Fiona's Snow Tips

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Welcome to the Fiona's Snow Tips site

I'm a snow holiday enthusiast, and I like sharing my traveling tips with everyone. I have worked in the travel industry and have been heading away of snow holidays myself since I was 16. I've skied and snowboarded all across Europe and Scandinavia so have a wealth of resort experiences.

My aim is to pass on this knowledge, so you might pick the best holiday for your needs. Be it a group holiday, a holiday with family or traveling as a complete beginner I'm hoping to give you the knowledge to select the best resort. I've traveled as a big group, as a couple, looking for a boozey trip or a more relaxed ski trip experience, so I feel I have the knowledge base to help you on your way.

You might just need that little nudge in the right direction before purchasing your ski holiday package this year, and that's where I can help!

Happy Skiing!

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It used to be a case of bringing along your disposable camera on your skiing holidays and hoping that something would come out on the film that resembled a good time, but technology has progressed and you should too. That’s why this skiing holiday season could be the perfect time to invest in a decent camera. What better way to capture the family snaps and comical falls in Andorra, Austria or France then with an amazing camera that’s on the market at the minute. Shock proof, water proof, and thankfully the majority are idiot proof, so no need to miss a thing. So once you have snapped up a cheap ski holidays you can focus on skiing fun documentation.

There are a lot of cameras and technologies available so I’m going to discuss some of the better ones to consider, from the best on the market to the best when it comes to cheap deals.

1. Probably the best known when it comes to action sports cameras is the GoPro, and it’s not just down to smart marketing. No, this camera really is a great buy. It’s small and compact, so perfect for bringing out and about on the slopes, it’s got waterproof casing, so it’s protected from snow, cold, falls and tumbles. It also comes with an array of accessories from helmet mounts, extending poles to wrist mounts, so you don’t even have to worry about holding onto it as you throw a trick or simple try to stay up right.

The older versions of the camera you can pick up for €349, but the latest version Hero3 Black Edition retails at €449. The beauty of the GoPro is it’s quite easy to use, but also produces amazing video and pictures.

Pro: It’s a really smart and intuitive camera, producing amazing shots and videos, with Wi-Fi Remote. Con: It can be a little steep for some, battery life isn’t great if Wi-Fi is enabled.

2. Next up in the action camera race is Contour, it again has the same functionalities associated with the GoPro, same high spec and capabilities, with slick design. Same kind of mounts for helmet, bike, car, motorcycle, board, skis and more. The Contour has a slider so it means it’s easy to knock it forward and the camera starts recording. Slide it back and it stops. Simple even with gloves.

Pro: Bluetooth capabilities allow your mobile device to be used as a viewfinder and remote control for your camera. Plus built-in GPS tracks your speed and elevation, plus start from €199. Con: Audio quality still isn’t perfect, far from it. The mic picks up a good deal of wind noise.

3. Drift is another brand of action camera on the market. It has an integrated screen, and accessories like the other two cameras, plus the process of capturing photos is as simple as the aforementioned. Although the design isn’t as slick as The GoPro or the Contour it has high definition video, integrated LCD screen, remote control and rotatable lens. The Drift cameras start from approximately €120 and run to about €380 for the lastest Drift HD Ghost Ski Pack.

Pro: Editing and sharing photos capabilities. Con: The camera menu system can be difficult to navigate.

So whatever your budget and whatever your capabilities as a photographer are there are plenty of options available out there for you, now you can capture every moment of your skiing holiday 2014.

Many ski companies are now offering skiing tuition as part of your ski holiday package. For example, I know Directski offer skiing ‘Extras’ in all their listed resorts, which include passes, equipment hire, and ski school for the week. This can vary between morning classes, or morning and afternoon classes. So whatever level of skier you are it can be a great idea to book in for lessons, just to fine tune your skills.

Directski work with great ski schools and rental stores in each of their resorts in Andorra, Austria and France. Schools cater for all different levels of school, plus the rental stores in resort will help you get kitted out with equipment, so you’re ready to rock and get on the slopes quickly the first day out. The worst is trying to source your own equipment and tuition when you arrive as if can often waste precious skiing time, pre booking can take a lot of the hassle out.


