5 Proven Ways to make the most of your ski season

Oct 07, 2022 No Comments by

Welcome to the 2022/23 pre-ski season countdown. This post is aimed at everyone from first time skiers and snowboarders to regulars. I want you to get the benefit of what I have seen over the years. And because I have been skiing since 1970, and since 1995 in Bansko as well as closely involved with ski tourism with this site, I think I’m qualified to make such claims – but you can tell me either below or on any of the Bansko Blog socials.

Multiple ski trips per ski season

Booking several ski trips per ski season is a luxury for many but is made possible with some careful planning. And this tip applies as much to new skiers as long time enthusiasts. But why is taking two or three trips to the mountains each winter better than one long trip? The reason is part psychological and part reality. Getting up in the mountains is health giving, with fresh mountain air and much needed Vitamin D from the sunshine. It also makes us feel really good – have you noticed how much fun I’m having when I do my vlogs for the Bansko Blog YouTube channel? It’s great escapism from the trappings of everyday life.

Multiple ski trips per season are also highly conducive for improving your skiing abilities. You get that warm glow of satisfaction from having improved your skiing / snowboarding skills over a whole season. Returning after a break provides fresh motivation to improve. And the chances of tyou being in a ski resort when the weather gods oblige with loads of snow increases as you spread your time between the months — for example once in January, once in February / early March and once late season.

By the time you finish your third trip you will be stronger, fitter and more skilful because, just like everything else in life, times doing something makes it better. And the better you ski or snowboard the more fun it becomes. As you improve your skills, the more your confidence improves and you’ll find that more possibilities on the mountain open up to you.

Most ski resorts, including Bansko, are busy over the weekends with, in the case of Bansko, many Bulgarians coming down from Sofia. I therefore recommend skiing during the week. Monday to Friday. A short trip, for example, travelling on a Sunday and returning on a Wednesday evening will seem longer than it is.

Here’s the skill; if coming by air, is to hack your flights. Make them convenient for your schedule and location. Not everyone wants to be getting up at 03:00 to make a flight and quieter non-peak times flights are less stressful. Watch out for a video on how to ski with just cabin bags and avoid the wait, and expense, for check-in bags.

Building your own bespoke ski trip vs booking a package tour

Following on from my recommendation for multiple ski trips in a season, is to put together your own ski trip. I’ve been a huge fan of doing this since EasyJet launched their low cost flights to Geneva in 1995. This short break formula, with a low cost airline, and was how I initially made it to Bansko.

Many of our regular clients joined a fully inclusive package trip the first time they came to Bansko. This may seem attractive on the face of it but, here in Bansko, you can see every season people complaining on the socials about these packages.

For example, people complain about waiting for the coach at both Sofia and in resort. Antisocial behaviour of fellow travellers on shared transport is also a common complaint. With you crammed in tightly in a coach with others your chances of catching a cold / flu from other is a real possibility.

Then there’s the long wait for the fitting of ski boots and boards that messes up your first evening or first day. Then there’s the large and inflexible ski shop opening times and huge group lesson class sizes. Then there’s the terrible hotel food offered on many of the packages. All these are complaints I see every season. UPDATE: see these exact complaints on the Bansko Blog Facebook Group. A Google search will also reveal these issues.

The fact I that many of larger tour operator’s ski packages put together for Bansko are ones of compromises. They start right from the booking process and continue through the final bus ride back to the airport. First time skiers to Bansko have no reference on how good and cost effective eating out is, the quality of private transfers, ski hire, lessons and the incredible choice of quality accommodation that can be found in Bansko.

In addition, never-ever skied / snowboarding beginners will not always be aware that proper ski and snowboard instruction requires small class sizes to be effective. At this stage, I have to point out my obvious commercial interest in that booking your ski hire and lesson service here on Bansko Blog / App. Our Group lessons there are are a maximum of six persons. More on private lessons and private groups coming up…

Over ambition on ability and fitness – and things you can do to help this

We all tend to overestimate our abilities on skis and snowboards. I quite often meet-up with clients for an informal ski session where beforehand I ask their skill level. Almost always the truth is that technique requires work and that most people would benefit from a few private lessons.

The most common issue I find is that, usually on the third day, leg muscles are tired. Over exertion on the first two days means that people drop out and take a day of rest. This is fine, and you’re on holiday after all, but it can be avoided. Here’s how:

Before coming to ski or snowboard it’s a good idea to spend at least the prior month building up stamina through 10,000+ steps a day and getting out cycling up hills. But could also be jogging, hiking and other sports or special strength training at the gym. I find that YouTube has massive resources for pre-trip ski and snowboard exercises.

