Learning to Ski on Vacation

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While many vacationers prefer to flee from wintery weather and seek out warm beaches and ocean breezes, others head to the mountains and strap on a pair of skis. However, for those who have never skied before, the prospect of getting started can seem imposing, especially given the perceived cost of ski equipment, unfamiliarity with high elevations, or the assumed difficulty of picking up a new skill. Luckily, armed with just a few tips, learning to ski can be the foundation of a fun, exciting vacation.

The first step toward learning to ski should involve some pre-trip planning. Focus on destinations and resorts with well-reviewed ski schools and a good selection of beginners’ slopes. A first-time skier should always sign up for lessons; unless you’re traveling with an accredited ski instructor, the resort’s teachers will be the best resource for learning how to ski and navigate the mountain’s runs. Ideally, the price of lessons will include the cost of equipment rental and access to the rest of the resort. Obviously, first-time skiers should hold off on buying expensive gear, especially since equipment made specifically for beginners is relatively common now.

Managing expectations is key to ensuring a good time once you’ve arrived at your destination. A first-time skier can expect to stick to the so-called “nursery” slopes for the bulk of their trip, but selecting a good resort for beginners will help you avoid being stuck on a tiny corner of the mountain. Other vacationers will be learning to ski while their friends and family are already zooming down the mountain on the expert slopes. Beginners should try to resist the pressure to take on more than they can handle; instead, be guided by your ski instructor, who will provide great advice on what trails and slopes are best suited to your skill level.

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