If your bank account isn’t completely cleaned out after Christmas, you might just be thinking of going on a ski trip this winter. Luckily, as the season ‘slows’, there are an abundance of resorts to choose from at the moment; skiers old and new can pick between luxury and basic ski holidays to suit your every need. Gone are the days when skiing was reserved for the super-rich – everyone can do it now that the wider ski holiday market is aware of brilliant but well-priced resorts in Poland, Czech Republic, and Bulgaria (to name only a few convenient to Londoners!).
Am I convincing you as much as I’m convincing myself? I hope so. Skiing is the most relaxing and rewarding sports available adjacent to hot tubs and hot toddys. That is, of course, as long as you remember the essentials…
If you’re skiing on a budget, you probably won’t be travelling with your own ski gear and will have to rent your equipment; ski boots, skis, helmets… perhaps even your snow-ready outerwear.
While this means great things for luggage space, rented ski goggles will almost definitely not be made for your prescription, so it’s always advisable to bring along your prescription glasses and pop them underneath. In fact, a nice pair of prescription sunglasses will often become the one thing that make you feel snazzy or “dressed” behind layers of marshmallowed fabric. If you’re looking for something new, online retailers like Red Hot Sunglasses have special deals and sales in the winter to encourage customers, so have a look at their prescription sunglasses collection (I have been swooning over those freaking Clubmasters for about two years, haha). Ski trip or not, it’s a great idea to get your sunglasses in the winter as they’re so much cheaper (and a good pair will always last well through summertime!).
You’ll obviously get ski boots when you rent your equipment, but you won’t get snow boots, which you’ll need to get around the place when you aren’t skiing. A good pair of hiking boots might do the trick if you already have them; otherwise, make sure to pick up a cheap pair from a trusted retailer (reviews can be a lifesaver in this sense!). If you’re budget focused, it is also a great idea to try on a pair of snow boots in a real-life store before ordering them for less from an online store.
Does it need to be said? Yes. I’ve forgotten a few essentials almost every time I’ve hit the freeze. You should always bring warm clothing with you when you go skiing (and trust me when I tell you that you’ll need more than you think). It’s not enough to bring a few warm jumpers and a decent ski jacket; look to bring all or all of the following items…
– Long underwear
– Thermal base layers
– A tight scarf that is unlikely to blow off you or catch on anything when you’re skiing
– Gloves that will give you a good grip on the ski sticks
– A polo neck
– A back-up scarf when you inevitably lose the first one
– Thermal socks
Note: if you have the option, go for waterproof clothing as the snow will melt on you quicker than you think. The cold water will almost literally chill you to your core if you’re not careful! You’ll probably have a waterproof ski jacket, but waterproof ski trousers are almost more important.
A Smartphone Packed Full of Skiing Apps
There is a plethora of helpful apps built for skiers these days. While you can do a little research before you go and get the right one for you, a few of the best ski apps available include:
Avanet – a great iOS app that focuses on skiing and wilderness safety. It’s a crowd-sourced platform, so users all make an effort to include helpful information for other skiers and snowboarders in their area. The app uses your iPhone’s GPS to tell you if anyone has left advice for a particular area or ski slope.
Snocru – an Android and iOS app that allows you to keep in touch with other skiers at your resort, making it easier for you to keep in touch with other people you’re skiing or snowboarding with as well as meeting new people while you’re out there. The great thing about Snocru is that you can turn your day on the slopes into a competition where you can enter in a series of different statistics which will be compared against your pals.
Ski Tracks is a great app for both iOS and Android. It uses your phone’s GPS to track your skiing sessions and allows you to compare your times against your previous attempts and your friends’. It’s easy to use and it gives you a lot of different metrics about your ski session.
Cheap GoPro Alternatives
This is not an essential (hence its position on this list), but a tough, mounted, waterproof camera is a brilliant gadget to take on any ski trip and while a GoPro is notoriously the best in the bunch, it is by no means the only option out there. A few options that you’ll find below £100 include the Drift Stealth 2, Xiaoyi Yi Action Camera, and Mobius.
(Note: Videos might feel a tad excessive in addition to photos, but you’ll love looking back on them as the years go by!)
That’s all the advice I have time for today, but do send me a tweet if you have any questions (@lelalondon)! Otherwise, have a brilliant time skiing; stay safe, warm, and fill your Instagram feed with snow!