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Thinking about your winter sports holiday?

Thinking about your winter sports holiday?

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi saw a record number of British skiers and snowboarders in the national team, according to the website British Ski Snowboard. It is little wonder, therefore, that more people than ever may be thinking about taking a winter sports holiday.

If that includes you, there are a number of considerations you might want to take into account in your preparations.

Fitness

Any winter sports may take their toll on your body and it makes sense to ensure that you are as fit as the activity is likely to demand.

Indeed, the British Consul to Bulgaria – where the incidence of preventable winter sports injuries has reached worrying proportions – has issued a bulletin about making your winter sports holiday safer.

The bulletin contains the advice to have a medical check-up before indulging your passion for winter sports since heart attacks are one of the major causes landing people up in hospital.

Insurance

That medical check-up may also be useful when it comes to arranging the insurance that you are almost certain to want.

It may prove a helpful reminder of any pre-existing medical conditions you may have. As far as any travel insurer is concerned, a pre-existing medical condition is likely to be a sufficiently material fact for you to disclose when agreeing to the insurance cover and your failure to declare it may leave you with an invalid policy – with no chance of settlement in the event of a claim.

This may be less daunting than it may first appear, since a number of specialist providers of winter sports insurance – such as BengoTravel – recognise the wariness with which some travellers may approach the medical declaration and have therefore made it as simple and as straight forward as possible.

Specialist insures are also more likely to provide cover for the huge range of snow-related activities – more than 300 by some counts – in which it is possible to indulge.

Safety first

You have done your fitness training and arranged the necessary insurance, but this does not mean that you may abandon any safety precautions once you get to the slopes.

Under pressure from friends and companions, for example, common sense may not prevail and you may be tempted to tackle slopes which you are either not fit or experienced enough to take on. It may be better to learn to stand up against any such pressure.

At the mention of friends and companions, you might also wish to take into account the fact that most skiing mishaps are the result of collisions with other people on the slopes – keeping an eye on the distance between you and them and maintaining a safe speed may help you to avoid such accidents.

Don’t ski or undertake any other winter sports and drink – it may invalidate your insurance at precisely the time that the effects of alcohol may increase the likelihood of your having an accident. At high altitudes, alcohol may affect your reactions more rapidly as well as dimming your awareness of the cold and any risks you are taking.

Putting safety first does not make you a killjoy – it simply helps you better to enjoy your winter sports holiday in the knowledge that you are less likely to be involved in an accident and that your insurance continues to be valid.

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