Information On Skiing : Ski Trip Planning

In this part of our learn to ski guide we look at booking a skiing vacation.

While budget may be your first consideration, there are other factors that you will need to consider when you begin to plan your skiing trip and need to select a resort; these should include the quality of the resort and where it is, as well as its character and overall ambiance. We can break these important factors down into smaller components. . . .

When it comes to location, Canada, France, and the United States are the most popular destinations, but also attracting a good number of skiers are Andorra, Austria, Bulgaria, Italy and, of course, Switzerland. Prices tend to be higher in the more established and renowned countries but they vary significantly depending on the time of year. Going at the start or end of the ski season can result in considerable discounts.

There are many costs associated with a skiing trip, including travel and accommodations, ski passes and lessons, equipment rental and insurance, and, of course, food and beverage provisions. Make time to research not only the costs of travel, but the other items you will need, as well. Because there is little competition for retailers in the mountain resorts, prices tend to be higher than they are at home. Taking whatever you can with you and paying for things online in advance can help to minimize outgoings.

Every country is different and every resort is different, so after you have decided on a location, make sure that the quality and types of facilities in which you are interested are offered by that country and/or resort. Things you will want to consider are: the number of ski slopes and whether there are ski schools; the availability of other activities such as ice skating, tobogganing, or snowboarding; the availability of eating and entertainment establishments, and of major importance, the types of available lodging, as these can include not just standard hotels, but can range from dormitories to chalets. All of these can vary drastically from resort to resort with higher prices being no guarantee of better facilities. Lesser known resorts in emerging countries (for example Andorra and Bulgaria) may well have facilities that are equal to or better more famous resorts, and at a lower cost.

Important also is how comfortable you will be in the resort you have chosen – what character and ambiance are you hoping for? Your personal vision of what a ski vacation means to you should drive your choice as to resort selection – you may wish to have a more cutting-edge resort with all the modern conveniences, or you may wish to forego high-speed internet in lieu of a small village where you can taste and feel the local culture. If you see yourself sitting by a relaxing fire and turning in early, you will want to find a quiet resort that does not encourage a lot of partying; but if you want to party on your vacation, that will affect your choice, as well. Each resort has a little something different to offer, and it will make your stay more enjoyable if you do a little research on the front end to see what matches your tastes and expectations.