The ski season is finally here, and anyone who loves the thrill of flying down snowy slopes with the crisp air rushing past will be itching to get to the mountains.

Yet whether you're getting ready to fly out to your chalet in the Alps or hop on a coach to visit your favourite resort, it's vital that you make certain you're ready for your trip - and that means having all the right equipment.

While some people will have their own skis, snowboards and goggles, others will choose to hire certain pieces of kit when they're on the slopes.

But whatever tact you take, there are other items that are essential if you want to enjoy a fun holiday that isn't blighted by issues such as old gloves that are no longer cut out for the mountains.

And according to Warren Smith, director of the Warren Smith Ski Academy, one vital piece of equipment is waterproofs.

"It is important to have a waterproof ski kit," he commented. "You have to make sure that it is breathable. You can have very sunny days in the Alps and you can obviously have days where it is snowing. What goes into making the jacket and the trousers is very important."

However, it's not just about having suitable clothing to ensure you don't get too wet or too hot as you're flying down the slopes, because there are other factors to consider such as travel insurance given the nature of your holiday.

What's more, if you have your own chalet in the mountains and regularly leave your skiing equipment there during the summer months, second home insurance policies will be vital to protecting your property when the ski season is over.

Obviously the main thing about skiing is having fun, so make sure you prepare for your time in the snow suitably to avoid any nasty surprises once you're coursing down the slopes.