Contribution by freelance writer Jennifer Dawson

America is home to over four hundred and fifty ski resorts, from one-chair hills to large destination resorts. If you’re interested in getting hired at one of these resorts, learning about the types of jobs available, figuring out where the jobs are and deciding whether you’ll need to rely on tips to make ends meet will be important.

Plenty of jobs are out there. The key to grabbing a plum job at a great ski resort is knowledge and preparation. Read on to get the hard facts about snow season jobs in the USA.

Skiing expertise is appreciated, but not mandatory

If you think that you need serious skiing skills to get hired at a ski resort during the winter, you should think again. While skiing prowess will give you an edge, it isn’t mandatory. If you don’t have the skiing chops to work out on the slopes, as an instructor, you may apply for other jobs.

Most American ski resorts hire seasonally for a host of different jobs, including, but not limited to, customer service, food and beverage and hospitality. Entry-level jobs which don’t require any experience are out there, in addition to advanced jobs that may require college degrees or other credentials.

No matter which job you take, you’ll be able to enjoy the slopes in your free time, even if your ski outings are limited to the resort’s bunny hill.

You should research ski resort locations

While you are job hunting, you should consider which areas you want to work in and then research those areas. Climate and terrain will vary widely from place to place. Learning about the features of preferred locations may help you to narrow down your short list.

If you’re planning on doing a lot of skiing and/or winter camping during your downtime from work, knowing the area will help you to bring the right outdoor equipment along and stay safe.

Harsh winter terrain may require the purchase of insulated parkas, hiking boots with high-grip soles and a very warm sleeping bag. Some areas are more prone to storms during winter than others, so do your homework.

Will you be working for tips?

If you will need to earn a fair bit of your snow season income from tips, you should look at which ski resorts bring in the most customers. These are the types of winter resorts that make it onto “top ten” lists from authoritative sources. Right now, ski resorts in Colorado, Utah, Nevada and New York are highly-ranked.

If those states suit your needs, look at their most popular ski resorts, do your homework and then explore job options. Ski resorts in the best ski areas will attract plenty of clientele, including well-heeled clientele.

The odds of getting good tips will increase when you choose a highly-ranked resort. In general, service jobs are the jobs where tips are shared among staff. Resort bartenders and restaurant servers definitely rely on tips.

Start the hunt for the ideal snow season job

As you can see, preparation is all-important. Before you apply for a single snow season job in America, you should know a lot about the industry and the best ski resort regions.

Once you’ve boned up on USA ski resorts, it’ll be time to decide where you want to work. Once you’ve made that decision, you’ll be ready to put together an amazing resume and apply online.

Guest post by Adam Durnham

Winter has always received a bad reputation when it comes to affecting people’s moods. However, there are still reasons why the winter season can also be good for one’s mental health.

Gloomy, dark, and cold–that’s how most people who dislike winter describe this seemingly long season.

Winters have always been known to be a mood-killer because of its lack of sunlight and its inevitable coldness that makes people stay indoors. There is, in fact, a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which affects some people during the fall and winter months.

Some of the signs include:

  • Decrease in energy
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping during the cold months
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Depressive moods

Although these are mostly associated during the winter season, SAD can happen to anyone at any time. Since it’s tied to environmental factors, there are some things that can be done such as light therapy, counselling, and joining support groups to prevent worsening of symptoms.

Not all people who suffer from the “winter blues” get SAD. The truth is, this is just one side of the coin–there’s also another side of winter that is beneficial to mental health.

Here are some of the reasons why the winter can also be beneficial to your mind and body:

Winter season is a time for holidays (at least in the northern hemisphere!)

According to an article from the New York Times, 20,000 people responded that they are naturally happier during the winter holidays. There is a reason. It’s called “Christmas spirit” – it’s because people naturally feel that giddiness when it’s time to celebrate the holidays with family and friends.

The study shows that spending time with family and friends is a great predictor of happiness levels.

It gives a healthy distraction from the daily stresses of life – it takes away responsibilities for a while and enjoy the company of others.

Even something as simple as putting on decorations for the holidays can also have a great impact on one’s moods. Scientific studies say that people who take time to put up Christmas decorations in their home feel happier because of the bright lights and the colors associated with the holiday.

Although not all people have the luxury of putting up grand decorations, even a small tree and some simple lights can do the trick.

Winter season is a time for festive meals

Aside from celebrations of holidays with family and friends, there is another factor that makes winter season a booster for mental health–and that is the festive food!

Who would want to pass up the Thanksgiving turkey, the Christmas ham, the pies, and all the sumptuous sides? It is no secret that food indeed makes us happy.

According to research, satisfying cravings in a healthy way affects the brain chemistry which releases happy hormones. What better way to boost these happy hormones than to celebrate with the people you love and eat the food that you love as well.

