If you are new to skiing, it can be a very exciting prospect, if not a little daunting, but if you're prepared for a few tumbles to begin with, skiing will be something that will definitely have you hooked. Many people book practise sessions at the numerous dry ski slopes open to the public before they embark upon the real thing, but every skiing resort, from the Alps to the Rockies, will cater for all levels of ability with fully qualified instructors. Having the right kit is imperative, and no skiing holiday should be considered without first acquiring the essential items for a safe and happy time in the snow. Ski suits, thermals, socks, gloves and hats are the basic articles of clothing needed, and either goggles or sunglasses, with crash helmets for younger members of the family being the sensible option. Larger items of skiing equipment, like skis, boots and poles, can be hired at the slopes, which saves you the bother of trying to transport them along with the rest of your luggage to your chosen holiday destination.

Bed and breakfasts and self catering accommodation are an extremely popular choice with people booking skiing holidays as they provide an ideal home-from-home base from where other elements of a vacation can be enjoyed, as well as spending time on the ski slopes.

The mountain landscapes of any ski resort are breathtaking, and the surrounding countryside can provide sight-seeing opportunities as well as locations from where the all important apres-ski can be fully exploited. Self catering farmhouses, apartments and chalets can be easily found within convenient proximity to many of the world's best ski resorts, some of which have extremely luxurious facilities like private pools, but there are ample skiing holiday homes to suit any budget requirement.

Skiing holidays can be taken in virtually all the mountainous regions that are scattered across the globe, with resorts to be found to suit all vacation requirements; from short winter breaks in France to longer family skiing trips to Canada.

The Alps provide first class facilities in hundreds of locations across Europe with excellent bed and breakfast and self catering accommodation available for booking close to the ski resorts. In France, Chamonix provides the spectacular Alpine backdrop of Mont Blanc for a holiday ski chalet on the highest peak in the Alps.

Courcheval is a cosmopolitan paradise where excellent skiing can be enjoyed at a resort that boasts one of the world's largest armies of ski instructors, as well as some fine designer shops. So from Meribel to Morzine, and in many other locations besides, the French Alps can be the perfect destination for a skiing holiday or short winter break, and a self catering chalet or farmhouse would be the ideal holiday home from where this popular winter sport, and the social life that accompanies it, can be enjoyed fully.

Of course Alpine skiing holidays are not exclusive to France. Switzerland is a European destination that is almost synonymous with snowy mountain scenery, winter sports and pretty, wooden ski chalets. Book a self catering apartment in the Valais region and you can benefit from top quality ski facilities in stunning surroundings, experience a day in Geneva, and spend time discovering the beauty of a truly winter wonderland. And, of course, spend a week or two at a ski chalet or apartment in Valais and you could not only experience the natural and cultural heritage of both France and Switzerland but also take advantage of the outstanding skiing and snowboarding opportunities in what is one of the largest ski areas in Europe.

There are, however, other countries of Europe that can offer skiing holidays in a variety of locations, notably the Appenine mountains in Italy with a superb choice of holiday accommodation in the areas of Le Marche and Abruzzo, besides other popular resorts. Ski apartments in Spain will allow you to explore the possibilities of winter sport in Europe's southernmost ski resorts of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and self catering villas in Granada or Andalucia make the ideal holiday home to plan your skiing agenda.

Going further afield, a ski holiday in British Columbia, Canada, will give you the opportunity to discover the magnificent Rocky Mountains and indulge in a wide range of winter activities from cross-country and downhill skiing to snow-boarding, at all levels of ability. The landscapes and scenery of the Apex Mountain Resort are breathtaking, and booking any of the skiing holiday apartments or chalets in Whistler will not only allow you the chance to experience one of the top ski destinations in Canada, but also let your whole family enjoy a winter vacation to be remembered.

Alternatively, a skiing holiday in the Rockies can be taken in the different setting of Utah, USA; quite some distance away but nonetheless in terms of facilities, landscapes and quality self catering holiday accommodation.

And still in the USA, but in Washington State's north-west corner, lies the North Cascade Mountains and the Mt. Baker Ski Area; one of America's top skiing resorts that sits on the edge of a vast, snowy wilderness providing a skiing vacation destination of epic proportions with fabulous cedar holiday chalets to match.