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    Home / Travel Insurance / Ski & Winter Sports / Guide for Skiing and Snowboarding

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    Essential Information for Skiing or Snowboarding Holidays

    What you should know before you hit the slopes

    Craving a winter getaway? Whether you’re a first-time skier hitting the bunny slopes or a long-time boarder looking to perfect your switch ollie, we’ve collated a range of expert tips you should know – or brush up on – before you head to the snow fields.

    From helpful tips for thriving on your first snow trip and staying healthy while on a skiing holiday, to what to add to your packing list and how to protect your gear, check out our best winter holiday tips below.

    Want to learn more about protecting your snow holiday? Check out our Snow Sports Cover and FAQs pages or get a travel insurance quote online today.

    7 helpful tips for first-time skiers and snowboarders

    First time heading to the slopes? There are some obvious things you’ll need to take for your snow trip - like warm clothing - but there are some things you may not have considered. Jen from The Snow Chasers provides seven helpful tips for first-time skiers and snowboarders to make your trip as fun as possible.

    Tip #1: Layer Up

    It needs to be 0°C for the snow to start falling, so wherever you’re going, it is going to be cold. In saying that, any country that is that cold, is usually set up for it. That means that whilst it might be cold outside, most places will be heated to a lovely 20°C or so inside. There’s something wonderful about sipping a hot chocolate by a fireplace watching the snow fall outside. Wear non-bulky layers that you can easily take on and off.

    Tip #2: Get a good pair of thermals

    Good thermals will keep you warm when you need it and make sure you don’t overheat when the temperature warms up. You’ll be wearing these under your regular clothes, so look for thermals that are lightweight, non-bulky and breathable.

    Tip #3: Accessorise

    Make sure you pack some gloves, a beanie or hat and a scarf or neck warmer. These little accessories will make a massive difference in keeping you warm. In cold environments, you’ll feel every chill on your skin and you’ll find that your hands won’t work properly if they get too cold.

    Tip #4: Wear grippy shoes and walk carefully

    Snow takes many forms, including soft snow, sticky snow, powder snow, heavy snow, wet snow and icy snow. Be conscious of this when you step out on the snow and assess what the snow is like on the ground that day. If it is icy, take small steps to prevent slipping over. Water resistant thick boots are ideal. The thickness will keep your feet warmer, the height of boots will prevent snow from falling into your shoe and the water resistance will keep your feet dry. An alternative option is to purchase shoe covers which are found in most snowy places. Also known as ice grips or crampons, they have metal spikes and will fit over the sole of any shoe.

    Tip #5: Pack sun protection

    What did you say? It’s winter! Yes, it is but there are sunny days too. UV increases in intensity at higher altitudes as there is less atmosphere to absorb the radiation. And when the sun hits the snow, it bounces back and reflects. That means that on a sunny day you are getting a double dose of UV, from the sun and from the reflection in the snow. Slap on the sunscreen!

    Tip #6: Keep hydrated

    Winter dehydration is a real thing. It may seem strange to think that you can get dehydrated in a cold environment but it happens all the time. In cold temperatures, our blood vessels constrict to conserve heat and draw warmth to our core. This also causes reduced thirst. Make sure you’re keeping yourself hydrated with plenty of water.

    Tip #7: Moisturise

    Winter air is very drying and can wreak havoc on your skin if you aren’t used to it, with chapped lips being the most common. Keep some lip balm in your pocket and consider getting a heavier moisturiser than usual for your skin.

    Consider protecting your winter wonderland holiday with travel insurance. Find out more on our Snow Sports Cover page.

    snowy hallstatt in austria

    4 ways to stay healthy while skiing and snowboarding

    If you love spending time in the snow, a winter sports holiday can be an incredible experience. Although, there are a few things to consider to help you stay safe and healthy on your trip. Dr Jane Read, an Australian-based GP Registrar and Dietician, provides her insights and tips.

    #1: Be wary of alpine sickness

    Skiing promises spectacular views of gorgeous mountain backdrops. However, with these views come exposure to the alpine air. With less oxygen in the air, this may lead to alpine sickness and cause headaches, nausea and vomiting. Skiing also causes muscle damage, especially if you are not used to constant exercise. Good sources of protein and carbohydrate are required to repair the damage and get you back on the slopes quickly.

    #2: Drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty

    Even in cold climates, it is vital to keep hydrated. This is tricky as you often do not feel thirsty in the snow. The lower oxygen levels lead to rapid fluid losses through breathing, sweating and diuresis (an increase in urine production). Maintaining good hydration will also prevent muscle damage and keep you skiing on the slopes longer.

    #3: Limit your alcohol

    Alcohol is a big part of the après-ski culture. Although, it should never be confused with rehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic and can lead to dehydration due to an accelerated loss of fluid from the body. It also can impair your motor skills leading to a reduced response rate and concentration. Both of these skills are vital to keep you skiing at your peak and reduce your risk of injury.

    #4 Fuel you body with nutrient-rich food

    Hours of skiing or snowboarding will use up a lot of energy, particularly if you’re just learning. It’s important to fuel your body prior to heading out to the ski fields. Eat carbohydrate- filled meals such as porridge and toast, pancakes and fruit, or a banana smoothie. Consume carbohydrate containing snacks and meals regularly through the day. Have some pocket snacks (low-fat muesli bars, dried fruit, sports gels) to maintain a steady intake of carbohydrate through the day. And don’t forget to stop regularly to refuel.

    female with snow in hands

    5 tips for protecting your ski and snowboarding equipment

    When you’re on a ski trip, your luggage often contains several items you wouldn’t necessarily pack on a regular holiday – and this luggage can be very valuable.

    To avoid damaging or losing your belongings – as well as preventing injuries – here are our top tips for protecting your snow gear:

    Tip #1: Insure your luggage

    At Cover-More, we understand how valuable your snow equipment can be. Our luggage and travel documents benefit includes cover for lost, stolen and damaged items, including items such as your own ski gear~, with the option to increase the limit for individual items for an additional premium if you wish.

    Tip #2: Guard your belongings

    Our Cover-More luggage cover is only provided for your equipment and luggage while they’re in your possession. So, make sure you don’t leave your items unattended, as keeping an eye on your stuff is the best way to prevent it from going missing.

    Tip #3: Invest in the right equipment

    Always make sure your snow equipment is the perfect fit for you. Any discomfort or ill-fitting items can contribute not only to equipment damage, but injuries, too.

    Tip #4: Prepare yourself physically

    Skiing and snowboarding can be a lot more exhausting than you might think. Make sure you take the time to warm up and stretch before hitting the fresh powder on the slopes to prevent any avoidable incidents.

    Tip #5: Learn and practice

    Take the time to learn from a qualified instructor and build up your skills slowly so you don’t pick up any bad habits that might result in injury or damage to your gear.

    skiiers walking through snowy forest

    Ready to travel to your winter wonderland?

    Get a free quote online to see how affordable protecting your snow holiday can be and find out more about our Snow Sports Cover.

    ~There is no cover for sporting equipment whilst in use.

    Material on this website is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects may not apply to you as an individual and is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice. The words and other content provided on this website, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician or other health care worker. Nothing contained on the website is intended to establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician or health care professional, or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The views and opinions expressed on this website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, practice, or other institution with which the authors are affiliated. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Cover-More (NZ) Ltd. Never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical care because of something you have read on or accessed through this website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.