I didn’t exactly grow up on skis. After a pretty bad accident at age 5, I stayed away from snow sports for a while. Living in Denver, however, I had to get into winter sports to fit in. I started “slow,” with cross country skiing, which is actually pretty difficult. That also gave me a better introduction to being on skis, so thank you, living in Denver, for prepping me for my ski holiday!
C. and I have been talking about going skiing for ages. After doing some research one wine- fueled Friday evening, we decided upon Alpbach in Austria: apparently its a good resort for beginners, and Austria is notoriously inexpensive for skiing (compared to similar resorts in France and Switzerland).
Rather than giving you a typical blog entry about what I did and my adventures, I’ve decided to try a new format, and tell you more about what YOU should do if you’re on a ski holiday- in Austria or anywhere!
Ski Tip One: Be Adventurous- You Don’t Always Need To Buy A Package!
C. and I had considered buying a package holiday, but I’m not a fan of those. Too structured, and often I feel like someone else has done all the fun stuff planning the holiday. Of course, there are merits of a package: they find you great places to stay, guarantee your flights and find you airport transfers to and from your hotel.
I always think its more fun to do the work (and dreaming!) and book things separately, and rarely does a package include lift tickets, so you’re still going to do a fair bit of research, leg work and spending. Typically things work out cheaper, too, as you aren’t paying for an agency’s fees on top of all the tickets and bookings. But that means that step two is really important…
Ski Tip Two: Do Your Research
Even if you do book a package holiday, make sure that you know about where you are going. Surprises still happen- for instance, I wasn’t prepared for how rural Tirol (the area in Austria we stayed in) would be. But I was aware of the ease of the slopes for beginners (although I do think the slopes are much harder than in the US!) and the general proximity of the various resorts to one another. I also knew about the general ski pass terms and conditions, and what resorts were covered for the pass.
And this was important. Because everything was in Austrian German. Unlike other resorts, which are pretty tourist friendly, you need to have a working knowledge of German to get around easily in Austria. So I was happy I’d done my homework .
Ski Tip Three: Get There Early
An early flight is never super fun, although you can make it better with fun sleep aids like the one above ^ 😉
Its nice to get to where you’re going with some daylight left. Maybe you can hit the slopes, or maybe just get settled and get a good feel for your surroundings. We went for a nice long walk because it was 20C in the valley- even though it was snowing in the mountains!
Even if you just want to lounge in your hotel and enjoy the view before days full of skiing, getting in early is severely underrated.
Ski Tip Four: Definitely Apres. Every Day.
There was nothing more fun than a long day of skiing- which I’ve grown to love- followed by a few beers with friends. We met up with various friends throughout our trip and were able to enjoy a really lovely afternoon (that turned into the evening) of apres. I especially loved the Austrian music pumping out of the speakers, and the people watching as everyone sang and danced.
On days when the weather isn’t as great, its nice to have an early dinner– mostly because you’ll be passed out by 9pm. I really loved Austrian food. Perfect for skiing. Its quite heavy, with lots of cheese and potatoes, but since one hour of downhill skiing burns about 400 calories, you don’t really need to worry about what you eat.
Don’t worry, these are vegetarian spinach and potato dumplings. So good! Also, if you’re in Austria, make sure you try the sauerkraut. YUM.
Ski Tip Five: Buy A Pass For One Less Day Than You Think
I think that the best piece of advice I can give on a longer ski holiday (we went for five days) is to buy a ski pass for one less day than you’ll be around in total. Not only will you probably want a break one day, but its nice to have a look around where you’re skiing.
Not that there aren’t great views on the slopes…
Ski Tip Five: Be Aware Of Your Surroundings, But Have Fun, Too!
I am not the most confident skier, but by the third or fourth day out, I had the hang of things and was doing reds and blacks. If the weather is super good and the avalanche threat low, you may want to pop in some headphones and ski to an awesome soundtrack. And with these views, why not?
Sudio does great wireless headphones so if you take a tumble you don’t have to worry about ruining your phone or ripping out your phones from your phone. If you want to grab a pair, use the discount code “Khaleelah15” to get 15% off!
Overall, obviously just go and have fun on the slope. But there’s a lot that comes with a ski holiday. Hopefully these tips will help you plan a perfect ski break, whatever your level once you get out there on the slopes. Just make sure you bundle up- from my photos, you can see how changeable the weather is up in the mountains!