Solo ski – can you go it alone?
As the ski season sets in, many snow-sport lovers are faced with a dilemma – love of the slopes inspires them to book a holiday to the mountains, but perhaps friends or family don’t share the same passion. Maybe this is a problem you’ve faced yourself; should you miss another year on the snow or should you brave the slopes by yourself?
Any kind of holiday can be intimidating when you’re alone, but a ski or snowboarding trip can be particularly intense. Here are our thoughts on what makes a solo ski trip great, what might be stopping you from booking, and our top tips for overcoming these concerns and having a great trip to the slopes.
The benefits of skiing alone:
There are countless ways that a solo trip can be just as good, if not better, than a group skiing holiday. For example:
- Are you an early riser? Like to be ready to take the first lift in the morning? Or perhaps you like a lie in and would rather not push yourself too much each morning? Either way, you won’t need to fight your friends each day to make it to the slopes as and when you’d like
- You’re free to ski at your own pace, without having to wait for others to catch up or worry that you’re slowing them down. If you want to spend time taking an amazing photograph or simply catching your breath, then you’re free to do that without holding others up
- You have the freedom to meet new friends, whether it’s chatting on the ski lifts or during après ski in the evenings
- Maybe you don’t like the buzzing après ski club that all your friends loved, or perhaps they prefer to chill while you’re keen to party. When you travel alone you’re free to take part in whatever activities you like without concerning yourself with other people’s plans
What might be holding you back:
So you’ve seen the benefits, but what is it that stops so many people heading to the slopes alone?
- There’s a chance you may hold back a little when skiing by yourself. Many people find that skiing with others can encourage them to push themselves; perhaps your friends are better skiers and might inspire you to ski a little faster, attempt a harder run or simply ski a little bit longer during the day
- Skiing by yourself has the potential to be lonely, particularly if you’re not confident talking to strangers
- You can sometimes face single traveller supplements on hotel and package bookings
- Some skiers worry that if they take a tumble or hurt themselves, they won’t have the support of friends to help them out. This isn’t such a problem on the major runs, but these concerns can be restrictive if you prefer to ski off-piste.
- Eating and/or drinking alone in the evenings can be lonely for some, especially if you like to hit the bars and clubs at night
Top tips for making the most of your solo ski trip and overcoming your doubts:
There’s no need to let the points above hold you back– we have a few top tips that will make a solo ski trip safer and much more fun:
- Carry a safety whistle which you can reach easily in case you crash or get stuck in the snow – you can use this to attract the attention of passing skiers
- Don’t ski too far from the main pistes – if anything happens to you, you’ll need ski patrols to find you easily
- If you’re worried you won’t push yourself, try to set targets for each day and stick to them. Whether that’s trying a certain run, skiing for a set number of hours or pushing yourself to ski a little faster, setting a personal challenge will mean you won’t miss out on the encouragement you can get from friends
- Get chatty – if you’re keen to socialize in the evenings, make sure to strike up conversations when you can. Most other skiers are friendly and open, so make the most of time on the lifts or during ski lessons to make friends for dinner and après ski later in the day
- Avoid single traveller supplements by finding a group to travel with. There are lots of tour companies that cater to solo skiers who would rather not be hitting the slopes alone. For younger crowds under 35 that love the après ski, Contiki offer a selection of group ski tours in Europe or you could try Solos Holidays who also cater to single skiers, but tend to appeal to a slightly older crowd
- If you like to hit the slopes alone but prefer to mingle in the evenings, Neilson has a useful forum for solo skiers to meet like-minded travellers
- Cut costs further by considering the time of year and destination you’ll be
skiing in as costs can vary greatly. Check out these money saving ski tips for further ways to
save on your ski trip.
About the Author: Laura Wilkins is not only a keen traveller, but also works in the travel industry. In between her many overseas visits, she has written destination and advice pieces for a range of online publications including BabyWorld, dGeneralist, AOL and Yahoo.