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christmas, presents, travel

Presents you can travel with!

Posted on December 04, 2017

Going away for Christmas?

We are very jealous! If you’re struggling to think of presents that will fit in your luggage, we’ve listed our favourite 2017 ideas below for you (you can thank us later!).

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Livigno

A Guide to the Best ‘Late Snow’ Ski Resorts

Posted on October 17, 2016

If you’re planning a ski holiday later in the season (i.e. March-May,) you must book your resort carefully, to avoid being disappointed by a distinct lack of snow. The key things to consider are; altitude, northerly latitude and reputation for snow (both real and manmade). Read more

Winter Sports with Children – How to Stay Safe

Posted on March 21, 2016

Kids take to a lot of things like ducks to water – particularly activities which require a bit of adrenaline and could be considered scary. Riding a bike, learning to swim, riding a skateboard – it’s the fearlessness of many children that mean they often pick up these skills faster than a first-time adult!

You can add winter sports to that list too – especially skiing and snowboarding. That’s why winter sport holidays are all the rage for the whole family; these are incredibly fun activities that everyone can enjoy, and the kids will certainly thank you for letting them master them while they’re young.

There are extra safety concerns where your children are involved, though, so you’ll want to make sure you take the proper precautions. Here are some tips on how your whole family can stay safe on your winter sport holiday.

Research the resort

The first thing to decide when going on any trip is ‘where are we going to go?’ It’s a fun deliberation process, but when you’re taking your kids to participate in winter sports there needs to be a serious element too.

Make sure you research what’s on offer at each resort; for first-timer skiers and snowboarders, regardless of age, you’ll need a resort which provides well-regarded instructors and a high-quality lesson plan. You can often enrol in lessons at the same time as making your reservation.

If you don’t have your own equipment and will need to hire it when you arrive, you can also look into this prior to your holiday. Check out previous customer reviews, and give yourself an idea of what to expect before you get there. You’re looking for good quality skis and helmets.

Winter sports family tips

Choose the right equipment

We can’t stress enough the importance of having a high-quality, well-fitted helmet, especially for the kids. Skiing and snowboarding come with a little bit of danger – it’s what makes them such fun and thrilling sports – but head injuries can occur. Make sure both you and your kids are wearing appropriate helmets which meet safety standards at all times when on the slopes and bowls.

You’ve also got to make sure you’ve packed or hired appropriate clothing for these sports. Just because it’s often sunny at winter sports resorts (and you should apply sun lotion to your children’s faces to protect their skin), don’t be fooled – it’s probably going to be very cold. You should all wear several thin layers of clothing underneath your waterproof snow jackets and trousers.

The first layer should be a wicking material which will keep moisture away from the skin, then perhaps a fleece top or jacket as your second layer. Moisture-wicking socks are also essential to keep your kids’ feet dry, but only wear one pair – don’t be tempted to double up. You’ll all need control of your feet, and a good pair of waterproof boots will give you this while maintaining warmth. Throw on some waterproof gloves and your ski goggles and you and the kids are ready to hit the snow.

Winter Sports Family 2

Always be alert

Naturally you’ll always be keeping an eye on the kids, but both you the parent and your children must be aware of your surroundings. Always keep an eye out for signs on your ski and snowboarding runs – they could be letting you know about difficult terrain up ahead. You should also be checking out the terrain yourself; either vigorously as you go or beforehand to make sure everything looks safe before your kids set off.

You should also stress to your children the importance of knowing how to stay within limits – both in terms of exploring terrain, but most importantly in their own skill level. Don’t let your children tackle the black runs when they’ve only just mastered the easiest slope in the resort! Take everything one step at a time.

Oh, and make sure you know when the ski lift is coming so you don’t get hit in the backside!

Winter-Ski-family

Make sure you’re covered with winter sports insurance

For peace of mind, financial reasons, and for your family’s safety, you should ensure everyone is covered by winter sports travel insurance. It covers your family for all medical emergencies, personal belongings, cash, equipment and more, and with our family policies your children are covered for FREE – saving you money to have fun with on your holiday.

We hope you have a sensational winter sport holiday, and that everyone stays safe while having a huge amount of fun. If you still need to get your winter sport travel insurance, get a quote now.

Choosing Winter Holiday Insurance

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Any type of sport comes with a certain risk attached, whether that risk is damage to equipment or personal injury. Winter Sports are no different, and typically can cause a lot of injury, ranging from bruises and sprains to broken bones and head injuries, and worse.

If you will be participating in Winter Sports during your holiday, such as skiing and snowboarding, it is extremely important that you invest in adequate travel insurance before you depart. Quality travel insurance should protect your possessions and sports equipment, and provide medical help and assistance if you are injured abroad.

