The Times
The Times

Time to hit the Slopes: Plan Your Ultimate Snow Holiday


Allianz breaks down getting back to the snow for Aussie travellers

Ski holidays have been on hiatus the past few years but it’s time to dust off your parkas and start practicing your parallel turns – it’s official, Aussies are returning to the slopes. 

As a number of Australians get ready to hit the New Zealand slopes this winter, Dr Geoff Ramin, Chief Medical Officer at Allianz Partners, said taking extra precautions will make your holiday memorable for the right reasons. 

“Australian snow lovers haven’t been able to hit the slopes for more than two years so you might not be as comfortable on your skis or board. No one likes to ruin a holiday with an injury, so, if you’re eligible, adding an optional Snow Pack to your travel insurance policy when you’re skiing or snowboarding provides insurance for these activities. Remember terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply” Dr Ramin said. 

“The pandemic has taught us to expect the unexpected, so now that we’re travelling internationally again it’s important to consider what our ‘new normal’ looks like and ensure we’re prepared. That means even if you’re just looking to explore a new winter city, having travel insurance is still a good idea. 

“When booking with a provider, ensure they have 24/7 assistance offerings – Allianz Global Assistance’s medical assistance team is staffed by a team of in-house doctors, nurses and case managers, providing round-the-clock emergency assistance to customers requiring support overseas.”

And to help plan smooth mountain adventures this ski season, global travel assistance provider Allianz has released five top tips:

  1. Where and when to ‘go snow’

New Zealand is a great option for the budget being closest to home and has some of the most beautiful scenery. Their season matches that of our domestic slopes from June to mid-October. Further afield, Canada has a seven-month ski season, though January and February are peak times to visit. Their USA neighbours’ season similarly starts from late November until early April. Japanese and European slopes are other Aussie favourites, with their seasons extending from December to March, however, be sure to check travel restrictions But what better way to enjoy winter than in our own backyard, especially now as this winter shaping up to be one of the best in years with huge snowfalls in NSW already. 

  1. Suitcase slope essentials 

Bring clothes to layer. This gives you the flexibility to add and subtract as required. The layer closest to your skin should be a thermal layer made of modal or wool that draws moisture away from your body, keeping you dry. The middle layer – usually a polyester fleece – is designed to keep the heat in and the cold out by trapping air between the layers. The top layer is your protection layer – your snow jacket and pants should keep you dry from rain, snow or sleet, block the wind and be breathable. The level of insulation you need will depend on your destination and weather conditions. You’ll also need ski gloves, thermal socks, goggles and a helmet, and of course ski or snowboard equipment. 

  1. Book travel insurance with a Snow Pack add-on as soon as your dates are in the calendar

The Snow Pack provides cover if you’re skiing or snowboarding including emergency rescue if you are injured or become sick while participating in snow sport activities. But it can also cover you for piste closure, bad weather or avalanche closure, as well as covering damaged, lost or stolen snow sports equipment, whether it’s your own or hired. Without it, you won’t be covered for any accidents while on the slopes.

  1. Hire or buy gear 

If this is your first trip, you’ll probably be able to borrow clothing from family or friends, and hire ski gear at the slopes before making any expensive purchase decisions. Plus, this is the more sustainable option. If you’re planning on becoming a frequent snow traveller, consider buying your own gear and equipment – though you may need to purchase extra baggage if you’re travelling to the slopes via air. 

  1. Skiing vs snowboarding

The age-old question. While skiing is a common choice, in some circles snowboarding is regarded as the cooler of the two.  Regardless of which you choose, remember that learning any new sport can be hard work, but the rewards are priceless. Though it might look easy, lessons are essential for beginners to help master the right techniques. If you’re not a beginner, don’t forget the value of a refresher lesson if you haven’t skied or boarded in a while.

www.allianzpartners.com.au