by Gianluca Tucci
Gianluca Tucci is a Club Med GM who loves taking snow holidays. Here he shares his ten tips to make your snow holiday a memorable one.
Holidaying in the snow for the first time or the fifth time? No matter the time, one thing is for certain: you are in for a memorable holiday!
Having been to the snow on a number of occasions, it’s a trip that is guaranteed to make you happy. I’m not only talking about the snow – the views, the feeling of breathing in fresh mountain air, and being able to embrace one of mother nature’s most incredible settings all make the experience delightful. You will capture great moments, enjoy a great workout, feel an adrenaline rush, celebrate, and also relax.
My last snow trip took me high into the French Alps to the village of Val Thorens where the Club Med Val Thorens Sensations village (or resort) is situated.
It was a memorable week filled with skiing down slopes, learning new things, appreciating the views, spending time with great people, and enjoying the Club Med food and hospitality.
So, here are my top ten tips for a memorable snow holiday, including what you can do, what you should pack, and how you can really make the most of it.
1. Get excited
This will come naturally but just in case you needed a reminder: once you’ve booked your holiday, it’s a time to look forward to it!
Being from South Africa, where we don’t get much snow, the excitement and anticipation of a snow holiday is truly special.
2. Ask a friend for some gear and clothing
You will need to wear appropriate clothing. If it’s your first snow holiday, borrow your outfit and/or gear from a friend as that can save you money. If by the end of the trip you find yourself wanting to buy your own gear for the next snow adventure then you can. I certainly did.
3. Pack your swimming costume
You may be wondering why you need a swimming costume for a snow holiday. Well, it’s worth packing it. Trust me.
If my time at Club Med Val Thorens Sensations is anything to go by, a fulfilling and energetic day on the slopes should be rewarded with time in a jacuzzi overlooking snow-covered mountains as the sun sets. The village has a superb jacuzzi. When you book your jacuzzi time you can request some champagne which the G.Os (Club Med staff) will bring to you along with robes for when you get out of the jacuzzi. The time in the jacuzzi is great for having a laugh with your friends, reminiscing about the day’s ski adventure, or sitting back and enjoying the fantastic views as you wind down.
4. Take in every moment of your arrival
Like any holiday, and I find particularly with a snow trip, there is something magical about the moment you arrive at your destination. If you get a view from the plane of the snow-covered mountains, it’s the first of many amazing experiences!
When you arrive at your resort or ski village, appreciate what is around you. Take a look at the infrastructure, the architecture, and enjoy the feeling of having that cold, fresh Alpine air passing through your lungs.
For me, that’s the moment I realise that the fun, adventure, and happiness of the coming days or weeks has begun.
5. Make sure you have enough fuel to survive the slopes
When you’ve been skiing all day, you will have burnt lots of energy. Skiing is a lot of fun and a superb workout so you need to make sure your body has the right fuel to survive the whole holiday.
For me, the many opportunities to fuel up on good food make an all-inclusive resort a pleasure. You’ll wake up and fuel up with an amazing breakfast selection. By midday, it’s time for a break and a buffet lunch – I have fond memories of the pasta and pizza I ate. It made me smile and fueled me up for the afternoon ski session.
By the end of the day, you will have spent much of your energy so you’ll be ready for a relaxing shower and some dinner. At Club Med, the evening is filled with more fun and activities. After dinner there is evening entertainment and be sure to stay for the Club Med party. Then you can go to bed to rest and recharge before you do it all again the next day.
6. Pack a warm and waterproof jacket
While you could borrow this from a friend, it is best to purchase your own warm, waterproof jacket. Trust me, you are going to want to touch the snow…maybe even roll in it. You don’t want to be doing it and then spending the rest of your day freezing and feeling wet.
On that note, it’s also a great idea to put your phone in a waterproof cover (if the device isn’t waterproof). You are going to want to take pics and capture all of these moments whilst enjoying the snow and the included activities.
7. Find yourself a ski buddy (or two)
What I love about Club Med is that our ski passes were included in our package price. I also loved how we were allocated instructors and groups for each day’s ski adventure.
On my Club Med snow holiday, I was able to get to know people while I learnt the skills I needed to ski. Being in the company of new and old friends made setting off on the tougher slopes much more exciting… and even more rewarding when I completed them.
Not only did we each have someone capture pictures of our experiences, like any other sport, we were able to talk about it and create memories. This is one of the best things about a snow holiday with Club Med – the memories you make and the skills you learn.
You’ll also want to try warm up with a delicious hot chocolate in a coffee shop on the slopes with good company.
8. Take a selfie on a ski lift ride
This is one of the coolest (excuse the pun) experiences on a snow holiday! Your ski-fitted feet hang loose, you are securely tucked in, and you are elevated higher and higher with nothing but snow, the Alps, and nature around you. It’s the perfect setting for a selfie with your mates. Just hold on to your phone!
Once you arrive at the top, you can jump off, ski, and – once you have completed the slope – you get can ready to repeat the experience on the next slope you choose.
9. Pack a clear pair of ski goggles
This is an essential companion on the slopes. You don’t have to break the bank, but get a pair that can handle the sun’s glare and that give you a great window to the winter wonderland around you. Remember that the sun will be bouncing off the crisp white snow so you’ll be grateful to have some goggles to protect your eyes.
10. Get a map (or intel) on your destination
One of the best pieces of advice I received before going to Val Thorens was a tip from a friend to go to La Folie Douce – a ski club and bar situated above the Val Thorens village.
We took the ski lift up on one of our days there and skied a couple of metres down the slope to find a party atmosphere with an unreal view of the Alps. It’s open in the daytime and I loved the festive environment, meeting people from all over the world, and the vibey music.
So, be sure to check your area, ask around, and plan something different to do while you’re in these magnificent winter surroundings.
Book yourself on a fabulous Club Med snow holiday for a great all-inclusive holiday in the snow.