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Top tips for a happy winter sports holiday!

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There is nothing more exciting and exhilarating than skiing down a long blue run with beautiful scenery around you, the sun glistening in the snow and the wind in your face.

For those of you who are regular skiers, you will know exactly what this feeling is like, and for those heading off to the slopes for the first time, many of you will soon to get to experience the joys of skiing!

With thousands of people heading off to ski resorts over the next three to four months, we have put together our Top 5 tips for making your winter sports holiday a happy time.

Tip 1 – Choose the right ski resort

It is worth spending time reviewing a number of ski resorts and picking one that suits your particular needs and those holidaying with you. The key is working out what is most important to you, for example: Is guaranteed snow a must, in which case you will need to look for a snow-sure ski resort.  Do you hate the idea of catching a bus each morning? Then you will need to find a resort with hotels next to the ski lifts. Do you have non-skiers in the party? You will probably want to find a resort that has a village with plenty of shops. Do you want a quiet resort or would you rather the hustle and bustle of a large ski town? Are you or are there people in your party new to skiing?  You will need to find a resort with nursery slopes and access to ski lessons.

Tip 2 – Hire (or buy) a good pair of ski boots

Having a poor fitting pair of ski boots can make or break a winter sports holiday! If you ski regularly then you will probably invest in buying your own boots. Many specialist ski shops (either in the UK or in the ski resort) offer a fitting service to make sure you get a pair of boots with insoles that are exactly right for you.  Alternatively, if you are new to skiing then hiring boots is normally the preferred option. Most ski shops in resort allow you to hire boots with the option of changing them for another pair if they become uncomfortable.

Tip 3 – Check your Insurance Policy to make sure Winter Sports activities are covered

Make sure the activities you are participating in whilst in the ski resort are covered by your travel insurance. Some travel insurance providers, including Free Spirit, include Winter Sports as an ‘option’ which means you have to specifically add it to your policy and pay the additional premium (this applies whether you select Single Trip or Annual Multi-trip). However, in most policies, not all winter sports are covered, and you will need a specialist ski travel insurance policy if you are participating in higher risk activities, such as heli-skiing.

Tip 4 – Keep hydrated; drink plenty of water

The combination of a physical activity and the higher altitude (especially in high altitude resorts such as in North America) means that you will need to drink water regularly. Being dehydrated can make you feel disoriented at a time when you need to be fully alert, so be sensible and make sure to have regular stops to drink water.

Tip 5 – Take out travel insurance as soon as you have booked your trip

Some people only think about buying insurance when they are packing their suitcase. However, an important part of travel insurance is Cancellation, and you should therefore purchase your policy as soon as you have booked your trip. The other important element of holiday insurance is Emergency Medical Expenses, and this is vital for all trips abroad, especially ski holidays, where you need cover in the event you have an accident, are unexpectedly fall ill or require emergency medical repatriation. Most policies have a 24-hour emergency helpline, and it’s important to keep this number in your mobile phone so that it’s always readily to hand if you need it.

We hope these tops tips are helpful, and if you are heading off to the slopes during the 2016/17 ski season, make sure you are fully prepared and, most importantly, have a great time!

For further information about preparing for winter sports abroad, click on the link below: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/winter-sports-stay-safe-on-the-slopes

For further information about Free Spirit Winter Sports cover, click here: http://www.freespirittravelinsurance.com/winter-sports/