How to make the most of short skiing break
A recent two-day trip to St Anton am Arlberg near Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria, taught me a thing or two about making the most of a short skiing break.
Obviously, if you can spare the time, do go for longer but if you only have a limited budget, a few days off work or you are trying to sneak in an extra ski break on top of your usual annual week on the slopes, here are my tips.
How to make the most of a ski short break
If you only have a few days of a short break to enjoy you will want to ski for as many hours as possible. The more “ski fit” you are before you leave for the slopes the more skiing you will be able to do on your trip. See my Get fit for skiing blog
Brush up your skills
Prepare for the slopes with a few pre-break lessons. The new GO SKI GO BOARD Scotland is a great place to start. The initiative is being run at artificial slopes, including Snow Factor at Braehead, near Glasgow, and encourages participation in skiing with value-for-money taster, beginner, improver and recreational skiing and snowboarding sessions.
Go with your partner (Or ditch the kids…)
This might sound a bit mean but you’ll enjoy more of your short break if it’s just the two of you. If you rarely get to spend time with your partner, what with work, family and all the other things that make up a normal domestic life, book a romantic skiing trip away to somewhere beautiful.
Or go with your friends
A short ski break is a great way to enjoy catch-up time and fun with your mates. If your girlfriends aren’t too sure about skiing get them to check out This Girl Can.
Book direct flights
The less travelling that is involved the more you can ski and generally enjoy the trip away. Look for flights direct to skiing airports, including Geneva, Innsbruck, Salzburg and Turin. A short break from the UK will usually mean skiing in Europe. See On The Snow’s pick of top 10 weekend ski resorts with easy airport access.
The right flights
Look for early morning flights so you can squeeze in a half-day skiing on arrival – and also a late flight home so you can enjoy another half-day of skiing before you leave.
You’ll find better deals and quieter slopes for a short break if you can travel mid-week rather than at the weekend.
Again, you don’t want to waste valuable hours in a bus or train, transferring from the airport to the ski resort. I was delighted to find that Innsbruck to St Anton is less than an hour.
Hire skis and boots
For the speediest route through the airport, you should try to take hand luggage only. This might be tricky if you also take your ski boots and skis! Instead, hire skis when you get to your resort. For example, Sport Jennewein in St Anton am Arlberg.
Book a package
Rather than having to sort out the flights, accommodation, ski hire etc yourself, let a holiday company do it all for you.
Reduce your bag size
Wear as much of your ski wear as you can to keep you baggage to hand luggage only size. I also discovered, during the St Anton trip, that if you choose Speedy Boarding with EasyJet you can take an extra handbag on the flight with you as hand luggage. This could free up a bit of space in your cabin bag.
Choose full board
Fully catered chalets and hotels that offer meals as well as accommodation reduce any time that might be wasted trying to find the best place to eat.
Treat yourself to some luxury
If it’s only a short trip, why not treat yourself to a little luxury? It’s only for a few nights and a top hotel is lovely after a long day on the slopes. I loved the 4-star Hotel Valluga in St Anton am Arlberg.
Hire a ski guide
To make the most of your time on the slopes, a ski guide is far easier to follow than a piste map. They will also know where to go for the least crowded slopes and the best slopes in different weather conditions. Thanks to Christoph and Ali from Ski School Arlberg for helping our small group to make the most of our trip.
Make the most of your precious time
Ski all day, chat to your partner or friends on the lifts and in gondolas, eat lots because you will burn off the calories, enjoy apres-ski gluhweins and beer, stay out late, party, enjoy a spa treatment, eat some more, sleep and ski again. There is a lot you can pack into just two of three days of skiing.
Take a slide to the toilets
Last by no means least on my list is the speedy way you can reach the toilets, thus saving valuable seconds for more skiing time, by sliding down the side of the stairs at Hospizalm mountain restaurant in St Christoph. This is a video of my fun slide to the bathroom.