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Where to ski: Home or away?

When it comes to planning a skiing trip there are so many places that you can consider visiting. There are ski resorts to be found on nearly every continent, so your possibilities are nearly endless. So, how do you go about picking where to ski?

Here’s everything you should factor into the decision:

The Resorts

Ski Resorts like Whistler, La Plagne, Tignes and Soldeu are world-renowned for having an incredible atmosphere and plenty of cared-for ski runs, so you can’t really go far wrong if you choose any of these resorts. But you will find that there are smaller resorts that offer a broader range of skiing and a more local feeling tucked away all over the world.

Every resort has its own little perks that really makes it stand out from the others and tailors it more towards your type of holiday. Before you pick a destination make sure you thoroughly research the resort, looking for as many expert reviews of the area as you can possibly find.

Many of Europe’s ski resorts have been around for years, providing a rustic, comfortable feel – ski chalets in France, for example, will really give you that cosy, traditional feel. If you travel to the USA, Canada or Japan though, expect much more modern accommodation as many of these locations are relatively new.

Ski Slopes

Again, a rather obvious suggestion but you’d be surprised how many times people book a ski holiday without looking at what type of slopes are available. A lot of the man-made slopes you’ll find in areas like Japan, Dubai and the UK will be less hazardous and with a more directed flow than the natural slopes that you’d find in the French Alps or the Rockies.

In addition to this, you should be fully aware of the difficulty levels that are available at that resort – not everywhere is beginner friendly or has runs that are challenging for experts. Regardless of where you go in the world the ski run difficulty ratings are measured against a universal standard. This means that you can have a good idea of what to expect from the area.

It doesn’t matter where you’re planning on going for your ski holiday, make sure you look at a piste map before booking anything! The last thing you want to do is go to an area where you are out of your depth or not find much of a challenge at that area.


Some areas are notorious for having epic backcountry riding – Aspen, Colorado for example has some of the best backcountry terrain to be found almost anywhere in the world. If this is the type of skiing that you enjoy then it is almost always worth the trip to go further afield.

That said, there are plenty of European destinations with hundreds of backcountry slopes for you to explore. Chamonix, France for example has nearly 75% of the resort dedicated to backcountry exploration, with plenty of extreme terrain to carve and discover.

They may not be quite as wild and untamed as the larger, North American resorts, but they have much greater covered by the emergency services – something that will be a huge weight off your mind when exploring.

Cost of Traveling

Often the biggest cost associated with a ski holiday is the traveling to the destination. This can make ski holidays to places further afield than Europe rather costly – you simply need to decide whether that is a price you’re willing to pay for some fresh powder.

This makes skiing in Europe much more appealing to many British people, as it is far more cost effective and there are a huge range of destinations to enjoy. Especially if you don’t want to spend entire days of your holiday traveling and feeling jet lagged, the French Alps provide a welcome escape without having to go too far.

Accommodation prices can also change drastically depending on where you plan your ski holiday as well as the time of year you’re going. The price you can expect to pay will differ greatly if you choose self-catering or catered ski accommodation, but the biggest costs will be the flights – it is significantly cheaper to visit Europe than the USA.


There is no right or wrong answer to whether you should go skiing in Europe or further afield, the only major differences you’ll find are the types of skiing, the cost of traveling and the time it takes to get to those pristine slopes. Just make sure you thoroughly research the area you’re planning on visiting and double check that the skiing there is suitable for your abilities so you won’t spend your entire time at the bar.

About the Author – Snowchateaux offer a selection of catered and self-catered ski chalets in France, if you’re looking for a ski holiday with traditional accommodation and awesome slopes then visit Snowchateaux today.

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