As the weather takes a turn for the chilly, you have two options. You can climb into a onesie, stock up the cupboards, and resign yourself to hibernation throughout the winter, or, you can dig out your earmuffs, ski boots and passport, and get ready to jet off to a winter wonderland filled with adventure. If you pick the latter, read on for some top tips on how to get the most from your travels this winter season.

book ski lessons with the kids When to book

Whether in France, Austria or Canada, winter sports holidays do come at a premium, so it’s crucial to give yourself every chance of a good deal. Given the slightly diminished possibility of consistent snowfall, the months before Christmas are the best time to book your winter holiday in terms of price. It’s worth bearing in mind that many ski resorts offer deals for returning customers, so check if this will be a viable option for your family, and consider haggling for your dream package if flexibility isn’t an option.

Deal with the baggage

If you prefer to bring your own snow sport equipment, cheap airlines can be a false economy, and often incur a mountain of extra baggage costs. Instead, seek out airlines offering winter sports deals or a special baggage allowance for ski equipment.

Buy some peace of mind

Insurance is critical for any winter sport holiday. Be sure to read policy documents thoroughly, familiarize yourself with any excesses payable, and consider additional cover for personal belongings and accidental damage, especially if you’re planning on bringing any valuable electronics. If you’re thinking of skipping holiday insurance that covers sports or perhaps additional insurance altogether—don’t! Just read this story about one family’s tough lesson learned during their ski holiday and then pick a plan that will keep you covered.

take you holidays in beautiful Obergurgl

Where to go

The range of ski resorts out there is phenomenal. Perhaps you’re seeking a romantic, private cabin for two, or a resort that can accommodate families with young children. You may be a party animal, or have a strict budget to adhere to. It’s also worth considering the nature of the slopes available to accommodate any beginners, or expert skiers in your party.

Good all-round resorts have something for everyone, and the ones in Europe are often tough to beat. France is a persistently popular choice, with Alpe d’Huez and La Plagne both very accessible for younger skiers. In Austria, Obergurgl offers chocolate box levels of romance, and a dizzying range of runs, while those seeking cross-country adventure might wish to explore the Tyrolean Alps in Austria, or venture into deepest Finnish Lapland to the resort of Ylläs.

However you choose to frame your winter escape, remember that beach holidays are for summer and hibernation is for bears. It’s time to wrap up, fly out, and bag yourself an exhilarating ride down a powdery mountainside this winter.

Images by Steve Cadman and Rob Wall, used under the Creative Commons license.