If you’re new to skiing then booking your first ski holiday might appear to be a daunting task, with so much to consider from how to get to the mountains, to what happens when you’re there, and have you got everything you need organised. Well, if this sounds like you, read on through our helpful guide to know exactly what you need as well as understanding how we can help so it makes your first experience of skiing one to remember for all the right reasons!
First up, these are the different elements you’ll need to book, which we’ll cover in more details later…
- The holiday
- Airport transfers or car rental
- The “ski extras”
- Lift pass
- Lessons (ski school or snowboard school)
- Ski hire or snowboard hire
- Other things to consider
- What to wear
- Travel insurance
- Pre-ski fitness
Book Your Ski Holiday
There are three ways to book the holiday part of your ski trip, but don’t worry, we offer all three options…
- A pre-made package.
- A flexible package.
- A “DIY” or independent trip.
For the pre-made packages, you might have heard of ski tour operators such as Crystal and Inghams. These are a great place to start when booking your first ski holiday, because it includes your flights, transfers, and accommodation, all for one price, plus you get met at the airport by a holiday rep who can point you in the right direction. With this option you’ll be flying out on a Sunday for seven nights, which matches up with the group lessons starting on Mondays.
The flexible package option is where a travel agent creates a package for you, but gives you more options, perhaps with a wider choice of airports, the ability to fly on a day other than a Sunday, and to give you flexibility in the duration of your trip. Again, this is ideal if it’s your first ski holiday, but bear in mind that group lessons generally start on Mondays (3-5 days) and Saturdays (2 days). If you’re doing it this way, make sure you book with a reputable travel company who offers full financial protection for your package, and that the holiday is ATOL protected if it includes flights.
We offer both types of package holiday via our in-house ABTA-member travel agency, Destination Ski. We’re the same team, the same office, but that’s just our package holiday agency. You can still email us at Andorra Resorts to discuss your package holiday requirements.
The third choice is a DIY/independent trip, which means you’ll be booking your flights directly with an airline, your airport transfers online, and then your accommodation either directly with the property, or perhaps on a booking portal such as Booking.com. Doing it this way gives you the best flexibility, and can be cheaper outside of peak dates too, but remember you’re not booking a package holiday and the benefits that brings. Andorra Resorts is a specialist at independent travel, and we’ve brought together all the tools you need to create your own flexible holiday, which you can find here.
The three “ski extras” you’ll need on your first ski holiday are a lift pass, lessons, and equipment rental. You can either book these individually, or they are normally available as a package called “learn to ski” or a “ski saver pack”, and are the best value for money for beginners.
The lift pass gets you access to the ski lifts. In quite a few of the resorts in Andorra you’ll need to take a gondola up to the ski school from the village, so this would be included with your lift pass. Beginners start off on magic carpet lifts, which are like conveyor belts, or with a rope tow, before progressing onto chairlifts.
Group lessons are the best value, but we also offer private lessons too, which are more expensive but you should progress quicker. Group lessons start on Saturdays for two days, and Mondays for three to five days, so you’ll need to bear this in mind when planning on what day of the week to arrive.
For skiers you’ll need skis, poles, and boots, then for snowboarders it’s snowboard and boots. For your first time you’ll be fine with the entry level or budget range, or you can upgrade by one level if you want to have something a bit newer, however don’t upgrade beyond that because it will actually give you equipment that is harder to use for your first time on the slopes. Helmets aren’t compulsory in Andorra, but definitely recommended. We always include a helmet for children, then for adults they are an optional extra.
If you’re booking a package holiday with us we can add on all the ski extras you need, or if you’re booking an independent holiday you can pre-book everything you need here.
Other Things to Consider
As you read above, the equipment rental doesn’t include your clothing, so you’ll want to work out the things you’ll need to get ready for your first ski holiday, and we’ve already written a beginner’s guide to ski clothing to help you work things out.
You’ll also need to make sure you’ve bought a winter sports travel insurance policy. You’re best to take this out as soon as you book your trip to make sure you get the benefits of cancellation cover right from the start. When you choose winter sports insurance the premium will go up over a standard travel policy, but it’s most definitely worth getting just in case you have an accident on the slopes or in the resort where there’s often lots of snow and ice around.
Finally, skiing and snowboarding is great fun as well as being a physical activity, so in the run up to your trip (if you’re not already) you’ll want to do a few exercises to get your body ready. Trust us, doing a few exercises in advance will really help you to get the most out of your first ski holiday, so you might want to have a read of our pre-ski fitness article.
We’re Here to Help
No matter how you choose to book your holiday, our expert team are here to help you organise things. We love helping beginners, and Andorra is the perfect destination for your first time in the mountains, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we help you as much as you need to book your trip.