Skiing Travel Guide
For snowhounds, winter can last all year long. Thredbo Village and Perisher Blue in the Aussie winter, Telluride and Jackson Hole during December in the States and Niesko in the Japanese snow season. Passionate skiers with the means can hit the international slopes, but beginners spending on ski expenses for the first time should start local. We’ll show you where to go and what to bring and how to stay safe while carving the immaculate mountains of the world.
Getting Your Feet Wet vs. Mastering Your Craft
Strapping on your first pair of ski boots? Here are a few ideal destinations:
- Dinner Plain is a shuttle bus away from Mount Hotham. This beginner lift consists of 16 km of cross-country skiing, making it ideal for beginners.
- Mount Buller is about three hours from Melbourne. The 300 hectares of terrain, 22 lifts and two toboggan parks means there is an appropriate run for all skill levels.
- Niesko in Japan is popular with Australians beginners. The mountains aren’t extremely steep, and the area has the best ski-après scene of Japan.
If you’ve been on the basic runs and it’s time to up the ante, try any of these international slopes:
- St. Anton, Austria: Reach the 2811-metre summit and enjoy ungroomed descents and off-piste terrain meant for advanced skiers.
- Revelstoke, Canada: Whistler in Vancouver gets more notoriety, but Revelstoke was reopened in 2007 and offers the longest drop in North America, 1713 metres.
- Telluride, USA: The historic town in Colorado has a charming appeal and high ratings for expert and extreme runs by Snowhounds.
- Zermatt, Switzerland: A classic ski town in the shadow of the jagged Matterhorn, Zermatt has vertical drops up to 2179 metres.
Hire Your Gear vs. Haul Your Gear
For your first few runs as a beginner, hire equipment to get the right look and feel.
- Boots: Consider buying your own pair of boots if you plan on skiing more than once. They’re not a hassle to carry around and boots tend to mold to your feet like other shoes.
- Skis & Poles: If you’ve fallen in love after your first trip, don’t rush into purchasing a full set of equipment. Beginner skis are easier to control, and in a few seasons’ time, you’ll need new skis anyway, because your experience level will go up.
- Demos: Once you pass the intermediate level, you can demo the ski set you have your eyes on. Testing your turns on different powder types will reduce your risk of purchase regret.
Bringing skis on a plane
Once you know your way around the Aussie slopes and have seen the Japanese high country, it’s time to snag your own set of poles, boots and skis.
- Balance protection with convenience when choosing an equipment bag. Padded, wheeled bags can hold three pairs of skis or more, but they can get bulky and usually incur extra airline charges.
- Know airline baggage weight limits and restrictions. Japan Airlines charges extra for bags over 23 kgs. Qantas doesn’t charge extra for bags under 23 kg on domestic flights and under 30 kg on international flights.
- Carry your boots in a boot bag. It won’t count as a piece of checked luggage, as long as it contains just boots and accompanies a pair of skis or a snowboard.
Safety on The Snow vs. Get Cultured
Both first timers and snow-sport veterans should focus on safety when on the slopes. Nothing spoils a trip faster than an unexpected injury.
- Collisions: Always be aware of your surroundings and fellow mountain goers.
- Insurance: Accidents are an unfortunate part of skiing and sometimes can’t be avoided. Secure travel insurance before your trip— domestic and international coverage is available.
- For skiing lovers, make sure you have appropriate travel insurance, so that you ski trip are protected. For skiing destinations and insurance, don't forget to checkout our destination travel guides that have all the important information related to travel and insurance. These guides include travel Insurance guides for Canada, New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom and Japan.
- Bindings: Proper DIN settings (weight, height, age, skier type and boot sole length) will create bindings that fit properly and prevent many common ankle and knee injuries.
- Protection: Technology continues to make spine protectors more lightweight and helmets less bulky, yet many riders resist safety gear. Ice, stones and unpredictable skiers should be enough to secure your investment.
Experience the world
Don’t forget to take in the culture of ski towns around the world.
- Onsens in Japan: These communal hot springs are a staple of Japanese culture and are located at every ski resort in Japan. Remember to bare all, onsen frequenters are naked, separated by gender.
- Matterhorn in Switzerland: The sharp peak of the Matterhorn can’t be missed from nearby ski resorts. Take the Gornergrat railway through the mountains for snowy visuals and hikes. Or learn about the first summit in 1865 at the Matterhorn Museum in Zermatt.
- Drive North America: The United States has more than 6 million km in roadways, the most in the world. Canada has the 7th most with more than 1 million km. Rent a car and take advantage of these roads that wind through mountains, weave through forests and cross over lakes and rivers.
- Tasmanian Wilderness: Historic leftovers include Sullivan’s Cove in Hobart and the convict relics of the 19th century. Wineglass Bay and Cradle Mountain are perfect destinations for day trips when you’re not on the slopes.
Inspired to ski? We don’t blame you. Protect yourself against injury costs with travel insurance, get the right gear and find the right resorts, and your passion for skiing will take off.
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