First time skiers may prefer to go with full day lessons, others may prefer classes in the morning and the option to do some solo skiing in the afternoon to meet up with friends and family to ski together in the afternoon. So there are plenty of options available.

Learning in a group can be a great way to learn, many find that the group dynamic will help push you along to maybe try things and challenge yourself a bit more, and ultimately help with your confidence on the slopes.

Classes start with beginner lessons and go all the way to advanced. Beginner’s classes are generally for complete beginners who have never been on the snow before and who are getting to grips with the basics, from getting their skis and boots on, to clipping in and mastering starting and the snow plough. It can also be a good option if you’ve been before but just want to familiarize yourself with the basics again.


Intermediate classes are for those who have been before and confident with snowplough and parallel turning, and are happy to progress onto green and red slopes.


Advanced classes are more for those with a few ski trips under their belt and who want to tackle black slopes, off piste and the odd snow park. Not for the faint hearted.

If a full week of skiing lessons isn’t for you or you just want a guide or perhaps one-to-one lessons then they can all be sourced locally. Prices vary but definitely shop around.

There are options to have a slope guide to bring the more advanced skiers to amazing spots you mightn’t necessarily find on your own, or else some instructors focus on pure snow park tuition, so you can get to grips with rails, jumps, tricks and boxes in the park.

These instructors usually charge by the hour and again can be sourced locally in resort. They’re a great way to progress if you don’t want to commit to a full weeks worth of lessons.


When it comes to kids, skiing tuition is always designed with them in mind, so there are English speaking instructors who are well versed and so make the ski school experience are seamless as possible for young children, getting them to grips with everything from button lifts to jumps.

They again grade the classes according to ability and often have fun games and competitions on the last day to showcase everything they’ve learned over the course of the week. If you have younger children the majority of resorts have Snow School or Kindergarten, a closed off area usually located at the bottom of the beginner's slopes where kids can come to grips with the snow.

With so many options it’ll be easy for you to find the best option for you, your family or your friends whilst away on your 2014 skiing holiday.

Well I might just have the skiing holiday suggestion for you. I'm going to talk you through some of the best music festivals in the snow. It can mean the perfect combination for snow and music fans, and as the years go on, more and more festival in the snow are popping up around Europe. So that means plenty of options most notably in Andorra, Austria and France, depending on your budget. Plus with ski companies flying regularly out of the UK and Ireland the whole snow season long it means there is no excuse to miss the fun and tunes.

So if this sounds like the perfect skiing holiday for 2014 then here is a quick run through of the festivals on offer and the best options for cheap deals to each.

1. Arinsal and Pal, Andorra offer the Snowboxxx Festival, it's a relatively new festival but over the past two years it has gained in popularity with accommodation booking out quickly each year. Directski offer flights and accommodation packages to Arinsal and Pal, so whether you're a big budget boarder or a skint skier they have options from 2* self catering and B+B to 4* hotels like the St. Gothard.

2. Snowbombing is probably the most famous of festivals, each year it attracts thousands to the slopes of Mayrhofen, Austria in April each year. Staying in Mayrhofen resort can prove quite expensive however as prices on flights and accommodation are hiked up for that specific week, so you can always fly and stay in a resort close by so you can get there cheaply, get skiing on quieter slopes, but still enjoy the festival at night. So I'd suggest flying to Kitzbuhel or Innsbruck in that case, which are both close by resorts.

3. The Altitude Festival hits Mayrhofen in Austria each March. This is not quite a music festival but the comedy festival attracts some big names like Eddie Izzard and John Bishop. It was originally the Meribel, France Altitude Festival also in March, which offered a combination of comedy, music and action, but it's had a makeover.

So whatever your budget and whatever your musical taste, Europe skiing and music festivals have got it sussed.

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Contact:Fiona Donnellan
Address:22 Blackhall St.

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