Ski season is upon us, and we are all excited to hit the slopes once more. We can think of few better ways to spend some time solo travelling, or even on a gap year. There are a range of courses out there providing the chance for you to enjoy the opportunity of a lifetime.
Before you embark on your skiing journey, especially if you are travelling solo, there are lots of things to consider. Here, with some know-how from experts in the business: SIA Austria, a ski instructor academy, we look at six ways to ensure you have the best possible time and make memories to last forever.
1. Make Sure You Have the Appropriate Equipment
Before getting on the skis, it is important to ensure you have suitable equipment and clothing for the experience. It’s cold – well come on, we’re going skiing! Even if you have been skiing before, it is always a good idea to give all your equipment a once over to check its condition and suitability. Is that jacket a little bit worn? Have those trousers seen better days? It’s a good idea to invest in some high-quality new gear. Not only will you look the part while skiing, but it will also keep you warm in those cold conditions as well as help keep you safe. Nevertheless, it is important not to fall into the trap of replacing everything with brand new, expensive gear for the sake of it – look at what needs replacing and find the best available to fit your needs and budgets.
2. Explore the area
Yes, you have come along to ski and learn – but the areas courses are available in have so much to explore, no matter the destination you choose. There are no shortage of ski destinations, and they are all sure to make for a memorable time. Have a wander, head into the plentiful bars and restaurants nearby, and make friends and memories with travellers and locals alike. Check out the local areas as much as your free time allows and be sure to take your camera as you take in the breathtaking scenery. Memories will last a lifetime – provided you go easy on the Aperol!
3. Witness the Fitness
To get the most out of your gap year ski course, you need to be in shape! Now, we aren’t talking about going to extreme lengths with your fitness levels, but you will require a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the experience to the full. Standard cardio is of course important, but ski specific levels of fitness will go a long way to ensuring you get the most out of your gap year ski season. As well as physical fitness, mentally you will need to be in a good position to handle the extreme weather and at times sudden weather changes, as well as be able to accept constructive feedback as you work through the course.
4. Embrace Rest and Relaxation
It’s going to be full on – there is going to be a lot of skiing! But it is important to take some opportunities to spend some time recovering and relaxing, as even if you have built up your fitness, the skiing will take its toll! Spend some time away from the slopes and the skis, and no, this time we don’t just mean head to the nearest bar! A massage, a swim, or a lovely day to yourself will see you rejuvenated, ready to go again.
All reputable gap year ski courses, of course, adhere to the strictest health and safety guidelines, and you are insured throughout the duration of your course. It is essential to also get good, reliable travel insurance for the rest of your stay, as you never know when this may be needed. As part of your equipment, you also need to ensure you have a good quality helmet that is approved for both ski and snowboard usage.
Following these tips and hints will help you get the most out of your ski season, whatever destination and specific course you have chosen. Head to your chosen destination, build up your fitness levels, pack your new gear and get ready for the time of your life, getting your qualification and spending your gap year with like-minded people.