Feb 02, 2016
sunset
Travel Resources

6 Tips for Your Next Ski Trip

As we approach the dog days of winter, it’s time to start thinking about gearing up for this year’s skiing getaway. As you plan your trip, consider the fickle nature of winter weather and the capriciousness of conditions on the slopes.

1. During the winter months, it’s best to travel on non-stop flights leaving early in the morning. If you do have to connect, try not to do so through hubs that regularly experience nasty winter weather, like Chicago's O'Hare and Denver International. That said, even southern airports like Dallas or Atlanta can be tricky, given the ice storms that can beset Dixie during the winter.

2. Traveling to lofty altitudes for skiing or snowboarding? Prepare for the highs.

  • Don't overdo exercise on the first day.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol intake, particularly during the first few days of your trip.
  • Your digestive innards work slower at higher altitudes, so eating late meals may interfere with sleep.
  • Consider taking aspirin with a huge glass of water right before bedtime to preempt altitude-induced headaches.

3. Stay hydrated. Going on a skiing trip creates a perfect storm of conditions for dehydration. Before you hit the slopes, flying has already dried you out. Add to that extreme exercise, the lower oxygen levels and lower humidity at high altitudes, and the intense sun, and you have the recipe for dehydration. In order to avoid this fate, start drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day about a week before your trip starts. Then, keep drinking H20 as you go. Avoiding dehydrators like caffeine, alcohol, and fatty foods is also wise.

4. Remember the sunscreen. Even though it’s cold, the sun’s rays are still intense at higher altitudes.

5. Invest in the proper clothing. If you are going to be outside for a good part of a winter's day, layer away and thermalize. Pay special attention to your extremities, including head, hands and feet.

6. Always buy travel insurance. Travel Insurance plans can protect you from financial losses due to covered, unforeseen events. It’s important to read your policy documents so you understand how your Travel Insurance can help you. For example:

  • If your winter trip gets cancelled or delayed due to unexpected weather events, insurance may cover non-refundable prepaid costs and extra expenses, such as re-booking fee, (additional hotel nights, and meals.
  • Get hurt on the slope? Travel Insurance* plans from Allianz Global Assistance can provide primary insurance for covered emergency medical situations.
  • Some plans from Allianz Global Assistance can cover damage to your sporting equipment caused either by an airline or by Mother Nature.
  • Airline misplace your skis? Allianz Global Assistance can cover the cost of rentals...and help you track down those skis while you are swooshing down the slopes.
  • Concierge Services included with many plans, can provide much-needed assistance in other areas as well. For example, if your flight gets cancelled, the concierge can find you another ride. If you need to stay overnight, the concierge can book a hotel. And if you need recommendations for a hot new restaurant at your cold weather destination they can even help with that.

Laura Powell is a travel expert based in Washington, DC. You can read more on her blog: The Daily Suitcase

*Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.