Although these festive meals can be great, it is also important to keep food intake in moderation during the holidays. It can be great to have that slice of cake, but don’t overdo it as the pounds that will pile up come January may dampen those happy moods as well.

The winter season is also a time for resolutions

Another way that the cold months helps in mental health is during New Year’s Resolutions. As a new year approaches, people often find themselves in a motivated state to adopt new habits and ditch some unhealthy ones.

Anecdotally, people usually start their gym membership or sign up for alcohol rehab, organize their homes, or start a healthy diet.

For some reason, that shift from the past year to the next gives people the psychological boost for people to be self-motivated.

If you are suffering from mental health concerns, you can use the winter months to think of habits you can change for the better. For example, you can start regular exercise, or start the year simply with a fresh perspective.

Although you can start these anytime, the winter season is good time as it happens during the first quarter of every year.

Winter also prevents irritability

This is something interesting, but there are theories that suggest that warm or hot weather also affects people’s moods negatively. Certain studies suggest there is a link between higher crime rates and increased aggression during the summer months.

The rationale behind this is that people usually get cranky and restless when the weather is hot. For example, when people are on the road during a hot day, they might be more prone to irritable behaviour.

Additionally, since the weather may be too cold at times, people may like to stay indoors and undertake low-energy activities that can help them relax and feel warm.

Winter is a season to try snow sports and activities

Winter is a fun time to try different snow activities. Sledding, building a snowman, iceskating, skiing, and visiting winter parks are some fun excursions that you can enjoy solo or with loved ones.

Before heading outside, be sure to bundle up to maximize the time you will be spending outdoors. Although many people will attest to despising snow, doing some fun activities in it once in a while can also boost your mood and energy levels. Since snow mostly reflects light coming from the daytime, it can also serve as a form of light therapy for those who are having depressive mood swings staying indoors during the winter months.

Winter is also a time for rest

In case anyone forgets, the winter months give your mental health a boost because it’s also a time for physical rest.

Most people are away during the holidays, which makes it possible for most employees to enjoy a couple of weeks for a well-deserved vacation.

You can spend this time to recharge and to set aside anything that puts pressure in your mind. Although it is fun to try some snow activities during the winter months, you can always spend time indoors just indulging on your favorite TV shows, having a quiet time with your pets, doing your hobbies, or even sleeping as time slowly passes by.

It’s all about perspective

Many sources will try to prove that winter is a terrible time for one’s mental health, but the bottom line is, it’s all about one’s perspective. As you look at these reasons, you may realize that winter can be just as helpful to your mental health as any other season.

Contribution from freelance writer Jennifer Dawson


Did you know you lose twice as much water when at higher altitudes compared to sea level? It is therefore twice as important to stay hydrated when doing winter sports. When it comes to things to consider when going for a ski or snowboarding trip, most people overlook preparing their bodies yet go great lengths to prepare for the adventure in terms of attire and gear.

It may seem counterintuitive, staying hydrated during winter. The cold temperatures may inhibit any desires to drink up. Maybe you are just trying to minimize the number of bathroom breaks so you can make the best out of your time on the slopes. However, staying hydrated is of utmost importance for your health, performance, and safety.

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

John Seifert, an associate professor in the Movement Science Lab, Montana State University recommends drinking anywhere between 12 and 16 ounces of water before skiing or snowboarding. This water is used by the body to regulate temperature, transfer nutrients, and to lubricate limb joints.

Additionally, drinking the right amount of water could remedy stitches and headaches which are very common among skiers and snowboarders. Furthermore, staying hydrated helps the body function normally despite losing about 500 calories by replenishing all used up electrolytes. Inadequate water in the body results in poor performance for starters.

Water is the largest component of blood and it is needed to transfer both oxygen and nutrients. When you are dehydrated, blood flow and consequently oxygen and nutrient flow to the muscles is cut off. Weak muscles will, in turn, affect your performance.

Since blood will not be reaching your fingers or toes, you will start feeling cold and shivering. This will render you unable to participate in any sport. Lastly, inadequate supply of oxygen to your brain could lead to dizziness and you cannot afford to be dizzy when whizzing down a slope for safety purposes.

How To Stay Hydrated When Skiing or Snowboarding

Before leaving your room, take time to study your journey plan against the plans of the resort. Identify chalets. If you happen to be skiing close to them, you can always hydrate from there. However, if your route is nowhere in proximity to a chalet, you will have to carry your own water.

Most people carry backpacks with them when skiing. You can fit a water bottle or two in the backpack’s water sleeves. If it does not have any, place the water bottle inside your backpack.

Alternatively, the cargo style pants of your snowboard pants could come in handy. Take note that while a large water bottle can fit inside, carry a small one, as it will become cumbersome and inhibit your ability to ski or snowboard.

