Winter Sports Holidays are more popular than ever and it’s hardly surprising considering they can be incredibly exhilarating and fun. It is important to remember however that there are risks associated with this kind of holiday. If you are not careful then accidents can happen and medical bills can easily cost far more than the holiday itself if you haven’t invested in the right Travel Insurance.
There are plenty of things that you can do to reduce these risks and make sure that you have a fun and safe Winter Sports holiday. Below are our top tips for protecting yourself on the slopes this winter:
1. Protect against sunburn
You could easily be mistaken in thinking that on the snow covered slopes your skin is at no risk of UV damage, but this is unfortunately not the case. According to a warning issued by the met office ‘for every 100 feet above sea level, the amount of UV rays that reach the earth’s surface increases by up to 5%’. This means that at 1,000 feet above sea level, you will be exposed to 50% more UV rays. Take this into consideration and it is easy to see why it’s important to be aware of the affects of the sun when you hit the slopes this Winter. UV rays can be dangerous in the alpine regions as you are absorbing direct UV rays from the sun but also from the refection of the snow on the surface. For this reason it is important to protect any areas of exposed skin with the appropriate sun protection, including the underside of your chin. Even when it is cloudy, you will still be at risk as a large proportion of the sun’s UB rays are able to penetrate through the clouds, so never just assume you are safe.
2. Wear the correct Head Gear
Sun protection applies to your eyes as well. Using polarised sunglasses/goggles will help to reduce the amount of UV light reflected from the snow and will help to protect your eyes from damage. Wearing the appropriate eye protection is vital when you are hitting the slopes for a number of reasons. If you are shooting down the slopes then your eyes will be exposed to all kind of elements and keeping them wide open and dry when being hit by water, wind and snow can be a challenge. Appropriate eye wear should protect you from the Sun’s UV rays but also allow you to see where you are going at all times so that you are in the best position to avoid accidents on the slopes. Protecting your head will also need to be high up on your agenda. Snow may appear to a soft landing, but with the right impact it can cause serious damage to your head and neck, as can trees, rocks or another person if you collide. Wearing a helmet when on the slopes could be an incredibly wise decision and could potentially even save your life.
3. Don’t overestimate your abilities
Mastering Winter Sports can be a skill and different slopes will be suitable for different levels. It can be tempting to skip professional instruction or the low intensity practice runs, but this can easily lead to disaster. Your friends may be of a more experienced level but trying to join them on the more difficult slopes could result in a serious accident. Likewise, if you are travelling in a group and have more experience than the others, never try to encourage someone to push themselves beyond their ability. The thought of tackling the appropriate slopes for your skill level by yourself or in a smaller group may seem pretty lonely, but it will be far more convenient than having your holiday ruined if yourself or a member or your group is hospitalised. Make sure that you are honest about your abilities when choosing your sports equipment also. A trained professional should be able to help you choose the correct gear, and overestimating your skill level could result in you being issued equipment that is harder to control.
4. Invest in the right Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance is a wise move regardless of the type of holiday you are going on, however for Winter Sports holidays it can be even more vital due to the increased risk of injury and the cost of equipment. If you already have a Travel Insurance policy then check to see if you are covered for Winter Sports, as many policies will exclude these activities. Investing in specialist Winter Sports cover will help to ensure that you are covered for everything you require including extensive medical cover. Choose a Winter Sports Travel Insurance that covers you for everything the standard Travel Insurance policy does, but includes additional extras such as cover for Ski Equipment, Piste closure and Ski hire.
Protect Your Bubble’s worldwide Economy Travel Insurance with Winter Sports cover included starts from only £30.31 for a 7 day trip and covers you for medical emergency and repatriation up to £10 million, Cancellation and curtailment up to £1,500 and baggage cover up to £1,500 as standard as well as Ski Equipment, Piste closure and Ski Hire. There are four levels of cover to choose from, so you can make sure that you invest in a policy that is right for you.