Stay safe and enjoy your winter holiday
ABTA the Travel Association recently released their latest safety leaflet for those planning a winter break in Europe and beyond. As is usual with these information sheets it is helpful to be reminded of the risks even if much of the information is basic common sense for most people.
One area that they are keen to remind travellers of is the need for adequate insurance cover for any activities which they undertake during their holiday. This is particularly important for anyone contemplating a winter break as activities considered high risk such as skiing or skidooing are specifically excluded from many standard holiday insurance policies.
There are other risks involved in winter holidays as well. Apart from the more obvious problems with snow and ice creating slippery surfaces many less experienced travellers may be unaware that drinking large amounts of alcohol at higher altitudes and low temperatures than they are used to can place them at risk of exposure frostbite or even hypothermia. ABTA recommends consuming non-alcoholic fluids after a days skiing before indulging in any apres ski activities.
Stay safe while skiing
Skiing does contain an element of risk but with proper instruction you and your family can stay safe on the piste and enjoy an exhilarating family holiday in the snow. There are some sensible precautions you can take to make your winter holiday as safe as possible.
Wear a helmet. Many ski resorts insist that all skiers wear a helmet and even if it isn’t mandatory it still makes sense to ensure that you dress appropriately to stay as safe as possible. This should include not just a helmet but suitable gloves and other protective gear.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. The combination of altitude and exercise can lead to you becoming dehydrated
Always check the weather forecast before setting out. Even if you think you know what you are doing it is important not to take any unnecessary risks. The weather can change quickly and you don’t want to be taken by surprise.
Always tell someone where you are going and carry a mobile phone with you so that if you do happen to get separated from the rest of the party you have a means of contacting help if you need it.
Dangers off the piste
There are dangers away from the piste of which all visitors should be aware. Families from countries which do not enjoy the same levels of snow and ice as some of the more northerly climates may not consider the risks associated with extreme weather. Icy roads may be familiar to many but not everyone thinks about carrying snow chains or is familiar with how to fit them on their vehicle. It is important to consider these issues before starting to drive during your winter break it’s too late once you become stranded.
Being aware of the risks and taking precautions where necessary means being prepared for any eventuality that may arise. In this way you can ensure a safe and enjoyable winter holiday for your whole family whether you choose to take the children skiing or just want to explore some of the spectacular winter scenery which Europe has to offer.