With the latest season of TV talent show, The Jump hitting our screens later this month, I thought it was the perfect time to cover one of my favourite hobbies – skiing. Don’t get me wrong I don’t envy the 14 contestants, which this year includes Louis Smith, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Lydia Bright as there were so many injuries last time previous contestants have told the celebs to pull out before it ever starts. Eeeek! It does sound like a truly terrifying show – all the basis for good TV, right?

img_0208-2Skiing is great fun especially so if there is a group of you. If you are planning to go this year, the top destinations are Andorra, Austria and Bulgaria so says ski expert, Tricia Mitchell from premier independent travel agent, Terra Travel. I booked Andorra a few years ago but unfortunately I fell and broke my wrist just before I was meant to go – typical! But from this pic you can see I did make it another year thankfully 🙂 If you are heading off to the slopes this ski season – here are a few things Tricia says to bear in mind….

The Weather: No one can be held responsible for the weather, but too much or too little snow is an issue as it can close lifts to close and slopes closed. High winds also are a concern as they can close lifts meaning skiing is cancelled. If nearby resorts are open, skiers are transported there by Tour Operators and if the lifts close due to too much or too little snow insurance pays out approximately £30 per day.

Booking in Advance: Just like a sun holiday, when skiing it is better to book online in advance to get the best price. This particularly applies to check-in baggage. Also you can often book ski or board equipment online before you travel, which can save time and money when you arrive in a busy resort.

Airport Delays: Airport delays are something we have all experienced and can be down to a number of factors; weather, technical airline faults and airport strikes. Tour Operators work to arrange alternative arrangements such as hotels overnight, an alternative flight, or refreshments in the airport – this is why it’s always good to book this type of holiday with a travel agent rather than trying to sort it yourself.

img_0206Injuries: Part of learning to ski is falling unfortunately legs, arms and other body parts can often be injured. It’s hard to believe but some travellers don’t pay for insurance when skiing. If you have a year policy, make sure it includes winter sports cover as it can be an extra cost for you when booking. If you do have an injury, you will not be seen by a doctor until you provide payment and medical bills can easily reach the £100,000 mark.

Layers are best: Getting the right under layers is vitally important if you want to keep toasty warm. Use layers of clothes, not big jumpers as it keeps you much warmer as they trap more air, which is a great insulator. Choose a thermal layer close to your skin rather than cotton one to keep the cold at bay. Make sure your outside layer is waterproof – especially your bottom half as nothing makes your colder more quickly than wet cloth next to your skin.

img_0209Après-ski: If you are anything like me, my favourite way of keeping warm on the slopes is enjoying some après-ski! The prosecco mixed with cheesy Euro-pop is a sure way to make interesting memories…. but make sure you know how to find your way back to your hotel as they can all look alike if it’s dark and they are covered in snow. The good thing about the fresh mountain air is that you can back up the next day and do it all over again!