November 1, 2018
Planning a Ski Holiday – What to Consider
With snow falling across ski resorts in Europe already it’s looking like it’s going to be another snow-filled winter season.
A winter trip is a truly amazing experience but planning a ski holiday, especially booking it independently, can be time-consuming. There are some great deals out there but it can take a lot of patience to trawl through websites and make decisions for a group.
With that in mind, we’re giving you a checklist of the most important things to consider when booking a ski holiday.
Probably the most important decision when planning a ski holiday is where you actually want to stay. There are hundreds of resorts all across Europe and each one will offer something slightly different for your holiday. The Snowcompare Resort Guides will help you discover the best resorts for your group in France, Italy, Switzerland & Austria – but the key factors to consider are:
Who is in your group? Are you looking for child-friendly villages or late-night party towns?
What level of skiers and snowboarders are you? Would you prefer somewhere with a focus on learning, or where black runs and off-piste dominate?
How do you feel about crowds? Do you want to be in one of the well-known big and busy resorts or would you feel more comfortable in a smaller village with a cosier atmosphere?
Once you’ve chosen where you would like to be heading there comes the question of what type of accommodation you choose – and more importantly what type of holiday experience you are looking for.
Some will prefer basic self-catering apartments which keep the budget down but are going to be a little cramped. Wooden chalets with log fires are what many people think of when they imagine skiing holidays – but these come at a price and may not be an option for smaller groups. Alternatively, there are the hotels which provide comfy beds and regular meals but do tend to restrict you to larger resorts.
The major considerations are:
What is your budget? It’s an unfortunate reality but money will be a large factor here.
How much time do you plan spending in your accommodation? Those who see themselves outside for the majority of the time may not mind sparse settings to sleep, whereas others will want to enjoy home comforts.
Where will you be within the resort? Some accommodation may be further away from ski lifts and bars than others which means a cold walk – keep in mind where you will be staying within the actual town.
With budget flights available online this can be one of the easier elements to book. However, be sure to do your research about which airport is the most convenient for your chosen ski resort. We say ‘convenient’ rather than ‘closest’ because depending on transport links the closest airport may not actually be the best for you. Again, the Snowcompare Resort Guides will help with this information.
Flight times are also very important if you want to get a good deal on an airport to ski resort transfer. Arriving or departing very early in the morning or late at night may severely limit your onward travel options. We often see people book the cheapest flights they can get only to find that the airport to ski resort transfers cost them much more than they have saved.
We would always recommend looking at flights and ski transfers together to make sure you are getting the best deal for both – which brings us on to…
When landing at an airport in a foreign country which is potentially several hours away from where you ultimately need to be it is vital to organise reliable ski resort transfers well ahead of time. There are plenty of ski transfer options out there, but the key questions to consider are:
Do you travel in a private or shared transfer? While cost will probably ultimately decide this for you it’s still important to check all the ski transfers available to you.
What is your group size? The majority of private transfers are in 8 person minibuses. So for a group of 8 sharing this cost should be fine. If you’re a group of 2 though you still have to share the same vehicle cost, and if you’re a group of 9 you will be looking at either two vehicles or a larger mini-coach.
What day and time do you arrive / depart? If you’re aiming to get a shared transfer to keep costs down this question will be key. Companies tend to run shared transfers on the busiest days of the week – normally Saturday and Sunday – and will have a cut-off time. So if you arrive at 10pm you may find that only private transfers exist.
There’s plenty more we could say about planning an airport to ski resort transfer and the considerations that you need to look at to get the best deal. However, this is something that Snowcompare can help with.
We’ve compiled the best licensed and reliable ski transfer companies on to one website. This means you can enter your proposed travel details ahead of time and quickly see a) what transfer options are available to you, and b) the cost of those various transfer options.
Comparing ski transfers with Snowcompare means you can save time researching this element of your holiday and save money by getting the best transfer deals available.
The Other Stuff
That’s the big four components of booking a ski holiday covered – but there’s still plenty to think about I’m afraid. Lift passes, equipment hire, travel insurance & ski lessons will all need to be arranged. We’ll cover that in another blog though – you’ve got plenty to think about for now.
At least we gave you that easy option with the ski transfers though, right?!