Safety precautions needed for winter holidays


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The Independent Travel

When planning any holiday there are certain considerations you will automatically make. From the choice of accommodation to the transport method used to get you to your destination, some features are always at the forefront of your mind.

On top of this you need to make sure that you’ve packed all the necessary clothing and accessories to make your trip as comfortable as possible. With all these preparations to make it can be easy to let some considerations fall by the wayside – but safety should not be one of them.

Taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself whilst away is always important but winter holidays generate more need for protection than other type of holiday. This is because the risks are naturally higher; especially if you intend to take part in winter sports such as skiing.

Staying safe

Staying safe whilst on holiday entails numerous procedures. Alongside common sense and basic precautions, investing in appropriate financial protection through ski insurance is necessary for those who want to enjoy their holiday free from worry.

According to statistics, between 2 and 3 of every 1,000 skiers require medical treatment following their experiences on the slopes with 90% of all avalanches involving skiers caused by an individual travelling on unstable snow cover. Considering that the latter part of 2012 saw the Alps receive possibly their highest snow fall for more than 50 years, staying safe for winter holidays over the coming twelve month is more important than ever before.

Ski equipment

There are various pieces of safety equipment available for skiers so make sure you own the necessary items and know how to use them. Helmets are undoubtedly the main safety device and some travel insurance policies are invalidated if skiers fail to wear them.

Appropriate winter clothing is also needed and skiers should ensure that the skis and other equipment they use fits securely and is of a suitable quality. Packing suitable accessories, such as GPS equipment and communication devices, is also recommended when taking to the slopes.

Slope safety

Alongside using the right equipment you should also take the time to brush up on basic slope safety. Most accidents occur off piste so novice and intermediate skiers are advised to stick to designated routes rather than travelling away from the crowds.

If you do venture onto uncharted snow then make sure you check the terrain and look for any ski warnings. You should carry additional equipment such as a probe and shovel in case you encounter difficulty and should know how to complete a grid search in case one of your party becomes buried.

Financial protection

As well as the medical and health benefits afforded by investing in suitable protection for winter holidays, financial protection is also needed. Accidents and injuries can result in expensive medical bills so it’s important that you seek appropriate insurance.

There are plenty of policies for cheap travel insurance which offer either single trip or annual cover and reputable firms such as Direct Travel, who recently won the award for best ski insurance in the World Snow Awards 2012, are always a good place to begin your search.