There’s a lot to think about when planning a skiing holiday. And sometimes its the little things you forget that matter the most. So, we’re going to cover everything you need to know.
When to go
The first thing you need to organise is your budget. Skiing is not exactly a poor man’s holiday, but you will find cheaper rates off-season. The best time of year to ski in Europe is late November to mid-April, but these are also the most expensive months.
Prices typically go up significantly over Christmas and New Year, and during school holidays. The best time to go is in the early season when the slopes are not as busy.
Finding a ski resort
There’s a raft of amazing ski resorts in Europe so choosing a piste can be a headache. Switzerland is rated as one of the most incredible skiing experiences and the resorts are eclectic. The Swiss Alps are not known as the “home of skiing” for nothing!
The most important consideration is to choose a ski resort that will accommodate all the members of your party – especially if the ability level is varied. If you are all beginners research the best nursery slopes in Switzerland.
Also, take into consideration what you intend to do après-ski. If you intend to party hard head for resorts like Verbier that have a vibrant drinking culture. If you want to enjoy peace and fine dining, a sleepy village is the ideal choice.
Convenient accommodation for skiing in Switzerland
The abundant choice of accommodation can also be daunting. Again, you should consider the members of your party and what you intend to do in the evenings.
Families travelling with small children should look for accommodation on or close to the slopes to avoid long trips – and potential boredom and moaning. Party people are better situated close to the nightlife, whereas silence seekers should look for private accommodation that is conveniently situated for slopes and restaurants.
You may also want to consider a resort that offers a variety of convenient services. For example, Ski Armadillo has an on-site restaurant to save you from having to cook your own meals, and provides a driving service, nannies and massage.
What to pack
You’re obviously going to need winter woolies but limit thick jumpers and fleeces to two or three. And only bring one coat. The remainder of your clothes should be light and easy to shove in your case. Avoid denim. Limit the number of outfits for evening wear to three or four – use a laundry service – and toiletries should be travel size.
If you’re buying or hiring ski equipment before leaving your home country, check the weight allowance of the airline you are using. Economy flights usually only allow 20-23kg. The maximum weight is typically 32kg per person.
You may want to consider hiring ski equipment when you arrive at the resort. That will keep the weight and the cost down. Renting ski hire equipment is far less expensive than buying.
Don’t forget to pack:
– Ski socks
– Thin base layer (long underwear)
– Ski googles or shatterproof sunglasses
– Ski gloves and hand gloves
– Neck warmer, or balaclava
– Sunscreen and lip balm
Ski-passes in Switzerland
Ski-passes are easy to purchase once you arrive at the resort. If you’re buying a package holiday, the passes may be limited to certain slopes. Also, make a not of age group categories for ski lifts as child rates are cheaper in some resorts, but the cut off age varies. Ski Armadillo can arrange ski passes for you.
Book a skiing lesson
If this is your first time on the slopes, we highly recommend taking a skiing lesson – even if you are holidaying with an experienced skier that is willing to teach you. It will be better for both of you if learners seek the help from a professional ski instructor.
Booking a skiing lesson is straight-forward. Your accommodation can provide excellent advice when you get there. Some accommodations will even arrange it for you. All you need to do is consider the cost in your ski holiday planning. A 3-hour session will set you back around 250CHF (£240, €274, $315). Afternoon sessions are slightly less expensive.
If you’re travelling with small children or first-time skiers, most resorts have special slopes to accommodate beginners of all ages. Ski schools are ideal for younger children. Leave the kids with trained instructors and carers so you can concentrate on your own skiing experience. Schools even provide supervision to cover lunch breaks.
Are you planning a skiing holiday? Let us know if you have any questions.
This is a collaborative post.