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Getting Prepared for a Winter Sports Holiday

Whether it is your first time on the slopes or you are a seasoned winter sports enthusiast, heading to the mountains for some time on the slopes is a great way to spend a holiday.

Nothing comes close to the feeling of cruising down a snowy piste with the sun blazing high above. And when a day on the slopes comes to an end, it’s time for a bit of après-ski.

Unlike on other holidays where the main purpose is to rest and relax, skiing or snowboarding are adrenaline-fuelled activities. Therefore, a bit of preparation and planning is required. Here is what to bear in mind.

Equipment

Winter sport requires a wide range of specialist equipment including big jackets, insulated trousers, thermal underwear, goggles, gloves, hats, boots, poles, skis and a snowboard.

If you don’t have your own, renting equipment at the ski resort is the easiest and most convenient option. The majority of resorts will have special deals combining the price of a lift pass with equipment hire – though this can get expensive.

Sometimes it is cheaper to actually buy equipment before leaving and taking it with you. You’ll have to pay for winter sports equipment baggage on the plane, but this outlay could potentially save you money in the long run.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential for any holiday abroad, however for a winter sports vacation you will need additional cover for every eventuality.

In the worst-case scenario, you may need medical attention on the slope and this can be hugely expensive. Even though you want comprehensive cover, affordable policies are available and an annual form of protection may save you more money in the long run.

If an injury does occur, holiday accident claims could provide you with the compensation you are entitled to.

Exercise

You’ll want to make the most of your time away, which will mean getting up early, catching one of the first lifts, being on the slope all day and repeating this schedule for the week.

Therefore having an exercise routine in place a couple of months before you leave is a good idea to ensure your muscles and stamina levels are ready for an action-packed week.

A local gym or personal trainer will be able to help you out, but try to concentrate on cardiovascular activities for improved endurance, balance and co-ordination exercises and resistance strength training, particular on leg muscles. 

Get lessons

Artificial ski slopes and indoor snow domes mean you can receive expert tuition before even leaving the country.

While these locations can't fully replicate the conditions of the true slopes, it will give you an understanding of the basic techniques and skills required.

It is also advisable to take a look at the International Ski Federation's Rules for Conduct. This will ensure you stay safe on the slopes. 

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