Have your 
best Ski holiday in 2020

The essential guide to planning your best ski holiday: where to go, when to go, what to pack, and how to budget for your ski holiday in Japan, New Zealand, Australia, the US, Canada, or Europe. 

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Why is everyone going skiing?

From families taking advantage of kids’ clubs, to the après skier who wants to party, to powder-hounds seeking an off-piste adventure or some heli skiing, more people than ever are heading to the snow for their holidays.

It’s easy to see why: the freshness of the snow-fields, the rush of flying down the slopes, the beauty of alpine towns, the cozy culture, and the pumping nightlife. 

Before you head off, though, you need to pick from one of the 2000 ski resorts around the globe, which, even for the well-seasoned, can be a little overwhelming.

Luckily, you’ve landed on the right page. Whether you’re thinking Japan, New Zealand, Europe. Australia, the US or Canada, we’ve got all the info you need to make your next ski holiday the best one possible.

 

Where should I go skiing?
Skiing in Japan

Japan’s popularity has risen dramatically in recent years. If you're looking for unbeatable snow, as well as a memorable cultural experience, Japan promises some of the driest snow on earth. It’s also a great destination for food and, of course, volcanic hot spring baths (onsens).

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Where should I go skiing?
Skiing in New Zealand

Adventure seekers will love New Zealand. As well as reliable snow dumps and fewer crowds than other places in the world, New Zealand skiing offers incredible vistas and thrills aplenty. This particularly true of Queenstown - dubbed the ‘adventure capital of the world’.

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Where should I go skiing?
Skiing in Australia

Staying close to home is a great option, particularly with a family. Australian snowfields offer premium snow-making technology and top-notch skiing lessons - not to mention being great for kids. Additionally, there’s the prevalence of on-mountain accommodation, unlike many resorts in New Zealand.

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Where should I go skiing?
Skiing in the USA & Canada

For pros and beginners alike, you can't beat North America when it comes to skiing and snowboarding. As well as enormous amounts of dry, fine snow and high tree-lines, the superior organisation and service you'll find across Canada and the US almost guarantee a great holiday experience.

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Where should I go skiing?
Skiing in Europe

This is where apres-ski culture was born. So whether you're all about snowfields or the entertainment surrounding it, Europe offers both in spades. With postcard views, iconic peaks, picturesque villages, and an enviable nightlife, ski culture has been cultivated here for decades, making it a default destination for pros and first-timers alike.

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Japan New Zealand Australia USA & Canada Europe
 
 

Ski Destinations:
Where do People Ski?

USA
54.9 million visitors per year
France
54 million visitors per year
Japan
32.1 million visitors per year
Australia
2.5 million visitors per year

 

 

 

When's the best time to go skiing?

Official ski seasons change from year to year, so it's important to research the exact dates for the year in which you plan to travel. Within Europe, for instance, dates differ between countries as well as individual resorts. As a rough guide, these are the ideal times for the following destinations:
 

New Zealand Ski Resorts: mid June - early October

Find out more about New Zealand ski resorts.

Australia: early June - early October

Find out more about Australian ski resorts.

US & Canada: December - April

Find out more about US and Canadian ski resorts.

Europe: December - April 

Find out more on European ski resorts.

Japan: December - April

Find out more about Japanese ski resorts.

 

9 top tips for skiing on a budget

"Skiing" and "budget" aren’t two words that necessarily go together, but there are several ways you can be smart with your cash.  Here are our top tips for a champagne ski holiday on a beer budget.
 

Tip #1

Stay in the valley

Find accommodation in the valley rather than on the mountain. Self-catered apartments are much cheaper than chalets, and give you the option to cook for yourself.

Tip #2

travel in shoulder season

And avoid school holidays if possible. Remember there will be excellent resort discounts if you can be flexible with when you travel. 

Tip #3

Book very Early or Last minute 

This is when the greatest savings can be made. If you're in the middle of the pack, you’ll get the same deals as everyone else. i.e. None. 

 

Tip #4

check baggage costs

This is a must, particularly with cheap flights.  Fees can add up fast, especially when you're carrying ski and snow gear.

Tip #5

consider package deals

These might not seem the 'coolest', but package deals can save you a bucket because of deals between suppliers. 

Tip #6

join mailing lists in advance

Just tossing up the idea of going skiing? The earlier you get on a mailing list, the more likely you’ll get deals for ski passes.

 

Tip #7

Bring your gear with you

Buying it at a resort is expensive. Very expensive. If you can, borrow ski gear or buy it second hand, and use your savings for apres-ski.
 

Tip #8

kids ski free

Some resorts either let children ski free or have discount deals. These options usually mean more kids too, so they'll have a better time. 
 

Tip #9

get the right insurance

Skiing and snowboarding often requires a 'snow/winter option' when buying your travel insurance. If something happens, you’ll save loads with the right cover.
 

 

 

What could go wrong on Your skiing Holiday?

