With the Christmas holidays firmly behind us and the monotony of a whole new semester ahead, January blues have well and truly set in with apparently very little to look forward to- except for those of you who plan to jet off on your skis any minute. Now is the time when the luckier of us are planning Easter skiing breaks or joining the University Winter Break trip. Whilst there is plenty to be getting excited about, official Foreign Office information regarding student antics whilst on their skis; highlights the high risks associated with the sport. In the light of this, the Impact travel team have joined forces with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to offer you some valuable tips to keep students safe on the slopes.

It seems that on holidays abroad, we students can’t leave our binge Britain drinking culture behind. Recent research released has revealed that 1/3 of skiers and snowboarders under the age of 25 get into trouble due to the lethal combination of alcohol, altitude and adrenaline. Whilst away you may find your usually ‘hard-core’ alcohol tolerance significantly decreased due to the high altitudes of most popular ski resorts. Though you might brag that you were still standing after fifteen pints of Karni-cocktail on last week’s Rag-Raid, at unfamiliar altitudes it may well take significantly less to get you to the point of impersonating Johnny Knoxville and performing ridiculous ‘Jackass’ style stunts in the snow.

Of the 36% of people who drunk themselves into trouble, 1/3 of people injured themselves, over 2/3 were fined for causing damage and over 1/2 were asked to leave the resort. Jess Prasad at the FCO warns; “many don’t realise the dangers of drinking on the piste. If you injure yourself whilst under the influence of alcohol, it is very likely your insurance policy will be invalid. This could mean high costs – if you break your leg on the Alps, a trip in an air ambulance and treatment could set you back £10,000”. Quite a blow to the typical student budget!

Although your main concern might be how quickly you’ll be able to conquer the black run or how cheap the booze will be, try to remember these top tips as well as your woolly hat!

Be Safety Smart on the Slopes:

Travel Insurance is essential – make sure it covers high risk activities such as skiing and snow-boarding

Alcohol affects you quicker at high altitudes – most insurers won’t cover you if you were under the influence!

Good quality Equipment will protect you against injury

For more Great Tips and to research your destination fully, check out the official Foreign and commonwealth Office website at government travel for the most up to date and official travel information available!

By Pippa Irvine

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