This document is intended to give some background information prior to departure and offer some useful advice. Some General Information for Parents and Students.
The journey is a long one and it makes sense to try to be as comfortable as possible and to be considerate to others around you.
It is likely that there will be a seating plan which you will be expected to adhere to for the main journeys and any others during the week. The principal reason for the plan is to be able to identify anyone responsible for an untidy bus and to assist the drivers in the event of damage to the vehicle. Staff will usually collect passports before departure, so have them available in your hand luggage. We suggest that you take a pillow with you to make sleep a little more comfortable – a lightweight blanket is an optional extra.
In the unlikely event of an accident or breakdown, please make sure that you listen to the emergency procedure as explained by the drivers and that you know where the nearest exit is.
REMEMBER THAT IF YOU HAVE TO LEAVE THE VEHICLE TO LOOK FOR TRAFFIC IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION AS YOU GET OFF THE BUS!!
The coach will have a DVD player. Please remember when making your choice of viewing that it has to be appropriate for everyone on the trip! All offerings will be vetted by the staff!!
The journey will require several stops. Please take full advantage for toilet breaks. The toilet on the bus should be considered for use in emergencies only as it cannot be emptied until it returns to the UK – it can get very smelly if used as the only loo!
Please also appreciate that the drivers are compelled by EU Driver Regulations to take stops at various times which may seem unnecessary. The regulations are for your safety and so we would ask for your understanding.
As part of the safety of the group it is law and mandatory to wear seat belts across the continent. The police are empowered to stop any vehicle at random and carry out a check. If you are not wearing a seat belt it is an on-the-spot fine of 80€ and is payable by the individual and not the Party Leader. Equally it follows that you should not sleep anywhere other than your seat!!!
At service stations look for traffic in the opposite direction to the UK.
If you are travel sick, remember to bring and take your medication. Please inform a member of staff that you have taken medication and give them the tablets for the return journey for safe keeping.
The group is staying at a hotel that is used to receiving school groups.
The hotel caters for both groups and individuals. Student rooms are normally shared between 4-6 persons and all have private facilities. They all have single beds although some may be bunks.
The food is good and there is plenty of it. The chef tries hard to meet all dietary requirements, but do take into account that vegetarian diets are not the “norm” on the continent. Even if the food looks different from mum’s cooking, give it a try!
On, or soon after your arrival, you will be asked to do a room inspection so any damage to be identified at the start of your stay. Naturally we hope that there will be no accidents or damage to the property during the week, but if there is a mishap, please report it straight away.
Make sure that you are familiar with the fire exits and procedures in the event of an emergency – instructions are usually to be found on the room door.
There may be an opportunity to go out of the hotel. Please follow the rules and guidelines set out by your Party Leader – it is important that they know where you are 24/7. This may necessitate signing out and back in on your return – do not abuse the system as it is for your safety.
There is a public phone in the hotel.
The notes that follow are general, but apply to most resorts.
For skiing holidays, the resorts are located in the mountains! This may be stating the obvious but it is important not to underestimate the weather. It can be clear blue skies and sunny, but it will also be cold! Equally, the weather in the mountains can change quickly form sunshine to snow! Remember the geography lesson about it getting colder with altitude?!
The best way to combat the cold is to dress with layers and to always wear your ski jacket, even when going the shortest distances. It is possible to get sunburnt even on cloudy days and the sun is much stronger than at sea level. Always use sun screen and lip salve with a MINIMUM spf of 30 and spf 50 if you have fair skin. Remember to drink water regularly during the day so as not to become de-hydrated.
As ambassadors for your school and all English schools, we would hope that you will be polite and mature so that we could confidently expect to be able to return in the future!!
There will be a selection of shops in the village that sell souvenirs, post cards etc and often there is a weekly market. Postage stamps are usually purchased with the postcards and post boxes are yellow and fixed to a wall.
Each morning after breakfast the group will assemble to meet ski school and from there the instructors will take you on longer runs around the resort according to your ability.
A TYPICAL DAY....
0730 – Early morning call 0800 – Buffet breakfast, varied and plentiful.
0900 - Depart for slopes having remembered everything we need.
0915 – At latest, start to make our way to the slopes to meet instructors, having got into our boots and picked up our own skis.
0930-1200 – ski lessons. This will vary depending on the lesson arrangements made by the school.
1230-1330 – Lunch
1330 – Change into ski boots and return to meeting point.
1400-1630 - Ski lessons
1700 – Return to the hotel for relaxation or activity before dinner.
1830-2000 – Evening meal according to the activity of the day (not all this time will be spent in dinner) Lights out to be determined each day.
This is an example only and the timings may vary according to the times of lessons, snow/weather conditions and activities.
USEFUL THINGS TO KNOW...
Please take time to look at and know the SKI WAY CODE – a copy is also in this section.
The information it contains highlights the code of conduct on the mountain and is designed for your safety and the safety of others. Please make sure that you KNOW and FOLLOW the rules.
If you fall off a drag lift...
We have all done it at some time and you don’t have to be a beginner either!
Remember not to sit on the drag lift but just let it take your weight. Keep your skis parallel, shoulder width apart.
If you are near the start of the drag lift – collect any equipment that you may have lost like a ski or pole, glasses or glove, shuffle to the side of the track so that the people behind can get by. Walk back to the start, get yourself together and try again.
If you are part way up the tow – get to the side of the track and wait for your instructor who will be the last one in the group. Follow his/her instructions.
During a lesson....
Have fun with, but always be polite to, your instructor.
Follow your instructor’s instructions and your progress will be positive, fun and, above all, safe.
Be considerate towards others in the group. Look out for each other.
A person skiing at the back of the group may fall and not be noticed by the instructor. If this occurs, make the instructor aware that there is a problem. You would not want it to happen to you.
If you get separated...
Get yourself together, put on your skis and join the rest of the group who are waiting for you.
If your group disappear out of sight – put your skis on and ski to a junction if there is one nearby. If you can see the group, and they are waiting for you, ski back to them.
If there is no junction, or you cannot see your group, stop at the side of the piste and WAIT. Allow time for the instructor to return to you. If another class goes by, ask the instructor to contact yours and tell them where you are. DO NOT ski with another class – your instructor will not know where you are.
If someone in your group gets left behind.....
As soon as possible tell the instructor the problem so that they will stop. Ask another instructor to inform yours of where you are.
If there is an accident to someone in the group...
Follow the instructions given by your instructor. Your members of staff may be skiing with the class or they will not be far away. Attract their intention if needed and follow their instructions.
A variety of activities and entertainments will be arranged during your stay. Some are located in places that are a coach journey away from the accommodation.
We would ask that you are punctual for departures and take part with good grace even though it may not be a favourite activity of yours. Each activity has its inherent problems so please follow the instructions given.
HAVE A GREAT TRIP!
BE SAFE - HAVE FUN – PACE YOURSELF – ENJOY!!