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Am I asking the impossible? Budget ski break - Dec / Jan - 3 children new to skiing

(24 Posts)
mandy214 Mon 03-Aug-15 12:18:36

H is 40 at the start of January. Haven't been skiing since children arrived (10 years ago).

Want to do a shortish break any time between children breaking up on 19th Dec and going back on 5th Jan. 3 children (aged btw 6 and 10), never skied before so think 3 or 4 days would be enough. Want there to be good snow (how high do we need to go)? Don't have unlimited funds?!

Quite happy to do train / fly / self cater if that cuts costs down.

Any suggestions?

PestoSwimissimos Mon 03-Aug-15 12:24:16

I don't think there is any such thing as a budget family ski break in the school holidays <<hollow laugh>>

lampygirl Mon 03-Aug-15 12:48:45

You might find it easier to do a sat-sat standard week leaving on the 19th and coming back boxing day. New Year week is usually a lot more expensive, plus having Xmas day in the snow is awesome. I'd suggest you are unlikely to find a tour operator who will overlap the 2 weeks, although I believe a company called flexiski will do short breaks in a number of resorts, so maybe worth giving them a try (an arm of Crystal AFAIK) or you may have more luck booking direct with hotels/owners if you are happy to DIY. Not used them though.

We have always gone away the day the schools break up (DP works in education) and have never not had snow. We usually stay out until new year, and the second week is much busier.

Do you have any particular resorts or airports you favour? Those are usually good places to start.

mandy214 Mon 03-Aug-15 12:53:21

Pesto - I know. Who said children were a good idea grin?

Lampygirl Brilliant advice thank you. Not really bothered about resorts (as long as there is snow and we don't need to remortgage for food etc!) cheap and cheerful is fine. Have you chosen particularly high resorts? We are v close to a NW airport, so that is the only slight caveat that we would want to go from there rather than a London based airport. Will have a look. thank you.

lampygirl Mon 03-Aug-15 15:20:41

We have a family owned flat in Saas Fee, Switzerland. When I used to live in Newcastle we used to fly to GVA from NCL at about half 6 in the morning the saturday the schools broke up. To be fair, if you can fly to Geneva you are pretty convenient for most of the french and swiss alps, and probably less risky than Chambery. There's probably an equally early flight and possibly a lunchtime type one from Manchester.

It's very high there, the glacier is up at 3600m, but the views from the revolving resteraunt on a sunny day are brill, but miles after miles of tree lined skiing it isnt. There are a few hotels there that are regularly given good reviews on here though.

Pics are from Xmas Eve and the day before, so it is possible to have clear blue skies, but you do get snowfall as well. It's not as warm as going in Feb/March.

mandy214 Mon 03-Aug-15 17:51:35

Fab thank you. I was looking at Cervinia as its high, but that its a pain to get to from Geneva. Now looking at Chamonix? Just because its that much closer and high?! Arggh!

Siennasun Mon 03-Aug-15 22:39:38

I've never been to Chamonix but it's not good an especially family friendly reputation or as the best place for beginners (may be wrong about that?).
Avoriaz is high and very close to Geneva and great for kids.

Muchtoomuchtodo Mon 03-Aug-15 22:44:31

chamonix is not v child friendly at all - all skiing is a bus ride away and the areas don't link.

Avoriaz is high and more snow sure, about 1 1/2 hours from Geneva and lots of self catered accomodation.

We've used a site calle Chalets Direct and posted in The Solutions Room with our exact requirements, that's a good way to find lots of independent operators.

I think that you'll probably end up needing to book a week, especially at that time of year. We booked our Christmas week in March,

mandy214 Tue 04-Aug-15 08:59:48

Thank you. I did a bit more googling and had come to that conclusion about Chamonix. Arggh! Its such a nightmare (and an expensive one at that!). I don't want to get it wrong and put the children off skiing for life!

Muchtoomuchtodo Tue 04-Aug-15 18:20:04

Have you got a budget in mind?

Jedi1 Tue 04-Aug-15 18:24:46

Budget / skiing and children rarely go together in the same sentence.