Secondly, ski and snowboard less each than you think you should each day. And focus on technique on easy slopes first. Stoping skiing / snowboarding before you are really tired is the smart way. The feeling of well-being, combined with adrenaline, tends to mask muscles that are close to giving up. It’s better to stop when you think you can go on longer.

Your day three experience will be better and you’ll be much less likely to injure yourself when not overly tired.

Thirdly, I recommend going to the recovery room located opposite the Kempinski hotel. Go there shortly after coming down from the mountain. The recovery room is the place for professional muscle compression bags over the legs and thighs. These help release the build up of the lactic acid chemicals that can make legs ache the following day. Nikola, who runs the place, is an absolute professional. The investment in your post ski legs recovery pays dividends the next day.

And it is a pleasant experience – even more cool in the heated clear bubble room outside the shop. They will serve herbal tea (or beer) as you choose. A nice way to unwind.

Book accommodation near the ski lift

Bansko gondola lift

Time is precious on your ski trip and therefore choosing a hotel, or an apartment, near the ski lift will optimise your time. In Bansko, most of the winter apres ski facilities are close to the lift. This means that you avoid any long walk, or taxi ride, to the lift both in the morning and after coming down from the mountain.

Bansko is a busy ski resort and at peak periods there will be gondola lift queues. So getting early to the lift, if you can, is made easier if you are staying close to the lift. Use Google maps when booking accommodation so that you know exactly where the accommodation options are located. Be aware there are a limited number of places to stay that are “200 metres from the gondola lift”. As a guide I would be happy to recommend the Kempinski for 5 star, Bansko Royal Towers, Vihren Palace, Mountain Paradise (by the lift), Sport Hotel and Guinness Hotel as 4 star type options. These are very well located places to stay for both the gondola lift and for most of the bars and restaurants.

Private lessons vs Group lessons

And the last, but certainly not least, proven way to get the most out of your Bansko trip is to take 1:1 private lessons. If you are learning with friends, then book a private group lesson so you can be all together. If you have family and friends that you are at the same ski level then investing in private group lessons makes so much sense. The reason I say this is that the focus of your instructor is just on you and your friends. You will progress quicker in a private or private group lesson than in a regular group lesson.

Private lessons cost more but are amazing value in Bansko compared to most other ski resorts. They are by far the best investment you can make in your ski trip. I put it above all others. I recommend at least one to two private lessons for for most visitors who are not really proficient yet. The instructor will iron out the bad habits. He / she will get you doing this right from the get-go.

And it’s the improvement in technique that a private lesson on your first or second day will help you even if you can ski / snowboard and are an intermediate skier. Or even if you have been away from the slopes for a long while.

If you are a beginner I would recommend booking a 2 hour private lesson every day. If you are physically very fit, then book four hours a day.

But a 2 hour private lesson per day is sufficient for most. And for young children aged 5 to 7 a private lesson helps them progress super fast.


I hope my 5 proven ways to make for a successful Bansko ski trip are useful to you. Please let me know your tips.

It’s very simple to put your own bespoke ski trip together. Book convenient flights, book your accommodation on booking.com / airbnb and then book your premium private transfers, ski hire, snowboard hire and lessons with us on Bansko Blog. It’s quick, easy and hassle-free.

When putting your own ski trip together, the total price per person could be a little cheaper, about the same or more expensive than a package trip. It just depends on numbers and accommodation. But the quality of all the elements most likely be much better. Less stress and an experience that will make you come back to Bansko for more.

And, of course, you should click here to book with us here at BanskoBlog. We’ve been doing this since 2008 and every season work hard to improve your experience. Booking your private lessons, and small class sized group lessons, ski / snowboard hire and private transfers right here not only ensures you have a memorable Bansko trip but also helps me and the team provide content and development on our totally independent Bansko Blog App (it’s free). Only by booking with us do you receive your exclusive Bansko Blog discount.

You made it to the end – so thank you for reading. Let me know what you think in the comments below or on any of the bansko blog social channels.

Remember to subscribe below to get notified of new articles and vlogs that are designed to help you make the most of your time in Bansko.

Skiing & Snowboarding

About the author

I enjoy tech, apps, entrepreneurship, podcasting and collaboration with others. I love travelling as well as skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, cooking and good food.
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