Another viable option is investing in a hydration mask which can be strapped on. This is a bladder fancily packed and connected to your mouth via a hose so you can drink water when skiing without using your hands.

Make a point of hydrating early in the morning before leaving the resort. Avoid drinking alcohol before skiing or snowboarding. Not only can it lead to life-threatening accidents, but it also dehydrates your body.

For every 200 ml of booze you drink, your body loses the same amount and an additional 120 ml. If you drink tea or coffee, make sure to drink water as well, because that in itself is not sufficient.

If you are a Canadian citizen who is aged between 18 and 35 years of age and you would like to visit Australia for an extended period, you may consider applying for a working holiday subclass 417 visa.

This visa will allow you to reside in Australia for an initial period of 12 months, and if eligible, you may then apply for a second year working holiday visa. As a result of legislative changes recently enacted (with effect from 1 July 2019), a third year working holiday visa will also be available, thereby potentially granting you an overall stay period of 3 years in Australia as a working holiday visa holder.

These features make a working holiday visa an attractive option for thousands of Canadian applicants each year, with the annual statistics (for the 12 months to 31 December 2018) placing Canada in the top 10 list of countries for applications lodged under the working holiday visa program.

How do you apply for your first year working holiday visa from Canada to Australia?

To be eligible for your first year working holiday visa, you must:

  • Not previously have been in Australia as a working holiday visa holder;
  • Intend to temporarily stay in Australia as a genuine visitor, with your primary purpose being to spend a holiday;
  • Demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to meet your personal expenses for the first 3 months of your stay in Australia (minimum of $5,000) and for your departure fare;
  • Have a reasonable prospect of securing employment in Australia;
  • Not be accompanied by dependent children during your stay in Australia;
  • Have a good immigration record; and
  • Satisfy public interest criteria, including health and character requirements.

You must be located offshore at time of lodgment of your application, which is to be submitted online via ImmiAccount (paper applications are accepted in limited circumstances) with all required supporting documents attached. The visa application lodgment fee is $450.


How do you apply for a second year working holiday visa from Canada to Australia?

Among the key requirements to be satisfied, you must demonstrate that you have completed paid specified work in a designated area in regional Australia for at least 3 months full-time equivalent (88 calendar days) whilst you held your first year working holiday visa (either full-time, part-time or casual).

You must also either currently, or previously, have been in Australia, as a working holiday visa holder. In addition, you must have complied with your first year working holiday visa conditions.

One of these conditions stipulates that you are not permitted to work for any one employer for more than 6 months (unless you received prior approval from the Department). Be aware that under changes recently announced, this period is extended to 12 months in certain circumstances.

You must also not have engaged in training or study for more than 4 months.

How do you apply for a third year working holiday visa from Canada to Australia?

One of the most important requirements is to demonstrate that you have completed an additional 6 months of specified work in a designated area of regional Australia during the period when you held your second year working holiday visa (or an eligible Bridging Visa).


The specified work must have been carried out on or after 1 July 2019.

You must also either currently, or previously, have been in Australia as the holder of a second year working holiday visa. Additionally, you must have complied with your second year working holiday visa conditions (the same as for a first year working holiday visa, as noted above).

Be aware that you may only qualify for a third year working holiday visa from 1st January 2020. To apply for a second or third year working holiday visa, you can do so either onshore (subject to meeting prescribed requirements regarding your visa status at that time) or from outside Australia.

The application is to be submitted online (paper applications are accepted in limited circumstances). A lodgment fee of $450 is payable for each application.


Guest contributors

Constantine Paxinos is a Registered Migration Agent and Chartered Accountant. He is a director of PAX Migration Australia, a leading, award-winning immigration agency based in Adelaide, South Australia. He has worked closely with international students for the last 5 years and has assisted hundreds of students with graduate and permanent visa pathways and is an active advocate for growing international students.

Christina Katsouri-Paxinos is also a Registered Migration Agent and director at PAX Migration Australia, with over 15 years of experience. Her profound knowledge on immigration law has allowed her to continuously assist her clients to achieve the best outcomes. She specializes in Partner, Parent, Student and State Sponsored (skilled) and independent skilled visas, and has an excellent track record across hundreds of visa applications.


This is a Guest Post by Skiing Property

Laax and the neighbouring Flims share one of the largest ski areas in Switzerland so whether you’re looking for piste km or overall dimensions, The White Arena mountains known for super long runs is the perfect place to ski.

Flims is a rare Alpine resort that feels like a local village with traditional chalets lining the streets and luxurious hotels hidden discreetly for privacy. Most people visit Flims for a skiing trip and most of the skiers are from the capital city of Zurich, Germany or small clusters of British tourists who have discovered the tranquil resort to enjoy the perfect ski trip.


