Working a ski season is a fun way to fill the winter months of a gap year, to meet new people and to explore different career options – but what does it actually involve? With a selection of ski jobs on offer – from ski instructor or rep to bartending – it’s important to know how to prepare yourself for an unforgettable winter experience.
How to get a ski season job
Once you’ve decided to work a ski season, the next step should be considering how to get a ski season job. Ski season jobs are like other roles in that you need to be clear about what you have to offer an employer – relevant experience, additional languages, cooking skills or an instructing qualification.
If you want to spend your days on the slopes, one of the best ski season jobs is bar or restaurant work. This way your days are free to ski, and you still have money in your pocket. Alternatively, being a ski rep for a tour operator is ideal for combining the best of both worlds – getting time on the mountain with customers during the daytime and being free to explore local nightlife during the evenings.
When it comes to looking for a ski season job, the internet is a good place to start. Working for reputable companies could mean your ski pass, accommodation and food is all taken care of. Although this is a big benefit of working for a well-known organisation, accommodation for workers is often limited when it comes to space, so this is something to bear in mind for packing.
Ski season jobs are part of a pretty informal marketplace, and roles are often allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Even though this is the case, applications should be filled out properly and in advance. May is typically the best time to look and apply for ski work – so don’t leave it until the last minute!
How to prepare for a ski season
A big part of knowing how to work a ski season is preparation. Often employers will allow a baggage allowance of a single suitcase, which can prove difficult when making sure you have enough supplies to last three months. The best way to tackle packing is to write a checklist, which should include:
- Snowboard/ski equipment
- Ski jacket
- Sturdy outdoor shoes or snow boots (ideally waterproof) – leave the heels at home!
- Helmet (this may be a requirement for insurance)
- Ski gloves
- Woolly hat
- Goggles and sunglasses
- Thermal underwear
- A backpack
- Day-to-day clothes for days off
- SPF sun cream (the sun’s reflection in the snow can sometimes burn you quicker than sunbathing on the beach!)
- A multi-plug extension lead
You may also want to consider investing in winter sports insurance which will provide compensation for medical expenses, hired ski equipment (should yours get lost or stolen), injury or damage resulting from off-piste skiing, unexpected cancellation or curtailment of your trip and more.
Best places to do a ski season
There are many popular ski season job destinations, but where you choose is mostly down to personal preference. Doing a ski season is a great time no matter where you end up working, but recent polls have recommended the following places to hit the slopes:
- Andorra: Andorra’s ski resort, Grandvalira, has 210 km slopes and 67 ski lifts. They also have slopes for all levels – from beginner to advanced.
- France: When it comes to the best places to do a ski season, France is by far one of the most popular choices. There are twelve destinations that make up the Portes du Soleil ski area, with Morzine Ski Resort being the largest. Morzine is a relaxed environment, with plenty of things to do and see.
- Switzerland: Engelberg in Switzerland is another favoured destination, with easily accessible runs that are both steep and wide. You can also take a gondola up to Mount Titlis and walk over Europe’s highest suspension bridge.
- Georgia: Around 2200 metres above sea level, the Gudauri ski resort in the Caucasus mountain range has breath-taking views that can be easily seen whilst skiing. There are many runs for skiers of all abilities, 57km long and located at different elevations.
- Romania: Romania’s Poiana Brasov ski resort is located in the Carpathian Mountains, less then 200km away from the capital city of Bucharest. Poiana Brasov is a great budget skiing resort option, without compromising on quality. There are seven slopes, with a total length of 24 kilometres.
Looking to go skiing for less? Check out our top 5 budget skiing destinations.
Winter sports insurance with Endsleigh
Are you thinking about working a ski season? Do you need winter sports insurance for extra protection on the slopes? Find out more about winter sports insurance here.