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Start your ski adventure: Everything you need to know about planning your first winter holiday

Start your ski adventure: Everything you need to know to plan your first winter holiday

If you’re keen to try something new, get out into snow-covered scenery and spend quality time with family and friends, Crystal’s got you covered.

Find out about everything from planning your first trip to taking lessons and things to do off the slopes too in our ultimate guide to ski holidays for beginners.

And read on for answers to some frequently asked questions…

Where’s the best place to go?

You can choose from over 100 resorts across Europe and North America with Crystal, and we’ve marked the ones that are ‘best for beginners’ – with highly rated, English-speaking ski schools, a great range of gentle runs and lots of things to do when you’re not skiing as well.

You can also take a look at the highlights for each country in Europe, from great-value accommodation to wish list activities.

When should I go?

The ski season runs from December to April in most resorts, and each month has its benefits – from festive fun in December, to quiet slopes in January and sunny skies in spring.

How can I get the best deal?

Join other first-time skiers and boarders for Slope Starters, our beginners’ week in Flaine, France from 11-18 March 2023. In one easy-peasy package, you’ll get your flights, transfers and half-board accommodation, as well as a lift pass, equipment hire, lessons and other activities. And the best bit? You’ll be with other complete beginners, so you can make new ski buddies too.

We’ve also got loads more tips for skiing on a budget, like going in the cheapest weeks or making the most of special offers on lift passes and equipment hire.

Do I need to take lessons?

As a beginner, you should always take lessons with a ski school. You’ll learn proper techniques and see more of the mountain with your qualified instructor. And because you’ll be in a group, you can have fun with others who are just starting out too.

What else is there to do in a ski resort?

Ski holidays aren’t just about skiing – they’re about chairlift chats, mountaintop views and lunches on slopeside terraces. And you can wrap up each day with après-ski. Sip a drink and dance in a piste-side bar, chill out in a spa or get stuck into other winter activities, from classics like snowmobiling to unusual picks like ice diving or Olympic bobsleigh rides.

What should I pack?

You’ll need some clothing to keep you warm and dry on the slopes – a ski jacket, salopettes (ski trousers), base layers (long-sleeved thermal tops and leggings), ski socks and gloves – plus goggles to protect your eyes.

It doesn’t need to cost a lot though. See if you can borrow bits from mates, browse the high street and online shops to nab some bargains or even rent your clothing instead.

How else can I prep before I go?

You don’t have to be super sporty but it can help to do some simple exercises to get fit for skiing and make your first couple of days on the mountain a bit easier.

And come and see us in person at the National Snow Show. Our team will be there to answer any more questions you might have and share top tips about all things ski.