You probably have a better chance of running into a unicorn in the streets of Valletta than be able to see snow fall in Malta, much less go skiing anywhere on the island. Even for a country of sun-loving Mediterraneans like us, though, the call of snow-capped mountains is sometimes just too strong.
But how do you go about planning a holiday in conditions you’ve only seen on TV and in temperatures you’ll never get to experience back at home? Well, with a little bit of foresight and help from people who’ve done it before, of course!
If you’ve been meaning to make the most of the bitter but photogenic winter freezing hills beyond our shores with a spot of skiing, we’re here to help. Here’s a guide to planning a snow trip… from the perspective of an islander who was raised to think that 30°C is “just not that hot”.
1. First things first: location, location , location
This has little to do with how long it’ll take you to get there and everything to do with what happens when you actually arrive.
Different destinations will not only bring with them different budgets, but also serve different purposes. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family holiday, your kids’ special first snow holiday, or even a solitary retreat, the destination you pick is going to be the biggest factor of them all.
And speaking of family holiday, you definitely need to organise one. They really do take fun bonding to a whole new level!
2. Just because you’re not going to be in sunny Malta doesn’t mean you can forget your sunblock or sunglasses at home
Contrary to popular belief, snow does not mean a lack of sun. It’s actually quite the opposite of that.
UV radiation intensity increases by about 10% for every 1,000-metre increase in altitude, which is a given if you’re going for mountainous or hilly regions for a skiing holiday. To top it all off though, snow is highly reflective: on a sunny day, clean fresh snow can reflect up to 90% of UV radiation.
You could easily end up being exposed to almost a double dose of UV on a sunny day in the snow – directly from the sun, and then reflected off snow-covered surfaces.
Whatever you do, do not forget to pack a ton of SPF50 sunblock with you and apply very regularly.
Speaking of goggles, those bad boys are ESSENTIAL.
Whether it’s to ward off those intense reflected sun rays or to survive in intense snowfall, you’re going to want to get yourself a pair of sturdy Joluvi goggles for your trip.
3. If you’re a complete beginner, book an instructor while you’re at it
Choosing the right resort comes with a lot of other considerations, and one of them is definitely deciding whether you actually need an instructor.
Don’t think that just because you’re going to go for a non-complex resort with easy-looking slopes, you’re going to instantly get it. Take the time to look into instructor packages if you’re a new beginner so that you don’t risk spending the entire holiday feebly looking out of a cabin wishing you had.
4. Speaking of resorts and skill levels, check out the slopes
If you’re not travelling alone, think of everyone who will be with you.
The resort should have a slope for every level in the group to keep everyone happy; from the seven-year-old kid who’s never seen snow in their life (read: me) to your super talented cousin who goes skiing twice a year and should practically just go pro at this rate.
5. Pro Tip: Never. Forget. How. Cold. It. Can. Get.
I don’t know how often you’ve found yourself living in subzero temperatures, but let me tell you something; that shit is cold.
Stock up on the warmest clothing you can find, from thick gloves and big boots to proper thermal underwear and skiing pants.
Speaking of having proper clothes…
If you’re planning a skiing holiday and you’re not quite sure where to deck out the whole squad, then you need to know about Joluvi.
With a great range of colourful and stylish items that won’t actually break the bank, Joluvi have everything, you need for the perfect skiing holiday. Jackets, pants, boots, gloves, masks… they’ve got it all!
And if Joluvi is your skiwear brand of choice, then Eurosport is where you need to head
It might be the place to be for lovers of football, basketball, running and a whole list of sports, but Eurosport is also the perfect place to get all your skiwear from.
Stocking Joluvi’s amazingly coloured – incredibly priced – collections for the whole family, Eurosport will help you get fully ready for your skiing holiday.
Just don’t forget the sunscreen!