General Travel Insurance News by AllClear Travel

Guest Article from the Know Before You Go campaign:

February 2012

Don’t let your winter sports holiday go downhill!

Looking for some inspiration this winter season for your next ski or snowboarding trip abroad? Fancy a trip closer to home or perhaps you’d like to venture a bit further across the pond?

Well, we’ve teamed up with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to bring you our top five ski and snowboarding holiday destinations from around the world, plus helpful advice on how to make the most of your trip, without the fear of it going downhill and you facing a huge medical bill.

1. Whistler/Blackcomb, Canada

Last year, the popular ski and snowboard resort, Whistler Blackcomb became the Official Alpine Skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. With an annual snowfall of over 400 inches and a distance of 8,100 skiable acres, together with the Canadian coast mountain range as its home, it's no wonder that Whistler Blackcomb is consistently ranked #1 as North America's best ski and snowboard resort. The resort also offers year-round entertainment and has plenty of great restaurants, shops and a buzzing nightlife available.

2. The Alps, Europe

Covering France, Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland, the Alps are considered a fantastic winter sports destination close to home. Many holidaymakers begin their day on the French Alps and then finish off in Italy at the end of the day. The peaks are larger than the majority in North America, offering long, continuous runs, prolonged seasons, spectacular landscapes and lots of varied terrain. Europe also offers a relaxed lifestyle, fantastic cuisine, extended lunches and an energetic nightlife. What more could you want?

3. The Andes, Chile

For something a little bit different, why not visit Chile for a diverse skiing adventure? Chile offers something entirely different compared to other resorts in Europe and the States because of the varied landscapes. The Central Andes has approx 1,900 square miles of impressive skiing terrain. Bringing you eye-catching valleys and the Patagonian snow topped volcanoes; it’s easy to see why so many people chose Chile as their winter sports destination.

4. Vail, Colorado

Vail is repeatedly considered one of the best ski resorts in the word. With seven Black Bowls and fantastic snow, with an average annual snowfall of 348 inches and 300 days of sunshine, Vail attracts skilled skiers from far and wide. However, the area also offers plenty for beginners and regulars too – the only issue is that many skiers and snowboarders find they run out of time before they fully discover the whole of the mountains!

5. Himalayas, India

Just seeing the Himalayan Mountains is impressive enough. But skiing or snowboarding down them is something else! Glumarg was pronounced the 7th best ski destination in Asia and this resort is also home to the highest ski lift in the world! The slopes at Auli are one which is best known for skiing. Auli boasts 180 panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks including the Nada Devil, Mana Parvat and Dunagiri. Pretty impressive!

Winter sports holidays will carry bigger risks compared to your usual beach holiday. So it’s imperative that you take out comprehensive travel insurance and that the type of cover you’ve selected includes your winter sport activities. Accidents abroad can be costly, so the last thing you’ll want is to come home out of pocket because you’ve had to pay for an expensive medical bill. Never ski alone – if you get into difficulties, you’ll have someone to around to assist.

Your travel insurance should include the following:

  • Medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad
  • 24 hour emergency service and assistance
  • Personal liability cover in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property
  • Lost and stolen possessions cover
  • Cancellation and curtailment (cutting short your trip) cover
  • Extra cover for activities that are commonly excluded from standard policies, such as skiing

The policy should cover you for the whole duration of your holiday and remember to check the conditions and exclusions!

  • Most policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents or going off piste
  • 60% of travel insurance policies now cover terrorism. Where possible, ensure that your policy does not exclude terrorism
  • You must take reasonable care of your possessions or your policy will not cover you

Lastly, research your destination before leaving. Know the local laws and customs there, as it’s likely they will be different from those in the UK.

For more information on winter sports, visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website


The Know Before You Go Campaign is a joint venture between the FCO and the travel industry to ensure that British travellers are better prepared when they go overseas. The FCO does not endorse any of the companies who are part of the KBYG campaign or mentioned in this article. We are not involved in the production or sale of the companies’ products, nor do we monitor their quality.