What is the Area Like?

Flims is one of the largest resorts in Switzerland and is well connected to winter sports. The region stretches into a sprawling 220 kilometres of pistes and boasts over 230 km of mountain bike trails, 250km of hiking trail, gorgeous sights and a panoramic view of the Graubunden mountainscape.

In summer, the resort offers outdoor recreational activities like badminton, moorland lakes, tennis, golf, mountain meadows and themed walking trails. Spectacular skiing properties surround the area, most of which were recently completed and feature underfloor heating and an open mountain view from where you see the best of Flims Waldhaus.

Why you should visit Flims Waldhaus

The Flims is still relatively unknown and is not offered by most tour operators, so you get to enjoy an idyllic life away from the usual grind of the city for a memorable getaway. There is the magnificent serrated ridge of Tschiingelhorner, which dominate most of the films; the resort is ideal for families with world-class snow parks and one of the biggest half-pipes in Europe to attract a decent crowd of snowboarders.

Skiing in the Flims

The white arena mountains are popular for long runs from the tops and routes from the vorab glacier to the Flims. For a beginner, the options are mild without being overbearing, pushing you to steady skiing in good time. You could register with a ski school instructor where you have to take the test of skiing down the stretch back to base, after which you move up to longer slopes such as the blue number 10 and 30.

Intermediates have a plethora of options to choose from with unending runs, extensive glacial slopes and tree lined trails. Along with your run are breathtaking views and routes perfect for spectacular polenta.

Most of the White Arena slopes are above 2000m mark and there is always snow in the Flims either during the early or late season. The best time to visit is at Christmas when it all feels magical with lengthy runs that make time pass so quickly.

4 Places to Visit in Flims Waldhaus

1. Caumasee mountain lake: 30 minutes walk from the village is an enchanting lake snuggled between Flims and Laax mountains. The lake shimmers in a unique colour that is crystal clear and a lot of fun to swim in during summer. Take your wallet with you so you can enjoy good food at a nice restaurant where prices are surprisingly affordable for a Swiss restaurant.

2. Aussichtsplattform II Spir Conn: On the way from Cauma, you don’t want to miss the amazing tourist attraction called “Aussichtsplattform II Spir Conn with views reminiscent of the Grand Canyon horseshoe river turn. The area features several drinking fountains useful on a hot summer afternoon with a nearby café for brunch or early dinner.

3. Trudge Dil Flem: one of the nicest hiking routes with easy/moderate trails in Switzerland with beautiful views along the waterfall. Good hiking boots are recommended to protect your toes during the long downhill section.

4. Alpen Arena: The Ski resorts of Laax, Falera and Flims combine into an outstanding winter playground where skiers and snowboarders gather for a family day of fun. It is a wonderful location for beginners to take skiing lessons with the Crap Sogn Gion, an ideal place for you to practice.

Where Should you Eat?

The Epoca is a fine dining restaurant at the Waldhaus Hotel perfect for the rare expensive 5-star dining experience. A highlight of your evening should be the four-course menu that contains Thai curry soup with oxtail-filled ravioli and beef fillet. For traditional Swiss cuisine visit Cavigilli, 2 minutes from the lift station and for a lovely brunch Bergrestaurant Startgels serve an excellent polenta with a variety of sauces including tomato, gorgonzola and mushroom.

Japan is famous for a lot of things. It is a haven for tourists because there are plenty of sights to see and explore, whether man-made or natural. Hokkaido is the northernmost island in Japan that is known for its hot springs, volcanoes, and ski areas. So, if you are looking for adventure on your winter visit, you can explore backcountry skiing and snowboarding.

Winter in Hokkaido

Hokkaido is the second largest island in Japan. As such, it offers plenty of exciting opportunities for tourists to take advantage of its natural resources. Sapporo is the capital city of Hokkaido, which is a popular tourist attraction in itself.

Winter is considered as one of the best times to visit Hokkaido. There are plenty of popular festivals to partake in such as the Sapporo Snow Festival, Big Air (snowboarding competition), and Asahikawa Ice Festival.

Many travel experts suggest visiting Hokkaido in the winter if you want to have a wonderful experience. The northernmost location of Hokkaido is part of the reason why it has a colder climate than mainland Japan. The temperature can drop to below zero-degree Celsius in the winter time. As the island is covered in white snow, it creates spectacular scenery and a host of adventurous experiences.

Today, skiing and snowboarding are two popular activities for tourists who visit Hokkaido during winter. Take time to learn about where you can enjoy these activities during your trip to Hokkaido.

Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding in Hokkaido

Hokkaido is home to many beautiful ski/snowboarding resorts, including Niseko, Rusutsu and Furano. These resorts feature world-class facilities that have drawn tourists from all over the world. The quality of the snow in Hokkaido is praised by those who’ve experienced it first-hand. There are also various slopes to choose from, so Hokkaido is a great destination for snowboarding and skiing enthusiasts of all levels!

During peak snowfall, Hokkaido’s top ski and snowboarding resort can get up to 17 meters of snow. Most popular ski resorts in the world only get an average of four to six meters of snow! The sight of the fluffy, white snow is too good to resist for ski and snowboarding enthusiasts.

Some of the most notable ski spots in Hokkaido are the Sapporo and Furano ski areas. There are several other nearby towns known for skiing, such as Asahikawa and Higashikawa. Nonetheless, the former two mentioned are among the most popular destinations, especially for first-time visitors to Hokkaido.

If you are new to winter in this part of Japan, it is also a good idea to hire a guide. Even if you are an experienced ski or snowboard enthusiast, you have to know that each type of terrain is different. Hiring a guide will help you find the most suitable spots without risking your safety. As a bonus, your guide can also provide some local knowledge and cultural insights to help ease you into the local culture much faster.

Preparing for Skiing and Snowboarding in Hokkaido

Are you ready to take on the snowboarding and ski slopes of Hokkaido? Take note of the following tips to plan your winter holiday so you can stay safe and get the most fun out of it:

  • Skiing or snowboarding in Japan means you’ll be exposed to a lot of sun under low light and clouds. In a day, expect to experience changing light conditions, which can be dramatic. You can protect your eyes from these changing conditions by packing low light goggles. This will enable you to see the terrain better, which can be challenging when all you see is white snow. It is also a smart idea to pack an extra pair. You’ll never know when you can damage yours as you tumble into the snow, so it’s better to be prepared.
  • Pack some face or neck warmers, too. As mentioned above, winters in Hokkaido can reach below zero degrees. When you stumble and fall as you ski or snowboard, more of the white stuff will get on your face. This can make you feel extremely cold. Make it a priority to cover up as much as you can.
  • Always pack your own gear. There are some ski or snowboarding resorts that can let you rent gear to use. But there are also some resorts in Hokkaido with limited options. To ensure that you can get the most out of your skiing and snowboarding experience, pack a full set of gear!
  • Use the directional stance on your snowboard. This is an important reminder when snowboarding in Hokkaido. A lot of snowboarders opt for the central stance. This can be dangerous when you are dealing with steep slopes and terrain in Japan. The directional stance will also enable you to ride longer.
  • Don’t forget to bring cash! This might seem odd, but many establishments in Hokkaido are still heavily cash-based. It is a smart idea to bring some local money with you at all times.

Whether you choose to ski or do your snowboarding in Hokkaido or elsewhere, these tips should hopefully help you plan an amazing vacation!


Contribution from freelance writer Jennifer Dawson

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a 70% chance of an El Niño pattern winter for the Northern Hemisphere, which could mean a snow season with warmer weather and less power days than we’d like.

When you work hard and play hard, and count on the winter for the lion’s share of your annual income, you can’t afford to have a sick day in the midst of a limited snow season. Especially if you’ve planned ahead for this epic work/holiday! Staying fit and healthy so you can make the most of the season means adopting healthful routines to treat your body right. From diet tips to preventive health measures, here’s 6 ways to ensure you can thrive throughout a season on the slopes.


Prepare for Endurance

Unless a cardio and core strength workout is already part of your daily routine, the first few days back on the slopes can really do a number on you. Rather than powering through that adjustment while you’re on the job, prep for your snow season with three or four weeks of aerobic training. You don’t have to go nuts — simply biking, walking briskly, or daily elliptical use are all great ways to start rebuilding your strength so a long day on skis or snowboarding won’t wipe you out. Core strength exercises are also important so that you’re less prone to injury and better able to stay strong and balanced on the slopes. Try squats, planks, and lunges to build your core power.

Be Kind to Your Skin

When you’re out all day in cold, raw mountain weather, dry, cracked skin is commonplace. Skin irritation can be more than just irritating if it leads to sores that risk infection. Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim recommends thick moisturizer and overnight masks to prevent chapped skin on the slopes. Even just the dry winter air indoors can lead to painful cracked or peeling skin, especially on hardworking hands.

Wearing heavy duty moisturizer overnight and a pair of cotton gloves can help skin heal more quickly if this happens. It can also be easy to forget to wear sunscreen in the midst of winter, but UV protection is crucial in the mountains where the higher altitude and bright, reflective snow can really amplify the harming effects of the sun’s rays. Layer on those SPFs!

