It’s never too early to start planning a holiday, and the excitement shouldn’t disappear before you go. Whether you’ve already booked your summer getaway or not, it’s a great time to start considering your options for your winter adventure. Whether you’re travelling as a couple or a family – we have the winter ski break for you in the 2016-17 season. Most of our packages are already online but for any that you can’t find – just ask!
There are some major factors to consider if you’re booking your first ski holiday. For those who travel every year, you probably already know where you want to go, what you want to do and the logistics schedule for getting there! However, if you’re a rookie then read on for some top tips on how to best pick where you should head this coming winter for your ski adventure.
Who is travelling?
If you’re travelling as a couple on your next ski holiday, you might have that rom-com image in your head of cosying up by the fire in the chalet bar after an active holiday on the slopes. If this sounds like you then you probably want to consider booking a room in a family-run chalet to get the true European ski chalet experience. However, for those young couples who enjoy a bit of nightlife après-ski is what you’ll really be after. Similarly, those travelling in big groups of skiers will want somewhere with a number of bars, clubs and anywhere that will serve alcohol until the early hours of the morning!
No matter what the make-up of the ages of your group or family, be sure to take into consideration the skiing abilities! You don’t want to be sending skilled skiers to a resort with only 1 red and 1 black run as they’ll quickly zoom down these and be tired of the same scenery. If you’re travelling with children, ski schools are key to give them the best chance of picking up the sport and enjoying their time rather than living with the fear of the unknown! Ski slopes are coded by colours, with green the easiest. The colours then get more difficult as you go from blue – red – black (only for seriously advanced skiers these slopes look almost vertical!). It might also be more preferred to look for smaller resorts where the slopes will be less populated. Nothing is more off-putting to children and beginners than queuing ages for the lifts and then being surrounded by a horde of people as you cautiously try to make your way down the slopes. While smaller resorts may have fewer things to do in the town, these options are best for less-confident skiers who are there to try and pick up the sport.
Where to go?
As well as considering the level of your skiers and the type of people going, there are a few different factors about the location of each resort that might have an impact on your ski break. Firstly, you need to have a look at your favourite airlines’ website, or some good comparison websites like Skyscanner, to see where you can fly to from your local airport. With Ryanair branching out into a number of new regions, their cheap flights might be ideal for your winter adventure break. If you’re travelling with kids, the extra hour or so on a flight to Bulgaria might be off-putting, while you similarly will try to avoid connecting flights where you can help it.
As well as this, the transfer time once you land is something that people sometimes forget about. With large group ski holidays, this is less important as the holiday really starts when you land and you’ll have plenty of banter on the bus! However, for families or couples travelling, you probably want to just reach the resort as quickly as possible so you might be more inclined to seek shorter transfer times, for example to reach Presolana or Spiazzi di Gromo from Milan Orio Al Serio (Bergamo) Airport! However, be warned that those resorts nearest the airports can often be the lowest altitude (because you need to travel into the mountains to reach better snow conditions, where airports are rarely located for obvious reasons) and so you might need to take a good look at the snow conditions to expect before booking any ski break!
When to go?
As with any holiday, the busiest and most expensive times to travel are during school holidays as families will often only travel during these periods. If you can avoid these dates then you’ll probably save yourself a considerable amount of money! The only other factor to consider is the snow coverage when you plan to travel. While the weather unfortunately can’t ever be predicted or relied upon, by not going at the very start or end of the season you should be able to guarantee good snow coverage even at the lower altitudes. Most resorts will plan their opening times around when they usually expect snow to fall because they don’t want to attract people at a time of year when they might be disappointed by snow coverage either!
One way around this though, especially for those going to lower altitude resorts is to look for one where they have snow cannons or artificial snowmaking facilities. While this can’t cover every slope, it will make sure that you get to enjoy skiing during your break and won’t just be praying for snow!