Beginner Ski Holiday Tips

07 Jan 2024

Booking your first skiing holiday 

Booking your first skiing holiday can be daunting  - there seems to be so much to think about, from what to wear, how to book lessons to which is the best resort for beginners.

It’s our job at Mark Warner to ensure you have the ski holiday of a lifetime, whatever your level, so we’ve put our heads together to share our wisdom on how to have a brilliant ski holiday as a beginner – one that will get you hooked for life!

Learn the ski lingo with our ski essentials section

Learn the ski lingo with the aid of our ski essentials. You’ll feel much more confident when you know what everyone’s talking about!

Get in shape before your ski holiday

Get in shape. While you learn to ski, your body is going to have to cope with unusual movements and postures as well as operating at an altitude it is unaccustomed to, so unless you’re fit enough, you are going to get tired very easily. There’s no need for intensive gym sessions, but do take some form of exercise that gets your heart rate up, and do work on your leg muscles by cycling and/or walking more than you normally do. Reckon on starting this regime about three months prior to your holiday. When you’re in resort, use your hotel’s or the resort’s pool and sauna facilities to ease aching muscles between sessions on the slopes.

Stay at a chalet hotel

Opt for a package holiday at a chalet hotel. You may be tempted to save money by self-catering, but you’ll probably be too tired to cook, shop and clean, and you’ll end up spending more money eating out than you anticipate. Similarly, an organised holiday will take care of things that can be hard to fathom as a beginner, such as airport transfers and ski hire.

Book a ski resort which is suitable for beginners

Allow yourself to be tempted by early- or late-booking deals, but think foremost about your resort’s suitability for beginners – our Chalet Hotel L'Ecrin resort in Tignes is ideal for those learning to ski, whether children or adults.

Book ski and snowboard lessons at an indoor ski centre

Book ski and snowboard lessons at an indoor ski centre. If you have the basics – being accustomed to the feel of skis and ski boots, and having the hang of the snowplough – you’ll make faster progress on holiday.

Budget for ski and snowboard lessons

Budget for ski and snowboard lessons – learning with friends or relatives is a false saving as they’ll probably inadvertently take you at a faster level than you’re ready for and perhaps even put you off skiing altogether. Take group classes in the morning then use the afternoons to practise what you’ve learnt. And if possible, choose accommodation close to the ski school meeting point.

Borrow, don’t buy, your ski kit

Borrow, don’t buy, your ski kit – or at least as much as you can. Once you’ve been on your first holiday, you’ll have more of an idea of the kind of gear you’d like to invest in. With kids, borrow as much as possible anyway – they grow out of it very quickly.

Be prepared and pack for all weathers

Be prepared – keep an eye on the weather and snow forecasts in your resort, but take a rucksack out with you so that if it turns out you’re overdressed or underdressed, you don’t have to suffer. You also need to take water, snacks and sunscreen.

Skiing with children

If you’re planning a first ski trip with children, read our feature on Skiing with children

Ski and snowboard at your own pace

Most importantly, perhaps, ski and snowboard at your own pace and don’t compare yourself with others – it’s all about fun and doing your own thing, not impressing people. If you want nothing more to poodle around on gentle pistes, go with it!

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