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Tips for first time skiers

November 9, 2016

Have you always wanted to whisk your family off on a winter holiday you can all enjoy? If you’re new to skiing and wondering where to start when it comes to your family’s first ski holiday, then look no further! We know from first-hand experience everything that needs to be thought about beforehand and any apprehensions that first-time skiers might be feeling.

So how do you decide just where to go on your first ski holiday? With a huge range of options all over Europe it can be difficult to do the research and know where you should begin your skiing addiction (trust us, it’ll happen!). Firstly, we would recommend checking out where your nearest airport flies to. As a first-time skier you probably don’t want to have to spend an excessive amount of time in airports, changing flights. This can be especially true when travelling with kids where one airport might be enough boredom for you to deal with! In summer, we put out a blog that showed all budget airlines that operate in the UK in order for you to better explore routes available to you – check it out here and then you can see which airports you can easily fly into!

After you’ve found your preferred arrival airports, it’s time to start looking at the resorts. With different coloured runs and km of ski slopes available, for a newbie it can seem like something you’d need to spend a lot of time researching. However, fear not, our helpful team at are here to make it all a little bit simpler for you. If you’re totally stuck on which resorts, you can send us an email and we will suggest some ideas for you based on your family’s needs and budget. If you just need a bit more info, then read on!

So if you’ve been reading about resorts, you’ve probably noticed that colours seem to be associated with the type of slopes available. If you’re a first-time skier, you’ll want somewhere that has green and blue runs and possibly even mentions magic carpets. So what does this all mean? Ski slopes (or runs) are labelled depending on their difficulty. Green runs are the easiest usually used for beginners taking lessons. The next level are blue runs which are still aimed for beginners, so don’t be put off if a resort doesn’t make any mention of green! For intermediates, red runs are more challenging, while the most difficult (and practically vertical!) slopes will be black. Magic carpets aren’t just saved for the panto – these are ski lifts that are best suited to beginners. Instead of having to get on or off a chair lift, which I promise is easier than it first looks, you simply stand on magic carpets on your skis and it takes you to the top. These will be found alongside slopes used by ski schools, or the green runs.

If you’re going off on a family ski holiday, it’s important to also be aware of which package you’re taking. For beginners, you will probably want to ask us about ski lessons, although often these can be booked upon arrival depending on availability! If you’re travelling at peak times, such as school holidays, then don’t leave it until you head off! For efficiency at the other side, it’s advisable to book your ski hire and ski pass (which will give you access to the slopes) before travel. We often include these in our packages, so just ensure it’s there before you book. For ski hire, standard packages will include skis and boots, however, as a first-time skier, you may wish to also hire a helmet. Helmets are included in ski hire for children but often for adults this is something you will need to add on.

Before travelling, it’s important that you take the right sort of gear with you. Don’t rush out and buy your own pair of skis, but clothing will be essential to stop you and your family freezing while out on your day activities! If you have friends or family who have been skiing before, then you can save money by borrowing their clothes. However, if not, ensure you buy a waterproof ski jacket and trousers. These can be expensive for the biggest brand names, but shops like TK Maxx and Decathlon can help make these more affordable. Similarly, ski socks, thermal underwear and a good hat are also key to keeping you warm on the slopes. Goggles are important for protecting your eyes from both the snow and any potential glare from the sun (it happens!).

If you’re anxious about your family ski holiday, then a good idea can be to take a family trip to your nearest dry slopes. These can be either artificial slopes which are a bit more realistic, or some leisure facilities have ski treadmills. As well as giving you a fun day activity, it might help make you and your family more confident about being on a pair of skis.

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