There is nothing worse than excitedly planning your ski escape, only to spend most of your time queuing for the chair lift once you get there. The French Alps, Swiss mountains and snowy peaks of Canada have always been popular choices for ski holidays, attracting thousands of tourists every year.

However, if you fancy more time on the slopes, and less time standing around, choose one of these lesser known ski destinations for your 2013 winter break…

Xiling Ski Resort China

  1. Xiling Ski Resort – China

Swap the French Alps for the Oriental Alps and visit the Xiling Ski Resort, the largest alpine skiing destination in China. Boasting a 5364 metre high mountain, the resorts seven alpine pistes are perfect for both beginners and ski experts alike.

If you’re looking for more than just skiing from your winter getaway, the Xining Mountain Ski Tour is for you. Not only will you get time on the slopes, you will also get to visit the Panda Breeding and Research Centre to meet China’s best loved inhabitants.

  1. Rusutsu Ski Resort – Japan

While Japan isn’t the most obvious choice for you skiing holiday, the Rusutsu Ski Resort can hold its own against the other more popular resorts. The resort receives over 14 metres of snowfall a year, meaning you’re sure to have fresh, undisturbed snow during your break.

The resort is best suited to beginners and intermediates, but there are challenging tree lined courses available for those skiing professionals. It’s not just the slopes that are impressive, the resort itself is great too. Perfect for families, there is even a fun park complete with rollercoaster and Ferris wheel to keep the kids happy.

Be prepared

Once you have decided on your destination, you’ll need to stock up on all of the essentials that you will need. You can often hire your skis from the resort itself, but you’ll need to supply all of the extras. Ski socks, ski goggles and a hat and scarf are a must to keep you warm and safe while on the slopes. Craigdon Mountain Sports provide a great range of skiing equipment at affordable prices, leaving you more money for your après-ski beverages.

You’ll need to make sure your travel insurance fully protects you for your active holiday. Specialised insurance can be pricey, so use a comparison website like Money Supermarket to help you find the policy that best suits your budget.