Are your friend’s instagram pics of perfect Alpine scenes giving you the urge to don your skis? Or maybe you’ve already been on the slopes but can’t face the thought of not getting back to them for another whole year? If so then why not book a little last minute short break? Here our travel expert Catherine Featherstone shares her top tips for making the most your quick trip to the slopes.
To get the best price and the greatest availability have a bit of flexibility in your dates if possible. Flight prices tend to rise from Thursday to Sunday, as does accommodation cost, so if you’re looking for the best deal then mid-week is worth considering. The slopes are generally quieter too meaning smaller queues for lifts and more time skiing.
Avoid school holidays
There are very few hotels or apartments that will accept short stays over peak times like Christmas, New Year or the February half term holidays, which stretch in to March on mainland Europe, so keeping clear of these dates will give most flexibility. If your not sure what they are exactly then ask your travel agent for advice. The later in the season you book, the less chance you have of clashing with school holidays but if you are looking at March and April then remember to opt for high resorts such as Val Thorens, Obergurgl and Verbier to be guaranteed snow.
Fly in to Geneva
If you are only going for a few days then you don’t want to spend hours getting to the hotel. Geneva is will give you a great selection of resorts within about a 90 minute transfer. It is also well served by flights from local airports all over the UK so you’re much more likely to get evening and early morning flights, again maximizing your time on the slopes.
British Airways, SWISS, easyJet, Jet2 all have a number of flights daily between the UK and Geneva. Chamonix, Megeve and Morzine are all great options. Or if you’d like to try skiing in Austria then consider St Anton which is only an hour from Innsbruk airport.
Stay low and ski high
Some of the best properties and resorts for short breaks are in traditional villages at the foot of some of Europe’s best ski areas. Accommodation choice can vary from self-catering apartments, small B&Bs, rooms within a catered chalet up to the high end luxury hotels.
While you’ll maybe not have the luxury of ski in / ski out, you’ll have access to fantastic snow and skiing just a short walk or bus ride away. You don’t need to actually stay at 2000m to enjoy the skiing there! And you’ll certainly find staying lower considerably cheaper. My favrourites for this would be Morzine and Chamonix.
Lift passes and equipment hire can be arranged in advance, prebooked and paid for so that you can maximise your time on the slopes by avoid queues.
Also consider making any dinner or spa reservations in advance, especially if you are going to a very busy popular resort. While some places will take walk ins, they may tell you they only have a table or an appointment in a few days – by which time you’ll be back at your desk.
Skiing is a holiday that requires a bit of planning ahead to make the most of your time. By booking with an experienced agent you’ll benefit from their insider knowledge to make sure you go to the best resort for your ability, budget and, in the case of short breaks, the amount of time you have available.
Contact Catherine Fetherston at Travel Counsellors to arrange a short ski break and specialist advice on where to ski this winter. Call her on 028 9099 2780 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request a tailor-made quotation.