What Makes a Perfect Winter Holiday
Everyone has different ideas of what makes a fantastic winter ski holiday; whether it’s enough fresh powder on the mountain each morning to lose your skis in, or if it’s a beautiful chalet to return to after a hard day on the slopes, the French Alps offers a wide choice for everyone. Some people love the luxury of ski holidays; opting for a catered chalet with all the add ons, allowing them to relax in sumptuous luxury, whereas others prefer the flexibility that self catered holidays bring. Without stating the obvious (good snow, nice weather, any other factors out of your control), we’ve outlined below some ideas to make this winter holiday the best one you’ve ever had.
If you’ve opted to stay in a catered chalet, that’s all well and good as it means you don’t have to worry about the food for the week, however if you’ve opted for a more flexible self catered holiday, then why not reserve a personal chef for a few nights? It means you don’t have to worry about the cooking, or about dressing up and finding a restaurant that you all want to eat at. Instead a chef can come to your accommodation and prepare your food for you so that you can relax after a hard days skiing in the comfort of your own dining room, safe in the knowledge that excellent food is on its way, with no hassle or worry about preparation.
Another idea to make your winter holiday perfect is to make sure that the clothing you bring is suitable for the climate you will be skiing in. For example if you’re visiting Whistler in January then it’s a good idea to bring any item of clothing with down lining in and as many thermals as is possible to fit in your luggage, however if you’re skiing in Europe in April, then it’s probably best to give the heavily insulated jackets amiss in favour of something lighter. There is nothing worse than being too cold or too hot on the slopes, the former and you’re going to be frozen and miserable and the latter is likely to lead to frayed tempers and frustration. It’s best to check the weather before you leave home and pack a variety of clothing suitable for different climates. Zip out fleeces in ski jackets are amazing; they allow you to be prepared for all types of temperature.
If you have children then you may understand the stress that winter holidays can be; deciding whether to put them into ski school or whether to ski with them all the time can be difficult. Most resorts offer a variety of childcare options, ski school in the mornings is usually a safe bet and means you can ski with them in the afternoons, allowing you the best of both worlds. If you want a few full days skiing alone then hiring a nanny is a good idea as it can allow you a large amount of flexibility. Just one more tip on the children front; make sure that they have enough clothes to be warm enough, and sunglasses are a must, even for babies and toddlers. If you’re children are happy then you are much more likely to enjoy your ski break (and so will everyone else if you’re staying in joint accommodation!)
When booking your holiday it is best to have a good idea of what you are expecting and what your budget is; there is no point looking for a chalet with a swimming pool on the slopes when you have a small budget. However, having an idea of what is most important to you and your party can be very helpful when planning your trip. If ski in ski out accommodation is the most important factor then this knocks down the amount of options you have; however if you’re not bothered about catching a bus or driving to the slopes then maybe you’re more bothered about nightlife? It’s always a good idea to check the previous years snowfall record and any resort or property reviews on the internet. Although take all reviews with a pinch of salt; some people just like to complain, and some property owners write their own.
Finally, to ensure you have a really enjoyable winter holiday make sure you have everything organised; many resorts have ski hire delivered to your door, and you can often pre book your ski passes and ski lessons. If you do all of this before you leave then it means that when you arrive for your week in the snow you are much more likely to enjoy it if you don’t have to stress over coordinating all of the last minute winter extras you need. This is especially the case if you are holidaying in peak weeks as often lessons and other winter extras can be fully booked weeks in advance.
Overall enjoying a perfect break is completely down to personal taste and expectation; if you’re expecting a five star service and get more of a one star experience then it is unlikely you are going to view the holiday as perfect. However, making sure that you make the most of everything (even white out days) and ensuring that you do treat the week as, well, a holiday, rather than a training week will mean that you will enjoy that well earned break- just ensure that you actually have time to sit back and enjoy the view!
Have you booked your ski holiday? Now get inspired by these photography tips for landscape and action shots on Katy Dartford‘s blog!