just do it occasionally, hiring your equipment is probably the best solution. When hiring boots they must fit well to prevent blisters and shin splints."

He continues: "You must also be completely honest about your weight and your ability level, as this is the information needed to make sure that the release weight on your ski bindings is correctly set.

However, these are not the only essentials people need to think about taking the slopes. Despite sunbathing not being top of the menu on ski weekends, people should always wear a sun block of at least SPF 30 every time they are out, especially in alpine resorts.

Furthermore, goggles or wraparound shades are also essential, with these items offering 100 per cent UV protection, while high end ranges that are more expensive will have features such as interchangeable or polarised lenses, which help to minimise glare.

Another item of equipment gradually increasing in prevalence on the slopes is a ski helmet, which can help to reduce the chances of suffering injury when hurtling down the slopes, and anyone travelling with children should always ensure they are wearing headgear.

As skiing is one of the most thrilling activities on the planet, travellers choosing to take part in this exhilarating pursuit, as well as snowboarding, require specific insurance.

Mr Seymour notes that insurance should therefore be viewed as a vital part of all ski holidays and holidaymakers must ensure that their policy covers them for all activities that they may do, including off-piste skiing or tobogganing, which many resorts offer.

"As well as additional cover being available with most insurers, there are also companies that offer specialist ski insurance. Remember to check that there is enough cover for your equipment, whether it is your own or rental," he recommends.

Finally, it is always best to prepare the body for the rigours of skiing before setting off on holiday, whether this be through skiing lessons on a dry slope or artificial indoor snow, or taking part in certain exercises that stretch and work the muscles people will be using on the mountains.

If people are new to skiing, there is definite benefit in having lessons before the holiday, with indoor dry ski centres instilling people with the basics of skiing in a fully supervised environment.

Although travellers can always book lessons at their destination, they may find it more beneficial to have had the experience before they arrive.

According to Mr Seymour, anyone heading on ski weekends should spend time improving their fitness before the trip, whether they are beginners, intermediates or even advanced skiers.

It is important to boost core strength and work the leg muscles, with some activities wrapping these exercises together.

As Mr Seymour concludes: "Yoga and pilates are able to help by developing flexibility, balance and strength as well as allowing you to focus on less-used muscles that may not get the regular workout that the rest of your body does. This can help to prevent discomfort and reduce the risk of injury."

Bearing all of these things in mind before heading on a ski holiday will ensure that people are both physically and mentally prepared for the trip and have everything they need to make it a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

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