Ski trips can be an exhilarating way to connect with nature while pushing yourself physically, or a time to kick back with your family. Enthusiasts and novices alike will find that there is always something unique to experience or a new challenge awaiting.
Whether you are a regular on the slopes or this is your first time on skis, check out some of the following must-see tips for preparing yourself for a skiing getaway.
Choosing a destination
Selecting the right resort can make all the difference, especially if it means finding slopes that challenge you as an expert or that you can manage as a beginner.
Check with resorts you are considering to make sure they have slopes for your experience level. Beginners will need nursery or bunny slopes, which should be closed off by a carpet. If you and your group are more advanced skiers, you will seek out steeper slopes. Beginners typically need to secure ski lessons to learn the basics, while regular skiers can get advanced lessons.
Look for slope stats before booking. Green is for beginners, blue and red are for intermediate skiers, and black is the steepest rating. If you have a mixed group, look for a resort with a variety of slope options. Remember to check prices of lift passes. That will give you an idea of the quality and pricing of the resort.
Consider what you will do after hitting the slopes. Look at what each resort has to offer for evening entertainment to determine the right fit for you.
When to go
Planning your ski trip adventure during the right time of year can determine the level of crowds, snow quality, and hours of daylight.
February is peak skiing season because you are practically guaranteed the best snow of the year, which is why it costs more and brings in the crowds. December and January are more affordable, but the snow quality might be poor if you are too early and at lower elevations. March and April bring warmer weather, longer sunnier days, and less-perfect slushy snow, which might be great for the casual skier seeking a laid-back family atmosphere.
Before heading to a skiing destination, you want to start planning trip essentials and sort out the paperwork early. Consider your passport and equipment in advance.
For international travel, make sure your passport doesn’t expire within six months of your travel date. Passports can take six weeks to process and additional weeks to prepare documents or fulfill additional requests to be approved.
There is a substantial amount of equipment involved with skiing. If the ski resort says they provide what you need, it is still a good idea to learn what that includes. They might rent or provide ski equipment like helmets, skis, boots, and poles, but not everything you need. Ask if they expect you to bring some of your own skiing gear, accessories, and outerwear.
Once you know what is provided and what you will need to buy to hit the slopes, you have to consider protective clothing for yourself; the cold can be rough on your body.
Invest in sunscreen and a lip balm that contains sunscreen to protect your skin and lips from the dry air and the sun’s rays that reflect off the snow causing sunburn.
Dress in layers to keep warm. You will likely provide your own ski socks, goggles, gloves, jacket, and bandana. You need to wear thermal underclothes with moisture-wicking properties to keep warm while allowing you to sweat without being weighed down. Pack for changing weather and keep your eye on the weather forecast, especially before the week of your trip.
Compression gear is a must-have when skiing. It is important to learn more about compression garments and how they can protect you from the bumps that come with a typical ski outing.
Getting in shape
While you don’t have to be a serious athlete to try skiing, you should be in good physical shape beforehand. Skiing requires balance, strength, and endurance at high altitudes where the air is thinner.
Check with your local fitness center to see if they offer a special workout for skiing. It is essential that you do the right exercises to build strong leg, back, and core body muscles before hitting the slopes.
Indoor practice centers allow you to get a feel for the slopes. You can typically sign up for a one-day course that will prepare you for the real deal, but with fairly small slopes. That is not only good for discovering what muscle groups you need to continue strengthening, but also allows you to build ski techniques before your actual ski trip.
While there are several things to consider before heading out on a ski trip, if you plan in advance, ask the right questions, and consider your needs it can be a fun experience. Hopefully when you do all of these things you will have an excellent time on the slopes.