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As a novice skier it can be daunting to know where to start, so we've rounded up our top tips to help you make more of your ski holidays. In no time at all you'll be confident enough to book your own winter sports trip and discover the fun and excitement of ski and snowboard holidays.

So you've heard people go on and on about how much they love skiing, and you've decided it's time to join in the fun.

But how on earth do you get started? The path from civvy street to the side of a snowy Alp is not an obvious one - so here are our top tips for beginners' ski holidays and beginners' snowboard holidays.

As a beginner, don't try to organise a ski holiday yourself - you won't have a clue what kind of accommodation to book. It's much better to put yourself into the hands of a specialist tour operator, and buy a travel and accommodation package.

The tour operators also have reps on hand in the resort to help you through the confusion of the first two or three days. Stay in a catered chalet if you can. Catered chalets are mountain houses or apartments offering guest bedrooms and communal dining, laid on by the tour operator's staff.

The atmosphere is usually bright and sociable, and you can pick up lots of advice from the staff and your fellow guests. Always, always get professional ski tuition if you are a beginner. Never let your friends teach you. Before long they'll get bored and drag you down something terrifying.When thinking about beginners' skiing tuition, do an internet search to see if there is a British or English speaking ski school in your resort (of course, not necessary in North America).

Book it separately from the rest of your holiday if you find one. Buy as little as you can for your first ski trip. These days you can even rent your ski clothing.

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