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

When your job requires a lot of energy to stay alert and active to instruct novice skiers or hike through knee-deep powder, you need a protein-packed breakfast to start your day. Of course, a snow season job often requires waking up before the tourist crowds, so you may not have time to cook or even sit down to eat in the mornings. The best solution for your morning fuel is to whirl up a power smoothie breakfast. Vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables mixed with superfoods like chia seeds and spirulina will keep you going strong for hours. Smoothies are also the ultimate to-go breakfast and travel especially well in a durable glass mason jar with a pop-on lid.

Stretch it Out

Avoid body cramps and backaches that can hamper your ability to work by making yoga part of your daily routine. Not only does yoga help improve your core strength, which makes your body less vulnerable to injury, but it teaches you to calm your mind and your breath which goes hand in hand with giving you form and focus on the slopes. Give yourself an extra 15 minutes in the morning to do a simple sun salutation or practice that helps get the blood flowing and stretches out stiff muscles. Ending the day with restorative yoga stretches will help you recover from any aches so you’re ready to ride in the morning.

Rethink Comfort Food

Ski resort restaurants are known for hearty, comfort food cuisine and pub fare. Meaty dishes, melted cheese, and gravy-coated everything. For some of you, amazing resort food may be just as much a reason to work a snow season as, say, the snow! Yes this kind of food can hit the spot on a cold winter’s day, but eating it day after day after day can slow you down and make you feel gross. Make an effort to choose healthier versions of comfort food favorites like whole grain pasta and beans for protein. A hearty veggie chili can be just as warming while being much kinder to your system.

You can also smooth out the highs and lows of coffee and alcohol by opting for more healthful beverages with mood-altering properties like kombucha or — the latest craze — CBD-infused sodas or seltzers.



Guest post by Uni Baggage

When it comes to planning a skiing holiday, there is a great deal to consider, from getting the right clothing and ski kit, to transporting it all to your destination, and perhaps most importantly, choosing the perfect resort to suit your trip. For a first timer, it’s easy for the planning process to quickly become overwhelming, understandably so. Knowing where to start can be a head scratch. So, whether you’re yet to embark on your first skiing holiday or whether you’re eager to plan your next trip, these pointers should help you with the process.


1. Choosing a resort

Perhaps the most important aspect of planning your ski trip is choosing your resort, as such, you may think it to be the most daunting. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think. Essentially, the resort that you choose depends on a few things, but most importantly – your budget, the time of year you plan to go and your level of skiing experience. If you’re still at beginner level, you’ll want to research resorts that are best for first-timers, as they will generally have novice slopes closer to the resort. If you’re a bit more experienced, you can look into bigger name resorts with large ski areas that you’ll get full use out of. You should also consider what else the resort has to offer. If you’d prefer not to be on the hill all day every day, you might look into a resort that offers different activities such as ice skating – or even a spa, because who wouldn’t want to hit the spa after a long day of skiing? If you’re considering travelling with your family, it really goes without saying that you should keep an eye out for resorts that are good for families. Generally, those that are family-friendly will offer nursery slopes for children to learn. There may even be childcare options on offer.

2. Choosing your accommodation type

Once you’ve settled on your resort, the next port of call is choosing your accommodation. There are a few option, from catered chalets, to shared chalets, to self-catered apartments, and hotels. What you choose will depend on a few things, such as the size of your group, ski-in or ski-out, your budget and how much flexibility you want to have throughout your trip. You’ll also want to check how close your accommodation is to the slopes (and the bars).

3. Getting the right clothing and ski kit

When it comes to packing up your ski kit for your trip, you’ll want to make a checklist just to make sure you don’t leave anything behind. If it’s your first ski trip, you might want to consider borrowing your kit from friends or family, or perhaps hiring your equipment so that you can get some practice in before investing in your own kit. And, don’t forget the basics, such as warm base layers and ski socks, as they could be your saving grace on your trip.


4. Transporting your ski kit

If you’re hiring your ski equipment (skis, poles, snowboards, helmets) when you arrive, you won’t have to worry about transporting them there and back. However, if you’re hoping to bring your own or if you’re borrowing your kit from friends or family, you’ll need to consider how to get them there and back in one piece. Whilst you can always carry them with you on your flight, the oversized baggage fees could put a dampener on your trip. Luggage shipping companies provide a welcomed alternative that could not only help you to save time, but also money when it comes to transporting your ski equipment. You can simply ship your ski kit ahead to your resort, allowing you to travel hands-free. It’s one less thing to worry about!

5. Booking lessons

If this is your first ski trip, you might want to consider booking lessons, even if just for your first few days. Even if you do have a patient friend or partner willing to teach you, the last thing you want to do is fall out with them during the trip. It’s always a good idea to allow a professional instructor show you the ropes and help you to start skiing confidently.

Written by Katy Mairs, blog editor at

Did you know that Canada welcomes 300,000 international students across its borders every year? It’s true! And it’s really easy to see why Canada is so popular with travelling students.

