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How much do you spend on a family ski holiday?

(34 Posts)
Hygellig Mon 13-Feb-17 15:07:52

Sorry nosey question but am thinking of doing first family ski holiday next Feb half term. Can I ask what sort of prices people pay? Children will be 7 and 5; DH is non-skier. One company has quoted me £3.5k for a week in a catered chalet in France. I think this includes transport and children's ski lessons but not lift passes or ski hire. Does self-catering work out a lot cheaper?

dontcallmethatyoucunt Mon 13-Feb-17 15:38:59

You can pay anywhere from 2000, all in, staying self catering in a rabbit hutch to £15k fully catered in a top end chalet (and more I suspect)

It varies with resort Val d'isere is more expensive than its neighbour Tignes
It varies with quality of chalet and catering (half, full, self catering) 2* or 4*
It will also vary how far you are from lifts
It will vary which school holiday and then how high, snow sure the resort.
Other facilities like a hot tub or pool.
Self drive or flying also has an impact.

That's a lot of variables. In my experience you can pay including gear and passes, some lessons:

2-5k lower end self catering
3.5 - 6 catered lower to mid
6-9 childcare provided and catered

We were looking at a self catering apartment this year in a nice block with a pool and the apartment alone was £2.5k, you can drive and be all in for that price.

I think that sounds reasonable.

Hygellig Mon 13-Feb-17 17:52:47

Thank you, I'm not sure whether to do a catered chalet aimed at families or self-catering. Would want to be near to piste and in a snow-sure resort, and would have to go in Feb half-term. If we did France I think I'd rather get the train than fly (can't face driving), but that may be more expensive. My friend knows someone who is going to Norway this year with children; apparently it was much cheaper than the Alps.

Mary21 Mon 13-Feb-17 18:06:12

We always book last minute, nearly always chalet so no extra expense wine, tea cakes etc.
Book skis online using discount code.
Used to book lessons and supervised lunch direct with ski school.
Travel to snow sure resorts because we opt to either go at xmas. If term dates wort the week before xmas or Easter.
Can usually do family 4.for under 3k

Mary21 Mon 13-Feb-17 18:06:54

That's not including ski school

dontcallmethatyoucunt Mon 13-Feb-17 19:41:36

To be fair Feb is snow sure everywhere, but it is peak time so most expensive. My friend stays at a VERY basic apartment in Les meniuers all in for £2k for 5, but she drives.

I think pick what you're prepared to pay and go from there. Booking your own kit etc will definitely save something as Mary said. I've often got kids free with Snowell or skiset

Looking beyond France will save too. I priced Sweden 'Are' resort and it was MUCH cheaper than the Alps. So was Finland believe it or not, when we went in 2015.

We did Italy Easter 16 and it was also good value.

Sinuhe Mon 13-Feb-17 19:48:02

Not France it's in Germany, but this link many be useful, especially for first time ski trip and may keep the cost down. We are currently looking into it as we would like to give the kids a bit of winter fun!
Hochschwarzwald Card:

SerenadeOfTheSchoolRun Mon 13-Feb-17 19:51:52

Just over £7K this year in April with 3 children all in with chalet board, ski school, lift passes and childcare. This is not bad for all that compared to some other options out there. At 7 and 5 you could get away without the childcare and would be spending less on travel with 4 of you.

Newtssuitcase Mon 13-Feb-17 19:53:55

Generally around £5-6k all told. Its really not a cheap holiday.

Ilikesweetpeas Mon 13-Feb-17 21:53:52

Just booked for Feb half term next year. £4400 half board, 2 adults and 1 child. That includes lessons for us all, lift passes and ski/ boot hire. That's with crystal.

massistar Tue 14-Feb-17 13:31:38

Generally we spend 4-4.5k for family of 4 at half term all in. That's catered (probably lower end but we're there to ski) and including ski school for youngest.

massistar Tue 14-Feb-17 13:32:45

Have found lately that Austria and Italy are cheaper than France.

mycavitiesareempty Tue 14-Feb-17 16:57:09

Second italy. Cheaper, quieter than france. And your kids will get free lift passes. Here is what we spent this week half term (all prices for all of us, we are 2 adults plus 2 kids):

(Air) travel, car hire, and car parking - £800
Apartment: £1000, could have done much cheaper but we chose something nicer in a costly italian resort
Passes: £500, one kid under 8 so free.
Ski hire: £200, one of kids was free.
Lessons 3h x 3 days (private) - £500.

Plus food but we mostly self cater.

mycavitiesareempty Tue 14-Feb-17 17:02:41

And the hochschwarzwald deal linked to above is prettu unbeatable price wise. We might try that next year, driving down.

Hygellig Tue 14-Feb-17 18:35:55

Thanks for all the advice and links.

Crystal self-catering holidays with Eurostar to France seem to start at about £3k for a reasonable apartment, and other companies specialising in family holidays have quoted £3.5-4k for a catered chalet (one was £4k for just the chalet, not including travel!) Will have to take a look at what's on offer outside France as well. We could possibly go at the start of the Easter holidays (30 March next year) but not sure if the snow will be reliable at the end of the season. I suppose we will save on lift passes and gear hire with DH not skiing.

mycavitiesareempty Tue 14-Feb-17 19:39:40

The snow is usually fine the first week in April, just pick somewhere high and predomiantly north facing. Orientation is paramount at easter.

