The leaves are changing color, there's a chill in the air and snow has begun to fall across many of Europe's top ski resorts, which means the 2013/14 ski season is nearly upon us.
So, if you are not one of those skiers or snowboarders who have already waxed their boards or skis and packed their bag ready to hit the slopes this season, then here is a guide to help you get prepared for your winter break on the slopes.
Get fit and get ready
If you have done no fitness training before your family skiing holiday then after your first session on the slopes your legs could well feel like jelly and ache like mad. Therefore it is essential to get on the weights and work those leg muscles.
Alternatively, a ton of lunges, squats and deadlifts will help to strengthen your legs and stave off potential injuries. It is also worth doing some planks or cycling as this will help improve your core strength.
Another point of note is to remember to stretch whilst away on the slopes. Skiers and boarders alike need to stretch before setting out on each day to reduce the likelihood of pulling a muscle, as well as stretching after finishing for the day, as this will help reduce any achiness or pain in the muscles.
Check, check and check again
Now is the time to clear out your ski bag and check that all your equipment is up to the required standard and fully usable. Goggles get scratched, clothing wears out and gloves form holes, so now is the best time to make sure that all your equipment does not need replacing.
An added bonus is that many retailers are likely to be offering deals on skiing apparel at this time of year, so you may also be able to bag yourself a bargain.
If you are not overly excited about going away this ski season then watch some ski and snowboarding films to get you in the mood!
Watching the pros play-out all the tricks in the book on some of the most dangerous and beautiful mountains in the world will certainly leave you wanting to hop on a flight straight away.
Book your holiday and accommodation
Once you have decided to go skiing / snowboarding this winter, check out where you want to go. There are some great destinations across Europe to choose from, with the likes of Les Gets, Alpe d'Huez, Les Arcs 2000 and La Rosiere in France, St Anton in Austria, Gressoney in Italy and Saas Fee in Switzerland.
Once you have done your research you then need to check to see if there are any deals available at the resort you have set your heart on, as quite often there will be discounts on ski chalets.
After booking your accommodation, you will need to buy a pass, and it is often best to do this before you travel as you can get some great pre-season discounts.
Next, all that's left is to pray to the Snow Gods for some great cover this winter!