There is something quite magical about snow as it covers the imperfections of the landscape and builds your expectations for the day ahead on the slopes. Crisp, white flawless snow in the morning sunrise has to be your favourite time of year if you are a winter sports fan.
However, if you are a non-skier or you have a medical condition that restricts your activities, you may prefer to just experience the tranquil surroundings of snow-covered mountains in the comfort of a log chalet with a crackling, heart-warming fire.
Whatever type of winter sports holiday you are planning whether it be hitting the slopes for skiing and snowboarding, dog sledding, snow walking, or a gently sleigh ride, you would probably prefer not to think about how it could go downhill should something go wrong.
To help avoid injury resulting in expensive medical costs, here are some winter sports tips and guidance provided by the Foreign & Commonwealth office.
What to remember before leaving home
Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or GHIC
Travelling in Europe? It’s essential that you take a valid EHIC with you. However, if yours has run out of date you’ll now need a GHIC Card. If you have an accident or become ill, the insurance card will allow you to receive state-provided medical healthcare at a reduced cost.
However, you’ll still need to take out travel insurance as a healthcare card won’t cover all your medical costs, private treatment, or return to the UK. Some insurers now insist that you hold an EHIC/GHIC.
Winter sports tips to follow before hitting the snow
Know your limits
Alcohol affects your resistance and awareness of the cold and also impairs your judgment, coordination, and reaction time. Drinking alcohol at altitude will affect you more quickly and most insurers will not pay out if you injure yourself or others whilst intoxicated. So, know your limits and don’t take the risk.
Use of helmets
Wearing a helmet is a personal choice but more and more people are choosing to wear them. In some resorts, it is a legal requirement for children to wear helmets. Remember, many travel insurance policies require you to wear a helmet on the slopes regardless of the local legal requirements, so check the policy wording for any exclusions applying to winter sports.
Goggles and sun cream
The sun is much stronger at altitude, so appropriate strength sun cream should be worn. When it comes to eye protection there are two main options; ski goggles or sunglasses. Always ensure goggles or glasses offer 100% UV protection.
Be at your peak
Get fit so you can enjoy your holiday. If you are not physically prepared you are more likely to injure yourself. Warm up and do stretches before and after any activities.
Always remember to buy Winter Sports Travel Insurance
We know thinking about travel insurance is likely not to be at the top of your priority list; however, when it comes to taking part in winter sports activities are you prepared to take the risk?
Free Spirit has made it as simple as possible to get the cover you need, even if you are doing a few different winter sports activities when you are away. We can include cover for a range of winter sports activities on payment of an additional premium. Click here to view activities included in the Free Spirit Winter Sports cover option. Please note, you must ensure that your usual treating G.P. is happy for you to participate in any winter sports activity prior to you participating.
Getting a travel insurance quote to cover Winter Sports is quick and easy online, or you can call our Customer Service team on 02392 419 080 if you would prefer to speak to a friendly voice.
Don’t let a winter sports accident spoil your winter break. Get protected for peace of mind on the slopes!