Health-Injury-Winter-Slopes-Skiing-Mountain

When purchasing Winter Sports Travel Insurance always make sure that;

  • The policy actually covers you for participating in your chosen sport, and any other activities you may indulge in, otherwise you will not be covered for any resulting bills. Check the policy wording and call your insurer if unsure.
  • Make sure the policy actually covers the country you are travelling to, for example if you purchase a ‘Worldwide excluding’ policy you will not be covered for trips to the USA or Canada.
  • If you can, always purchase a specialist winter sports policy, it will always offer more tailored cover than a standard policy.
  • The cancellation cover is enough to cover the pre-paid costs of your trip, in case you need to cancel your plans.
  • The policy covers your baggage, equipment and personal possessions if they become lost, damaged or stolen.
  • The insurance includes at least two million pounds of emergency medical cover and repatriation (£5 million if travelling worldwide). This may seem extreme but medical treatment abroad can become extremely expensive, especially if you need to be airlifted from a mountain!
  • Make sure the policy covers repatriation, in case you need to be sent home because of illness or injury.
  • Make sure you have declared any pre-existing medical conditions, and make sure your policy covers them. If you have not declared your conditions you will not be covered for any subsequent bills.
  • The policy covers the costs of emergency items of clothing if your bags are lost by the airline.
  • Other things to consider are whether the policy covers; piste rescue, piste closure, personal liability, ski passes, cash and travel documents.
  • Once you have purchased your policy, you will usually be given 14 days to read it through and check that it covers your particular needs.
  • Finally ALWAYS read the small print.

For more information, watch our Winter Sports Travel Insurance video:

How to Wax your Skis

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Waxing your skis is an important part of keeping them maintained and in good condition; the wax protects the bottom of the skis and lessens friction to allow best usage. Here are our top tips for waxing your skis;

waxing ski base

  • Make sure you have properly secured your skis before you attempt to wax them, moving skis are notoriously hard to wax properly. You could consider investing in a proper board which will clamp your skis, or use a DIY clamp, making sure you put a piece of wood between to protect the skis.
  • Heat the wax according to the product instructions, be careful not to overheat or under heat the wax.
  • Whilst applying the wax, make sure you use a steady and constant action, to get the best results.
  • Once you have applied a first coat of wax evenly to the ski surface, allow the skis to completely cool down before you scrape and apply more wax.
  • Whilst scraping, be careful not to be too vigorous, make sure you scrape away all excess wax without going too far and damaging the ski itself.
  • Finally, use a cloth to buff the waxed surface.
  • Make sure you purchase the correct products and equipment, if you invest in decent materials now you will give your skis the longest life span possible, and lessen the risk of ruining them. You will need;

    > A waxing iron
    > Quality Wax (heated to product instructions; if the wax is too hot it will damage your skis, if it is too cold it could be ineffective)
    > A brush
    > A wide scraper (never use a metal scraper as it will cause damage)

Invest in winter travel insurance

Although protecting your skis is important, it is vital to have insurance that protects you against injury and illness as well. A reliable policy should ensure that your property is protected in the event of theft or damage, as well as covering other holiday disasters such as cancellation, medical emergencies, no snow plus much more. It really is a must-have purchase before heading on a winter break.

Packing your Skis for Transport

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Every year thousands of people get on airplanes and head off on ski holidays abroad. Skis are not allowed to be carried as hand luggage on an aircraft, so must be checked in as luggage. To make sure your skis arrive safely and are not damaged during the flight, here are our top tips for packing and travelling with skis.

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Working Winter Holidays

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If you want an adventure, to work abroad or to enhance your CV this winter season, then a working winter holiday could be perfect for you.

Every year the winter season creates hundreds of job opportunities around the world, as holidaymakers flock to popular destinations such as France, Switzerland and Canada. This extra influx of travellers need to be looked after, and this is where you come in.

Depending on what skills you have, what type of person you are, and what kind of experience you want, there is usually a variety of positions available. Just remember that every company and establishment has different definitions of roles, and different positions available each year.

Working Abroad
Generally speaking, the main types of winter season jobs available normally include:

Chalet Host

As a Chalet Host you will have daily contact with guests, preparing their meals, cleaning their chalet and generally making sure they are happy during their stay.

Resort Rep

As a Rep you will usually be responsible for providing customer service and making sure that everything flows smoothly at your resort; you will look after guests, answer questions or queries and help plan events.

Hotel Assistant

This can involve cleaning rooms, serving food or drinks, and generally assisting the hotel in anything they need, it could even involve food shopping and preparation.

Bar staff

As well as serving drinks and interacting with guests, you could also be required to clean the bar, monitor stock, and cash up.

Washer-Uppers

Although one of the least glamorous of the jobs available, this job requires no interaction with guests, and no language skills. The clue is in the title; basically you will do all the washing up.

Jobs such as Ski Instructors, Nannies and Chefs are also available, but mainly require previous experience and qualifications.

Before you make any decisions or commit to anything, make sure;

  • You are booking through a reputable firm or website.
  • Whether you need a working visa (If so you need to apply for this weeks in advance – check our Visas, Passports and EHIC page for more information)
  • Exactly how long your contract will last, some are a few weeks, and others expect you to work the entire winter season, which could last months!
  • Always remember to invest in adequate travel insurance which will cover you for working abroad and any activities you might partake in. (For more information visit our Winter Sports Travel Insurance Buyers Guide.)
  • Make sure that your university or employer knows about your plans.

New Ski Kit

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