Keep calm and ski on
By Allan Halsall
Although we are only coming towards the end of the Summer, if you are considering booking a skiing holiday this winter, now is the time to get started, or at least start thinking of how, where and when you are going to go. Statistics show that people on average spend around 8 hours researching before booking a holiday, and this figure does not change when customers want to book skiing holidays, and if anything the figure may actually increase.
Indeed booking skiing holidays, especially if it is for the first time can be incredibly daunting and everywhere you look on the internet seems to have differing opinions and statistics and all this can lead to a serious information overload. However this really should not be the case. But is understandable that everyone is looking to get a really good deal on a ski holiday, however 9 times out of 10 the best way to achieve this is to package it together yourself. So to help you do this, you need to answer a few questions which should help you sort out your ski holiday, so read below, keep calm and ski on!
Have you/your group skied before?
Yes? Then look for resorts with more red runs or blacks if you are very experienced. No? Then look for resorts with more greens and blues.
Where can I get flights to?
Look at major ski airports and find out where you can get cheap flights too. Check out Milan Bergamo, Venice Treviso, Geneva and Grenoble to get you started and a helpful site is Skyscanner as they check all of the airlines, even the low cost ones. Then check what resorts are nearby.
How long do you want to go for?
For shorter stays look for resorts close to the airport and smaller resorts will less runs may offer better prices. If you are only going for a few days then why pay more for a larger resort with loads of ski runs you will never ski on? For longer stays, you may want to look at larger resorts with larger selections of runs to make sure you don’t get bored. Of equal importance, the resort needs to have a good selection of après ski so you don’t get bored with the same bars etc. Plus if you are going for a week or more, a few hours from the airport shouldn’t really be that big a problem as you will have plenty of time on the piste.
How big is your budget?
Common sense prevails here, if you don’t have a huge budget, go for a shorter length of time or go for smaller resorts where ski passes and ski hire costs less, and you get local, non-tourist prices for food and drink. Also look for self catering, so you can cook for yourself and save money, plus try and go mid week and this way you will get cheaper flight prices, compared to travelling on the weekend.
Do you want party style après ski or more chilled out après ski?
If you are looking for party après ski then the bigger resorts are for you, with plenty of bars and clubs with the music pumping, think Tignes, Morzine and Chamonix. For more chilled out après ski, opt for smaller resorts, like Piancavallo and Montecampione, as they are more likely to have wine bars, cafes and restaurants instead of all nights discos and clubs.
Do you want to arrange your own ski passes and ski hire?
No? Good decision, this will save you time and money. Look for tour operators who can arrange accommodation with ski passes and ski hire, such as ActivityBreaks. (they’re also running a promotion where if a customer books any ski deal worth €500 or more before the 9th of September, they will automatically receive a 7 night summer holiday in Italy). Yes? Look online for the ski resort websites and see if you can arrange ski passes and ski hire there. At the very least, don’t leave it until you arrive in the resort as you will pay more!
These are just a few questions to provide you with food for thought, but if you can answer all of these questions then you will be on the right track to booking the perfect ski holiday for you.