Travelling over the festive period is always easier with a little planning and forward thinking, with over 20 year's experience the Ski Independence team have shortlisted their top tips for the festive Skier.

 #1 - Dress to Impress

Christmas and New Year is the perfect time to showcase your best dress or sharpest suit and where better to celebrate than a ski resort. However, as anyone who has experienced the festive period abroad will know, the traditions are not always what we would expect. A bit of research goes a long way to ensuring you pack what you need for those all-important special occasions. We've shortlisted a few of the weirdest and most wonderful to get the ball rolling. [caption id="attachment_8234" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Top Tips for the Festive Traveller Image: Destination Davos Klosters, Corinne Klucker[/caption] In Heavenly you can wrap up warm and enjoy the ‘Gondola Ball Drop’. Various celebrations lead up to this spin on the New York Time Square tradition but the drop itself happens at 9pm, making this perfect for families or anyone wanting to be first on the mountain in 2015. Traveling now to Klosters, you can expect to see a very different scene indeed, as 10 carefully selected piglets are raced through the town in the name of good fortune in the New Year. [caption id="attachment_8233" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Top Tips for the Festive Traveller Santa Sighting - Image: Les Gets Tourism[/caption] If it’s Christmas you are spending in the snow, no one does it quite like Les Gets, where Santa and his elves spend an entire fortnight in character. Rumours of Santa sighting are whispered around the quaint mountain town. We are yet to find a more realistic display of Christmas magic for adults and children alike.

#2 - Spare Stocking Fillers

There is always that one stand-out member of staff in resort who helps to make your holiday that bit more special. The ski instructor that helped build your confidence, the nanny that always went the extra mile for your kids or the waitress who always remembered how you take your coffee. These people work hard over the festive period and spending a pound or two on a small gift to take to take away will be a lot more cost effective than buying something in resort. [caption id="attachment_8235" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Top Tips for the Festive Traveller Fun in the Sun in Val d'Isere | Image: Andy Parant[/caption] A small gift for a staff member goes a long way and is a good way of making sure they remember you. That tiny investment can go a long way when you return the following year to find someone has squeezed you into their ski school schedule, or will babysit for your children last minute. Pete, Ski Independence Overseas Operations Manager suggests something small and sentimental; a miniature of whisky or a nice lip balm for the mountain.

#3 - Empty Slopes, the Greatest Gift of All?

We all know Christmas day is about the presents, the turkey, the tree... but what about the greatest gift of all? While the rest of the world are concentrating on a traditional Christmas day, the mountains are empty! A similar effect can be spotted on New Year’s Day morning. [caption id="attachment_8236" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Top Tips for the Festive Traveller That 'only skier on the mountain' feeling[/caption] It might not be for everyone, but if you can save the presents until later in the day and enjoy opening them with an après-ski aperitif, you'll find you can have the best of both worlds. Wide open pistes to enjoy without the crowds and a truly unique Christmas or New Year ’s Day. Julie, Ski Independence Product Support suggests catching first lifts on these quiet days to get the most out of your mountain time.

#4 - Don't Rely on a Christmas Miracle

If 20 years of experience in the snowsports industry teaches you anything about the festive period, it’s book in advance. Christmas and New Year are special times and everything needs to be perfect, to avoid any disappointment book lift tickets, lessons, rentals, table reservations, childcare and après activities as far in advance as possible. School holidays mean it can be tougher than usual to get exactly what you want due to high demand. [caption id="attachment_8238" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Top Tips for the Festive Traveller Aspen Snowmass Ski School[/caption] The Ski Independence Reservations Team are second to none when it comes to resort knowledge and understanding of available options. Our tailor-made service allows us to design every single detail around you and your needs, so why get to resort and spend your holiday rushing around trying to do all that for yourself. Karen, Reservations Consultant suggests using our service and knowledge to your advantage so that on arriving in resort, all you need to worry about is having a good time!

#5 - Don't Forget the View

With so much going on in resort and so much excitement centred around the festive period it's easy to forget to stop for a moment and just take it all in. Holidays are about relaxing and having fun in a new environment or returning to a sentimental place filled with happy memories. Nick Laver, Ski Independence Product Manager suggests; remember to take some time out, on a sunny terrace with a mulled wine or at the top of your favourite piste, to simple enjoy the view. [caption id="attachment_8237" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Top Tips for the Festive Traveller Sit back and enjoy the view![/caption] Get in touch with one of our expert reservations team for further information on our tailor-made holidays. Call 0131 243 8097 or request a tailor-made quotation online.