The North American nation is known for its high-quality education offering, its stunning destinations, and for being an open-minded country.

With this in mind, if you’re an international student in Canada it’s likely that tax will be the last thing you’ll want to think about – especially if your home country doesn’t have an automatic tax filing requirement. You’d likely rather be spending time exploring your new city, socialising and making friends (and studying of course!).

Having said that, it’s extremely important to remain complaint with the Canadian tax authorities as this is one of your visa requirements. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! So here’s five things every international student in Canada should know about tax.


(1) Am I considered a Resident or Non-Resident for tax purposes?

Your residency status is hugely important when it comes to being taxed in Canada. So, if you’re not sure whether you fall into the category of resident or non-resident, here are some tips to help you figure it out:

resident of Canada is someone who has established residential ties (more on these below!) to the country.

non-resident is someone without such ties, and who resides in Canada for less than 183 days of the year.

deemed resident is someone who doesn’t have significant residential ties in Canada, but stays there for 183 days or more during a calendar year. Deemed residents also shouldn’t be considered residents of their home country under the terms of any tax treaty between Canada and that country.

Residents and deemed residents are both responsible for paying Canadian taxes.

You might be considered a deemed non-resident for tax purposes if you establish significant residential ties with Canada and are considered a resident of another country with which Canada has a tax treaty. Both non-residents and deemed non-residents are required to pay tax on income you receive from Canadian sources and these taxes are dependent on the type of income you receive.

What are ties to Canada?

Ties taken into consideration:

  • A spouse or common law partner
  • House or apartment (own or renting)
  • Dependents

Secondary ties:

  • Personal property such as furniture or a vehicle
  • Social ties (memberships of recreational, religious or professional organisations in Canada)
  • Economic ties-bank account, credit cards, investments
  • Canadian health insurance (BC Health, Alberta Health, etc.)
  • Canadian driver’s license or passport
  • You’re permanently employed in Canada
  • You plan to stay in Canada past your working holiday visa and are applying for permanent residency
  • Canada is the place where you customarily live
  • You spent more than 183 days in Canada (many people think this is the most important factor to consider, but that isn’t necessarily the case). Make sure that the majority of the other factors apply to you too.

(2) Do I have to file a tax return?

If you are an international student in Canada, you may have to file a Canadian income tax return – particularly if you have earned income in the country (from teaching/research assistantships, other employment, and investment and business income etc). Generally, students also have to report income they receive from outside of Canada.

Once you have worked out your residency status you’ll be ready to file your tax return!

Note: if you are a non-resident or a deemed non-resident and you don’t have any Canadian source income, then you are not required to file a Canadian tax return.

(3) Am I entitled to any tax credits in Canada?

Yes! If you’re an international student with Canadian source income (or you’re considered a resident), then you can claim tuition credits and you’ll also be eligible for benefits such as the harmonised sales tax credit.

Although, if you’re new to Canada and are filing your taxes for your first year, you will need to indicate the date you first arrived in the country when you are claiming the credits. This is because you weren’t resident for the full year and are therefore not entitled to the full allotment of credits.

(4) Can I claim any expenses?

You may be eligible to deduct certain expenses from your tax payments. Moving expenses such as transportation and storage of personal effects, travel, and temporary accommodation may be considered eligible deductions under certain circumstances.

Although, you can’t deduct moving expenses if your only income at the new location is scholarship, fellowship, or bursary income that is entirely exempt from tax under the current legislation. You may also deduct childcare expenses, Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contributions, and union dues.

Remember! If you are claiming expenses, it’s very important to keep your receipts.

(5) What do I need in order to file a tax return?

Here’s a useful checklist to follow:

1) Determine your residency status

2) Organise your SIN (social insurance) or ITN (individual tax) number

3) You’ll need details of the tuition fees you have paid for the tax year (T2202A)

4) Have your T4 (employment income and deductions) form close at hand

5) You’ll need your T4A (scholarships and bursaries) form too!

6) Don’t forget your receipts for expenses!


Japan boasts some of the most spectacular powder in the world, making it an exceptional snowboarding destination. With hundreds of slopes from an abundance of resorts and backcountry to choose from, it can be hard figuring out which ones to make mandatory on a trip out east. So, we’ve narrowed down the myriad of monstrous slopes to our favorite, and what we think is the best snowboarding slopes in Japan.

First up, is the Zao Ski Resort in the Yamaguta Prefecture. Home to wide runs and not as well known by tourists, this is the perfect place if you want more space to cruise with friends or test our new skills. What makes Zao Ski Resort unique is the prevalence of snow monsters. There’s no need to worry; they’re not alive. Instead, the perfect mix of fresh powder, wind, and the foliage create snow creatures of all shapes and sizes, making it an incredibly scenic snowboarding escape.

