Your Guide To Skiing : Skiing Trips

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

When planning a skiing trip, there are several things that you need to consider before selecting a resort: location; budget; the types and quality of facilities on offer; the character and ambiance. So, let’s look at each of those important considerations individually

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. The time of the year will dictate pricing, but keep in mind that the more established countries will probably have higher prices. Going at the start or end of the ski season can result in considerable discounts.

On the issue of costs, your total spending for a skiing trip will likely include: travel; accommodation; ski pass; ski lessons; equipment rental; insurance; food and drink. When searching for affordable air fare and lodging, remember to ask about the costs of these other items. Prices for everything tend to be higher than they would be in your hometown due to the lack of stores (and thus price competitiveness) in the mountains. Taking whatever you can with you and paying for things online in advance can help to minimize outgoings.

Once you have selected where you want to go, take a look at what that location offers in the way of facility types and quality. Look at how many slopes they have, the availability of ski schools, what other activities can be undertaken (snowboarding, tobogganing, ice skating, etc.), what sort of lodging is available (hotels, chalets, dormitories, etc.) and the number of bars and restaurants. Keep in mind that higher prices do not always mean better quality, and that prices can vary wildly among resorts. 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? If you are envisioning a small-town setting, where you can experience local hospitality, then you will not want to select a modern resort that is a small city unto itself; and on the other hand, if you want the newest high-tech facilities, you will want to stay away from quaint little mountain towns. Shy away from resorts that attract a party-crowd if your plan is to turn in early and hit the slopes while the snow is fresh; but if you want the energetic party atmosphere, do not choose a location where it’s lights-out at 10:00 p.m. 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.

Luckily, the internet is available to assist you with your research – look up the official websites of the resorts in which you are interested to see what amenities, facilities and services they offer and read reviews by other people by typing the resort’s name and the word ‘review’ into any search engine.