Beginners Guide: Booking your first snowboard holiday

So you’ve got the learning all planned out and now you want to book your snowboarding holiday.  How do you choose a good snowboard resort for a beginner?

  1. Choose a snowboarding resort with plenty of blue and green runs – the easier, wider and less steep runs.  You’ll want plenty of space when you’re attempting those toe-side turns.
  2. Choose somewhere with quiet slopes – Easier said than done but learning to snowboard in the Alps can be terrifying when you have families, drunk skiers and ski school lines bearing down on you. I recently discovered that the resorts in Sweden and Norway are incredibly quiet compared to France or Austria.   You can have the slope to your self at times so you can cruise down at your own pace without worrying about what’s going on behind you.
  3. Not too many drags – Drag lifts, the one’s that literally drag you along the snow to go up the hill, are surprisingly tricky for beginners. In fact still fall off them now and again 6 years in! Aim for a resort with more chair lifts than drags.  You’ll save your legs too.  (thanks for that tip SnowKaz!)
  4. Book off-peak – Avoid peak times of the season such as half-term and Easter.  This way it will be cheaper and less busy.  Double bonus! Jan is always a cheap and quieter time to go but make sure you book somewhere with a good snow record at that time of year!
  5. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of a lift ticket – The Lift Pass or Lift Ticket is what provides your access to the mountain and all the lifts that get you to the top of the slopes.  It’s an unavoidable cost. They can cost between £140 and £300 for a week depending on the resort.  Check out the prices before booking your holiday and see if your tour operator offers any special deals – e.g. I’ve seenNeilson offer a bundle that includes equipment hire, lessons and a lift ticket for a huge discount.
  6. Packaged holiday or DIY? – Package snowboard holidays can offer great value if you check out the details properly but sometimes a DIY combination of cheap flights, trains, buses and chalets can work out cheaper.  For a first holiday I would recommend choosing a package at least removes much of the stress and bother plus you will have a holiday rep on hand to help if anything goes wrong.  Some of the best
  7. Beware the hidden charges when booking flights – Easyjet and Ryanair are notorious for advertising a cheap price which then grows exponentially when you factor in things like bag carriage and oxygen but now BA are charging extra for carrying your snowboard.  Make sure you check the real prices for making a final decision!

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