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How to plan the perfect winter getaway

15 April, 2016

As the weather starts to cool down in Australia you may begin to think about taking a break and going on a winter getaway. Getting away on a much needed holiday is always a great way to unwind, so the last thing you want to do is have a stressful time booking your escape. But if you keep a few of these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a blast this winter.

Book the right resort for your needs

The majority of Australia’s (and most of the Southern Hemisphere’s) ski seasons are between mid-June to early October, and among the many resorts are various terrain grades. Some will cater more to beginners, while other resorts will have more advanced slopes for the seasoned skier. Perisher in the Australian Snowy Mountains has around 80 ski runs, the longest of which is around 3km, whereas Thredbo in the same area has around 14 slopes – although Thredbo boasts the five longest runs in Australia (Karels T-bar to Friday Flat is just under 6km from top to bottom). 

Organise mail/newspaper redirection

Sometimes you can ask a friend or family member to check in on your home, as well as newspaper and mail deliveries, while you’re away. This ensures no mail goes missing, and also helps stop any unwanted burglars from thinking your home is the perfect place to target.

If you’re going away for an extended period, and don’t have anyone to ask to do this for you, you might organise a mail redirection service for while you are away to a friend or family members’ place. This ensures no mail gets lost, it’s safe, and your mailbox doesn’t get filled up while you’re away.

Organise your rental equipment

If you’re looking to rent some ski equipment, one of the best things you can do is call the rental supplier ahead of time. Having a chat with them directly about your requirements and needs will make your holiday a breeze. A lot of ski and snowboard shops have entry-level gear, as well as the high-end equipment for those who are a little more advanced. You should be honest with yourself (and the rental employees) about your abilities, so they can suggest the best gear for your needs.

Depending on where you stay, some rental stores will even send an employee to your room to help you with fittings for boots and boards. If you think you may have issues getting boots to suit your needs due to large, small, or odd-shaped feet, you should try and buy your own boots ahead of time to ensure you have comfy feet for the whole trip.

Keep a check on the weather

Most of us use smartphones, so the easiest way to keep an eye on the weather is to install a weather app. Most phones come preloaded with a weather forecasting app, but if not they’re easy to download and install. Some apps will also provide traffic information to help you understand the local roads.

Select the destination you would like to know about, and keep an eye on forecasts before leaving and during your stay. Doing this will also help you to plan your days on holiday.

Consider forgetting about a rental car

With weather conditions potentially being different to what you normally experience at home, choosing a rental car in snowy areas may not be the best idea. Even if not staying in a snow destination, the weather can often be wet and unpredictable, especially at a destination you’re not familiar with. Consider alternatives, such as hotel shuttle bus services to get to and from airports and main attractions. You also then won’t have to worry about parking and road fees, which is one less headache you can do without.

Dress appropriately

Finding out what to wear will require a little trial and error. You don’t want to be wearing so many clothes you sweat all day, but you also don’t want to wear so little you’re left feeling cold. Layers are your best friend. If you’re on the slopes you’re going to be getting a little chilly once you reach the top of the mountain, but breaking a sweat once you’re at the bottom of the run. It can be hard to work out how much clothing you require, but do your research and pack appropriately.

Drink and eat at recommended places

You might want to save a couple of dollars by eating at a restaurant no-one has heard of, but you might also consider trying some of the more well-known bars, clubs and restaurants at your destination. They’re well known for reason!

Not only will you be sure to get some top quality food and drinks, you’ll also be able to pick up on some local knowledge and meet both locals and other travellers.

Explore accommodation options a little further away from the slopes. You may be able to find entire houses on sites like AirBnb that suit your needs, and mean that you can cook your meals to help to keep costs down. 

Make sure passports are all up to date

One of the last things you want to be worrying about is your passport. If travelling overseas, you will need to ensure your passport is in date and valid. Passport renewals (and if it has expired, new applications) can take a few weeks to be approved and processed. For most destinations, your passport must be valid for at least six months from your return home date, so be sure to double check your passport, even if you think it will be fine.

Don’t forget travel insurance

It’s an easy one to forget, but you really need to invest in travel insurance when going on holidays - especially if you’re off to enjoy ski season. Some credit cards will cover you, however purchasing travel insurance separately is also necessary. Getting sick or injured whilst on holiday, especially if abroad, can be a nightmare, but being adequately covered can keep the hassle to a minimum.

Misplaced luggage can also be a real dampener on your trip even though most cases of luggage are found within 2 days, so being insured can provide some relief.


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