Sounds am but what about America - if you can get a relatively cheap flight booking early it's much cheaper on the mountain and the skiing is fab (we have been to breck, vail and winter park which are all close to denver). Last time we flew Boxing Day but if you're prepared to go Christmas Day it's cheaper.

mandy214 Tue 04-Aug-15 20:18:31

I think America is out because I have to work in between Christmas and New Year so only have 6 days or thereabouts - not enough for the States I don't think.

Budget - less than £3k if possible <bitter laugh>

nooddsocksforme Tue 04-Aug-15 21:04:52

we have been to cervinia-no problems getting there and its fab but expensive. Much cheaper is Flaine in france. It is high and we had snow always at new year . was a bit more basic with old ski lifts but after we were there the resort was improved by intrawest who used to manage whistler. reasonable and cheap apartments in flaine foret if you dont mind it not being too posh

fredabear Tue 04-Aug-15 21:10:02

We're doing Andorra the week of new year for £3000 for 4 of us, crystal self catering with breakfast includes lessons etc. first trip with kids, who will be 12 then shock

fredabear Tue 04-Aug-15 21:11:30

Chose Andorra as it has great reputation for beginners so hopefully won't be a waste of ££

mandy214 Tue 04-Aug-15 21:12:52

nodd how did you get there? Did you drive? Did you stay in the centre? It's working out ok doing everything separately.

orangina Tue 04-Aug-15 21:18:39

We did Sestriere (Italy) last year (2 adults, 2 kids under 10), with something like Crystal or Nielson (booked through IGLU ski), half board hotel, all shared a room, out of LGW. Think it was about £3k, plus lift passes, plus ski hire plus the kids ski school.

Pluses: Sestriere was cheap and cheerful (unlike Chamonix).... great food, lovely Italians. Good english speaking ski school. High resort. not too long transfer from Turin. Lovely family run hotel, great food every evening and lots of it.

Minuses: Stupid early flight from LGW that KILLED me at the beginning of an exhausting week. Family room was very cosy and that drove me mad by the end of the week.

Do think of Italy, I can thoroughly recommend it. I wasn't prepared to self cater, but think you can save money like that.

nooddsocksforme Tue 04-Aug-15 21:51:59

we are in scotland so flew (to geneva I think) Stayed in the flaine foret part, I think in something like capricorn apartments. I would definately stay in that bit rather than down in the centre . It is ski-in ski-out. The intrawest apartments above flaine foret look lovely. Its not as nice as italy but far more economical-even for eating out, ski passes etc.

TheBobbinIsWound Tue 04-Aug-15 22:00:49

I've just booked an absolute bargain through Thompson. A week in Italy, board and boots and lift passes for an absolute steal.
4* hotel
They have some good "early bird deals" at the moment.

mandy214 Tue 04-Aug-15 22:59:37

Are you a family of 4 Bobbin? I've just had a look on there and there are some good deals but the hotels only cater for upto 4 - for 5 of us, we'd have to have 2 separate rooms which doesn't really work for us.

I've just booked an apartment in central Cervinia through airbnb. H and I have just convinced ourselves its all about location and we'll be too tired to care at the end of a great day's skiing how "bijou" it is grin. But flights and accommodation for 5 for £800 for 6 days over Christmas can't be sniffed at grin.

TheBobbinIsWound Tue 04-Aug-15 23:07:37

The lady who booked us is a family of 5, she was telling us that she's staying self catered in the Olympic village. Again. Good deals.

TheBobbinIsWound Tue 04-Aug-15 23:08:20

Nope. You win! That's awesome!!!

nooddsocksforme Tue 04-Aug-15 23:12:55

fab -cervinia is great

mandy214 Tue 04-Aug-15 23:26:16

V excited (until I add in the cost of the transfer, food, ski lessons, ski pass, ski hire, insurance ...... the list goes on!!).

Ah well. At least when we can't afford Christmas presents for the kids, we can say its just because they won't fit in the case ha ha wink.

Thanks everyone for all the advice.

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