How To Plan Your First Ski Holiday

planning your first ski holiday

So many of us dream of skiing and snowboarding. However, it can be appear daunting to people trying to organise their first ski holiday, but there really is no need for it to be like that.

Without a doubt it is much less intimidating, once you start organising it, if you have help. So at Snowresort we have prepared a series of guides to lead you through the process and build your knowledge to make it easier and less intimidating.

So you don’t know where to begin?

Let’s begin by looking of what you need to think about as the first start stage having your first ski holiday.

Firstly, there are 5 elements you need to think about before you start. Some of these are obvious others if you haven’t skied before not so obvious.

What you need to think about to plan your first ski holiday

  • The first part of the process is deciding where to go skiing, how to choose a ski resort.
  • The choosing how are you going to travel there.
  • Finding the right type of accommodation to suit your needs and in the right location in your chose ski resort.
  • Planning all the clothes and equipment you need to buy or hire to enable you to have an enjoyably and safe have your ski holiday.
  • Additional elements to think about, skiing lessons, childcare and even après ski.

How to choose a ski resort

We’re looking at using your ski resort, for your first skiing holiday, it is important to consider how easy it is to access the beginner slopes and that they offer an easy place to learn ski or snowboard

  • firstly are you thinking of spending all your time on the slopes, part time on the slopes I’m doing other activities , or part time on the slope an relaxing and your hotel or apartments using facilities such as spas and swimming pools? ?
  • Are you looking for a resort with lots of nightlife and activities other than skiing or do you think that the skiing will be enough to keep you busy before you turn in for an early night in your wonderful chalet ready for the first lifts the next day?  
  • Another consideration is whether you are family looking for children friendly activities or a group looking for nightlife and après ski or it’s all about the ski experience for you?
  • An obvious question is of course is what type of accommodation do you want to stay in an apartment, catered chalet, self-catered or  hotel?
  • An important consideration is do you have any skiers or snowboarders with experience or are you all beginners?
  • Do you want ski or snowboard lessons all day or just half days?  
  • You need to think about whether you want to have your ski and snowboard lessons just in the morning or all day?
  • If you are the family, you need to consider how long the children do you need childcare for the ones that won’t be in ski school?

And for first timer skiers and snowboarders, is it important to you that the ski resort has charm, with tree lined slopes and charming alpine villages. 

For most beginners you will need to have a resort with some gentle beginners runs, good nursery slopes, preferably some free lifts for the for these areas.  This will save you money on expensive ski passes, that you won’t get the benefit of in your first few days.  Not all resorts have either good nursery and beginners’ slopes and all that do have generous ski pass policy.

Snowresort has developed a Ski Resort Search Filter to help make choosing a ski resort easier.

What do we need to think about taking out children

If your children are over 3 then you will need to book them in for ski lessons. To start snowboard lessons, they will have to be at least 6/7 in some countries older.   You will find exceptions where some ski/snowboard schools will allow much younger. However, these re not available in every resort.  Look at a ski school like Mint to see how young in the right destination your kids can start early.

Mother and son in snow on their first ski holiday.

What ski clothing and equipment do you need?

The right gear is essential, but first time not necessarily that expensive.  Warm purpose made ski and snowboard clothing allows the wearer to ski in comfort and safely.  Nowadays new players in the ski market have enabled people to buy a ski jacket for under £50.  So when your planning you can set the budget and shop accordingly.  So if your budget is generous visit the like of Snow & Rock and Ellis Brigham. If you have less to spend then Aldi, TK Maxx, Mountain Warehouse and Decathlon. 

The list of clothes includes

  • Ski jacket and salopettes
  • Base layer to be worn against the skin to control your body heat. The key to
  • Ski goggles
  • Ski Helmet
  • Good gloves

It makes financial sense to hire your equipment, at least for your first ski holiday. In all ski resorts you will always have a number of ski hire companies that will offer a huge range of choice.  They will also advise you on which skis will work for your standard and those for your family. Also, if you improve quickly most ski hire companies will allow you to upgrade at no extra cost. If you plan to hire, then always book your ski hire before you go, not when you arrive in the ski resort.  The discounts can save you 50% plus on hire cost

Should you book ski lessons?

Even if you travel with experienced skiers, have professional lessons.  Help from a friend, makes it a longer process for you to become a competent skier or snowboarder and so use a professional to get you there sooner and enjoy your holiday more because of it.

So these are the first things you should think about when planning your first ski holiday.  Use our other guides to help put the other elements together with confidence.  Then use our search filter and guides to easily find the information you need about suitable ski resorts and where to book your travel, accommodation, ski hire and lessons.

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