These snow monsters be found best on the Kurohime Slope, which peaks at 26 degrees and is 1.7 kilometers long. If you’re looking for a steeper, more challenging slope, check out the Omori Slope measuring in at 32 degrees. The final favorite slope to recommend is the Ohira Course. Connecting Paradise and Shobonuma, the Ohira rotates between solid slopes and steep pitches, giving solid variety for you ambitious shredders.

In addition to the snow monsters, snowboarders will enjoy the warmth that Zao Onsen Ski Resort has to offer. Home to hot springs that have been used and protected for over 1900 years, Zao is the perfect destination to both shred hard and rest well while on a multi-day excursion. Along with the hot springs, Zao specialzes in unique hospitality. With a variety of places to stay, you can choose from traditional ryoken – a historical japanese in – all the way to delectable Bed & Breakfasts, or your budget-friendly hostel and motel choices.

Next is Shiga Kougen. With such an esteemed history, this is obviously a fantastic place to snowboard. The most loved part of Shiga Kougen, also known as Shiga Highlands, is the quality of the snow. There is a reason this 1.6 square mile mountain resort has hosted famous shredders from around the glove. With fifty one different slopes to choose from, Shiga is loved for its variety and accessibility. One key pass will get you wherever you need to go.

Another reason our powder-lovers appreciate Shiga Kougen is their upstanding environmental dedication. In 1981, it was designated as a Biosphere Conservation Area. Finding the balance of enjoyment for everyone who wants to shred the powder while still conserving the natural beauty of the mountains is something Shiga Kougen excels at.

Nozawa Onsen is the next all-star destination for snowboarders. Finding itself on top of Mount Kenashi, there is 100% natural, fresh powder all the way through mid-May. Sixty percent of the resort is intermediate to advanced terrain, which includes the acclaimed Challenge Wall which tops out at 39 degrees. Nozawa has more than just slopes, though. With a large half pipe and snow park, boarders can test their tricks on the plethora of kickers, boxes, rails, and waves.


As you move higher up the mountain, the snow can reach depths of 5 meters. Start out at the Yamabiko area, topping out around 1650 meters. From the top, you will have views of the Japan Sea. Then, as you start taking down the powder, you’ll enjoy the choose your own adventure as you rotate through one of five different routes down for both intermediate and advanced shredders. For a test of endurance, check out the SKyline Course. Extending over 4500 meters, you’ll follow a ridge all the way to the base of the mountain. Having already mentioned the Wall Challenge, the slope I will mention is the Schneider Area. This expert slope averages 32 degrees with a tight and exciting landscape. There are numerous other slopes worth taking advantage of while spending some days at Nozawa Onsen.

For those looking for more adventurous runs within easy travel distance of Tokyo, Hakuba Happo One has thirteen specifically steep and challenging pistes for more advanced snowboarders. Seventy percent of the resort is dedicated to advanced and intermediate ski and boarders, with the longest route being 8000 meters. In addition, this resort tends to be incredibly snowboard friendly, with over forty percent of the patrons bringing their boards.

Hakuba Happo One also has great food ready to quench your appetite. With well prepared, fresh meats and burgers, you’ll enjoy a variety of hearty choices to choose from. Whether its a steak, burger, or some traditional ramen that sounds good after a day in the powder, it will all be awaiting you. Don’t forget to try some fresh apple pie in the morning with coffee or their lovely ohyokkuri hot pot.

Hands down our favorite shredding mountain is Niseko United. With four resorts nestled on this mountain, there is ample opportunity for vacation, work, and play here. Widely acclaimed as the best snow in Japan, it Niseko United will be worth the trek. Being one of the largest destinations, you will have ample food, nightlife, and places to stay while you’re here. Whether you want to try the local favorites at Niseko Ramen Kazahana or experience delectable fresh seafood at Izakaya Senchou, your taste buds will be dazzled after your long day on the slopes. If you will be searching for some live music and beers to refresh yourself, head over to the Half Note Cafe & Bar. Niseko is filled with phenomenal food to compliment its spectacular slopes. For further information on employment in niseko visit this page.

As you plan your Japanese snowboarding treks and excursions, keep these resorts and slopes in mind. You can experience the best powder, food, culture, and natural beauty that Japan has to offer by heading to these resorts. Whether you want to dabble a bit in the backcountry or see how you can take on the Wall Challenge at Nozawa Onsen, you won’t be disappointed by any of these slopes. Happy shredding!



Guest post by Lauren from trekbible

She is a  writer and story maker from Pine Valley, California. She and her husband work in the recreation department at a camp. In their free time, they enjoy mountain biking, building out their Sprinter van, and adventuring with their new puppy, Shadow.

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