  • head injury

    you could injure yourself

    Despite skiing being relatively safe, there's still a whole spectrum of possible injuries... more >

  • Planning

    you could plan Poorly

    You may be trying your best to budget, but that could result in more misery than fun... more >

  • stretching

    You don't prep your body

    Ideally, prepare for your trip by starting your pre-ski fitness regime around 6-8 weeks before ... more >

  • fast skiier

    you're too adventurous

    Most injuries happen because skiers lose control on a slope that isn't suited to their ability... more >

  • wrong luggage

    you take the wrong gear

    The wrong gear can leave you cold, wet, burnt, or blistered... more >

  • theft

    You lose your gear

    Skiis and ski gear get lost more than you think, and theft is also rife at ski resorts... more >

 

 

 

Get a ski travel insurance quote in minutes

 

 

General ski insurance fAQs

  • What sort of travel insurance do I need if I’m going skiing?
  • You’ll need to select a Comprehensive policy and add a Winter Sports Pack if you’re taking part in any ski or snow related activities.

  • What if I have to shorten my ski trip because my child is sick?
  • If your policy includes family emergency as a provision, and your child (who is travelling with you) becomes sick, you may be able to claim for curtailment or cancellation of the remainder of a trip, whichever is higher (you can’t claim for both).

  • What if I’m sick and I can't use the lessons I pre-booked and paid for?
  • If you have purchased a Winter Sports Pack, and, as a result of your injury or illness, you’re not able to utilise the full duration of your pre-booked and pre -paid ski passes, ski hire, tuition fees or lift passes, you’ll have provision to claim for the unused costs of pre-booked lessons, ski passes, ski hire, etc. for each insured person.

  • What if I can't get on the slopes because of weather conditions, or avalanche risk?
  • If you’ve purchased a Winter Sport Pack, we’ll be able to cover you up to $100 per 24 hours period, if as a result of not enough snow, bad weather or power failure in your pre booked holiday report, all lift systems are closed for more than 24 hours.

    We will pay for either:
    a) the cost of transport to the nearest resort; or
    b) the cost of additional ski passes.

    However, you’ll only have provision to claim if you go skiing within certain time periods. Please see the PDS for more details

     

  • What if I lose my ski equipment?
  • If you have a Winter Sports Pack and your snowboard, skiis, or any other winter sports equipment is lost, stolen or damaged, (while not in use), then there is provision to claim.

    If you simply aren’t watchful of your ski equipment, we aren’t able to provide coverage for luggage and personal belongings that are classed as unattended and unsupervised.

    For a full definition of what is defined as unsupervised and unattended, please check the PDS for details.

  • What if I lose or damage rented equipment?
  • When you are booking your policy, simply select the Winter Sports Pack add-on and you’ll be covered for Terms and conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Please refer to the PDS for further information.

    Please note that this does not take the place of ski rental equipment insurance.

  • What if something happens while I’m off-piste?
  • We provide cover for off-piste skiing and snowboarding, as long as it is within a short distance from designated areas of ski resort boundaries, on groomed terrain that is open and patrolled by the ski resort.​ If slopes are not patrolled, we won’t be able to cover you.

    We do not cover backcountry skiing due to the high risk of skiing in a sparsely inhabited, rural region over ungroomed and unmarked slopes. However, it is always advisable to stay within resort boundaries where the slopes are patrolled.

  • What if I injure myself and alcohol is involved?
  • Our policy states that any claim arising from being intoxicated, or under the influence of liquor or drugs — except those prescribed by a medical adviser — will not be covered.

  • What if I need medical attention of any kind on my holiday?
  • We have a 24/7 emergency medical assistance to assist you whenever you need help.

    If you want to be covered for medical evacuation and you’re taking part in ski or snow sports, it’s advisable to purchase the Winter Sports Pack add-on at the time of purchase to be covered for medical evacuation.

    In an emergency where you need to be evacuated, we advise that you, a member of your travelling party, or a family member call our medical assistance team as soon as possible.

    If you are covered, they will liaise with the treating hospital to provide written guarantees of payment where possible for reasonable expenses, and to approve medical evacuation if you are out of the country, and evacuation is deemed necessary.

    For minor ailments, such as those that only require a GP visit, you may attend the doctor, pay for your visit upfront and then submit your claim either from overseas or once you return home.

    Make sure that you keep all receipts and reports from your treating doctor, including the diagnosis and treatment notes and any other documents. If your total cost of treatment will exceed $1,000 you MUST contact our medical assistance team as soon as possible.

    If you are still uncertain about what to do in relation to an injury or illness, please contact our medical assistance team and they will assist you.

 

helpful resources for skiers

First time Skier

Lucky you! There’s nothing quite like your first time. Here's all the info you need as a first-time skier, snowboarder, or any other snow activities. 

Skiing in Japan

Japan is booming as a ski destination. Visit our Japan Travel Insurance page to make sure you’ve got the right cover.

1Cover's Medical Hub

Do you have pre-existing medical conditions? Or are you pregnant?  Find out everything you need to know here.