Whatever crystal can offer you, you'll be able to do it cheaper yourself, especially if you are willing to not use the overpriced direct ski train. Catered is nice. If you change at e.g. arras or the tgv ouigo station (marne la vallee??) Then you can save a lot for a couple of hours extra schlepping.

Honestly, though, with judicious planning you will get a lot more for your money doing DIY.

TopsysMum Wed 15-Feb-17 10:41:58

If you're looking at self catering, try and think it's mvm. A lot of the P and V chalets are used by Crystal. We saved a fortune going direct last year.

We're self driving for the second year (flew and catered chalet first year, ok, but prefer SC). to La Plagne. Worth looking into if you can face the drive.

If you're thinking of La Plagne feel free to pm me as I've picked up a few tips over the years now!

TopsysMum Wed 15-Feb-17 10:42:46

PS I'd second skiing at Easter. I've done the majority of my skiing st Easter, much cheaper and often snows.

Hygellig Wed 15-Feb-17 20:38:17

Yes, I think it might well be worth booking direct, to cut out the middleman, and Easter is quite early next year. I had a quick look at Are; I didn't realise there was much downhill skiing in Sweden. I am quite happy pootling down gentle runs so don't mind if it's not a huge ski area with lots of challenging slopes.

I went to La Plagne this year without the children and saw many Pierre et Vacances signs on the buildings. It was the first week of the French school holidays so absolutely heaving and often long queues for the lifts.

GavelRavel Wed 15-Feb-17 22:43:58

We're on a crystal SC holiday at the moment and Crystal have been absolutely crap, really would not recommend them. They add no value whatsoever, in fact they detract it, to self catering and I would advise anyone doing SC to go direct. We only used Crystal as friends we were skiing with were going with them to a hotel. In future I plan to arrange flights, accommodation and transfer myself, for 2/3 of the price from my extensive investigations while here. We paid 5K for a family of 5, the apartment is crappy, noisy, dark cramped and gloomy. I had to arrange equipment myself as couldn't get through to Crystal on the phone before we came out. When I eventually got through to book lessons I was told sorry everywhere is full as it's half term. I found a ski school myself and booked online for 4 people, with no issue, and they're been great (same school Crystal use).

There was no rep on the coach, we were dumped outside the apartment at half 12 at night in the pitch dark, an envelope thrown at us and left to find out apartment in the dark, with three young kids. Apart from the "welcome" meeting the next evening we've not seen hide nor hair of a Crystal rep. I texted one to ask for the WiFi code and was told "dunno, sorry, try apartment reception" (totally deserted at all times).

I really don't understand why Crystal do self catering, other than to fleece people for a couple of grand, as they are crap at it and totally disinterested.

GavelRavel Wed 15-Feb-17 22:48:28

btw our apartment is advertised by crystal as 4 star, it's pushing it for 3 star.

arggghparanoidalready Wed 08-Mar-17 07:13:28

We did a DIY trip to Austria this half term and 4 of us in a perfectly adequate halfboard chalet with our 5 & 7 year old came to a bit over £4k including flights, car hire, lift passes (5 year old was free bar €25 for a photo id pass) , kit for kids, 3 full days ski school for kids &spending money. Its the first time we've had to do half term and first time not in France for a long while - Austria it seems is a lot cheaper. Have a look at sunweb as they do lift pass inclusive prices which I think saved us money.

clerquin Wed 08-Mar-17 07:55:28

Easter 2015 - PSV for family of 4. Approx £4K for 2 bed SC apartment, transfers, ski hire, lessons and lift passes. I booked flights too late so these were an expensive £1.6k so £5.6k with food/meals on top.

Feb half term this year - Spanish Pyrenees. Just over £4.5k for duplex chalet board, transfers, ski hire, lessons and lift passes. Did better with the flights at £800 so £5.3k. Less food cost (just lunches) better value and no cooking!

Both hols came in with little change from £6k but the Pyrenees was much better value than the French Alps.

Learnt my lesson - buy flights earlyI I've booked our flights for Feb half term 2018 already for £500! Undecided wrt to which resort yet - still researching all options and tempted to try out Andorra for the first time. Don't want to sc and prepared to pay a premium for a prime location to the slopes. Proximity to the first lift of the day is the priority though - we like it nice and easy!

PatriciaHolm Fri 10-Mar-17 09:35:01

We don't pay for accommodation, but I think we still spend upwards of 2k a week - ski passes, maybe a couple of lessons, food, a hotel on the drive down and back, petrol etc.

TopsysMum Fri 10-Mar-17 10:55:12

Just lost my post hmm.

Just worked out we spent £2500 for everything including passes and ski hire.

We went to la plagne on a self drive and rented an apartment through Oxygene Immobilier. Apartment was beautiful and spotlessly clean.

Cost includes, tunnel, hotels en route, tolls, fuel, apartment, ski school, ski hire and lift passes.

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