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Skiing Holidays
There are so many countries that provide great facilities for enjoying some winter sporting that it is possible to take a winter holiday at almost any time of the year.
Many people naturally prefer to take their holidays during the hot summer months. However, for an increasingly large number of people, by far the best time to take that all important vacation is during the winter, because it offers the opportunity of indulging in one of the many fantastic winter sports. For many skiing, whether it is alpine or cross country, is the most popular choice, while alternatives such as snowboarding, skating, sledging, or just walking in the snow are the preferred choice of many.

These days there are so many countries that provide great facilities for enjoying some winter sporting that it is possible to take a winter holiday at almost any time of the year. Some of the most popular winter destinations, of course, remain in Europe or North America. However, many countries in Asia such as China or Japan are great places to go for a winter holiday. In addition neither Africa nor South America should be ruled out as countries such as Morocco, Argentina and Chile have some fine skiing and snowboarding resorts available. On the southern hemisphere the seasons are of course the opposite those on the northern, so when it is summer in Europe or North America you can still enjoy a winter sports holiday if you go to countries like Chile and Argentina in South America or to New Zealand, you can even go skiing in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania in Australia.

Some planning is needed before you go on a winter sports holiday. Not only do you decide where you want to go and what kind of accommodation you prefer, but you also you need to decide whether you want to bring your own equipment or you want to rent equipment at the destination, if possible. If you want to rent you should probably book the equipment in advance to make sure they have what you need. It is also a good idea to look into ski lifts, they can be rather expensive at some locations and you may be able to get a discount if you book in advance or get the ski lifts as part of a package. Winter sports holidays carry an increased cost should things go wrong, it is therefore important to take out ski travel insurance to cover these costs in addition to the usual travel insurance coverage.

Most people would want ski lessons when they start their skiing holidays. For the beginners it is obvious, but also the intermediate and more experienced can often benefit from ski lessons before they challenge the slopes. Before you go you can search on-line about the ski schools available at your destination.

You can also find out about the qualifications of the instructors and the kind of lessons that are offered. In most cases you can book on-line. In North America, many resorts have their own ski school, whereas in Europe, a resort may have many different private ski schools. All instructors are normally trained and certified by their national organizations.

Among the most popular European ski resorts are those found in the
French Alps and in Switzerland, where you also find some of the most exclusive ski resorts in the world. In high season it sometimes gets very crowded and expensive, so try to avoid the peak season in mid-February. Austria's ski resorts are not as spectacular and glamorous as the mega-resorts found in Switzerland, but they are cosier, less prone to mass tourism and a little cheaper. Norway and Sweden are best known for cross-country skiing, but there are also some very good alpine skiing areas. Especially in January it can get very cold, and the number of hours with daylight is limited.

North America has many well-known areas for winter sports, especially the spectacular snow-covered Rocky Mountains to the west offers some excellent skiing resorts. There are four major ski areas in the USA: California and the West; Colorado; Utah; and New England. British Colombia is Canada's most mountainous province, boasting some of the most spectacular alpine scenery in the world. The province has about 33 large ski resorts spread out from Vancouver Island to the Alberta border.

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