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We're never going to be able to go skiing are we?

(51 Posts)
churchmouse84 Tue 06-Nov-18 17:24:21

Our DC would love to go skiing. They are currently 9 &12. We didn't have a summer holiday this year so thought about skiing next year,

Everything is about £6,000.

Is there any way to take your children skiing - we are all beginners so need ski school, hire, people who know what they're doing.

Are we just going to have to get saving for 2020?

WingingWonder Tue 06-Nov-18 17:30:38

It really doesn’t need to be that much!!
Assuming you’re tied to half terms or Christmas holidays it is more than it could be but the following are options-
Do a long weekend- thurs to Monday for example, as new skiers it’s knackering anyway!
Book flights and accommodation desperately, go to somewhere writhing say hour of Geneva and transfers won’t be awful prices as there are shared ski bus transfers to big resorts
Or book a deal now with lift passes included
If your kids are new to it you would only need a partial lift pass, as they wouldn’t go far for first day or so anyway
Borrow all the clothes or get it off eBay now
Look at less common resorts- Bulgaria or Andorra for example
I’ve had good deals with crystal ski, iglu ski and Stanford ski before... easyJet flights usually, who have been great

WingingWonder Tue 06-Nov-18 17:32:11

Oh and book a lesson before you go at snow domes like Milton Keynes- they offer beginner Sunday session for something like 6 hours to 11pm at much better price because it’s late timing, think about £100 but by end of that my none skiing friend could ski straight off...

Mentounasc Tue 06-Nov-18 17:56:13

Nah, you can do it much cheaper than that by not doing a package with a British operator, then using a resort where there aren't many Brits around (so it won't be British half term there). I only started skiing in my 40s and have never taken a package - although we do live in Central Europe so might be more attuned to the weather here, and can speak German. But ALL ski professionals (especially younger ones) will speak some English.

You main issue now will be finding accommodation for the week you want. We always go self-catering flats to avoid expensive chalets or restaurants. Eastern Europe tends to be good value and few Brits, but you have to balance out the lower cost with the lower altitude. You really need the pistes to be at least 1500m, and 2000 is better, to guarantee snowsure conditions, even in February, - and check how many slopes there use extra snow cannons.

Also different resorts have different definitions of what counts as a child or as a 'young person' for lift passes - but both yours should be children still.

Avoid France - expensive and full of the standardBritish operators. Go for a smaller resort, which won't have the super black runs, but you don't need them anyway.

Generally you'd have each of you booked on a 5-6 day course lasting 2-3 hours each day, then have lunch, then two hours to practice what you learned in the afternoon.

You can often get 10-15% discount on gear rental by booking online in advance. Do Splash out on aheated shoe and ski locker at the base station though - so worth it.

An example of a resort we went to in 2017 which was pretty cheap and not overcrowded, and ideal for beginners, was Lofer in Austria - much smaller than the more well known resorts so easier to get accom. , cheaper lift passes, 45 mins from Salzburg airport, cutesy village. The one downside was that it wasn't quite high enough and on our last day the snow went slushy. As a beginner you need good snow conditions to stay upright!

churchmouse84 Tue 06-Nov-18 18:20:59

That's really helpful thank you.

Wills definitely to some more research.

LakeFlyPie Tue 06-Nov-18 18:28:25

We go at Easter when it tends to be cheaper (and warmer!) than Christmas and half term.
As long as you go to a high altitude resort you should be fine (we've always had good snow and having been skiing at Easter for last 4 years).
I'm tempted to do a last minute booking next year as I saw our package holiday at half the price we'd paid 2 weeks before we travelled this year! If you did wait until last minute you could also check the snow forecast if you're planning to go at Easter to make sure there hasn't been an early thaw. There's always the risk that a good deal won't be available but if you were considering waiting until 2020 then perhaps it's a viable option.

BackforGood Tue 06-Nov-18 18:36:53

Wait until they are in Yr7 or Yr 8 and let them, in turn go on the ski trip from school - about £1000 per child should do it. wink

Swissgemma Tue 06-Nov-18 18:37:55

you should be able to do it cheaper - I'm going to go against other advice and say look for a tour company that do a learn to ski package (ski hire, lift pass and lessons) its designed for beginners to hook you in! Crystal Ski tend to have good packages. Look at cheaper resorts - Andorra is great for beginners (I'd recommend Soldeu). You could also consider Morzine/avoriaz as there are a number of tour operators so good competition and the slopes are good for beginners. I would avoid the big name resorts (val d'isere, courcheval etc) as they do tend to be expensive and frankly snow is snow when you are a beginner - you need cruising slopes and with kids the apres is less important! My only caveat is that if you can find a good deal at st Anton it is fantastic!

li1972 Tue 06-Nov-18 18:46:51

We're off to Yllas in Lappish Finland... 8 days, booked ski in ski out apartment, flights, car and lessons for around 3k for 2 adults and 1 child. Could have done it slightly cheaper without car hire but chose not to! It's our first ski holiday too smile Have done a full day course at Chill Factore (£99) and intend to do the full days intermediate course before we go too! DS has had lessons on dry ski slope locally and is picking it up amazingly well! Should say, we're going over new year so probably the most expensive time! It can be done! (Also because it's Lapland there are husky and reindeer rides to be had and a visit to the ice hotel !) Xx

cestlavielife Tue 06-Nov-18 21:40:01

Try websites like igluski which deals with a variety of operators put dates in and see what comes up. If you choose self catering will be a lot can live off pasta and sauces...

rookiemere Wed 07-Nov-18 08:32:15

If you check out crystal ski you should be able to get much cheaper than that even for a peak week providing you're prepared to go to a less well known country or resort
I was recommended Kranska goja (sp) as a great resort for beginners

Gear can usually be hired more cheaply if you find an online discount code. Lessons may be worth booking through your provider as will know who to use

If you do book independently look at Turin for flights Montgenevre is a lovely resort for beginners and you can book apartments directly we were mmv and it had a nice outdoor heated pool

EarlyBird123 Wed 07-Nov-18 08:40:20

We went to Czech Republic last year, it was dead cheap. Not one of the places people normally think of going skiing to, so maybe worth considering?

massistar Wed 07-Nov-18 10:35:02

We've never spent anywhere near £6k for the 4 of us!!

You just need to be creative and be prepared to book independently. Depending on where you live you could drive and go self catering or look for cheap flights to more obscure airports.

I've booked Easyjet flights to Venice for Feb half-term for £70 each and found a small hotel doing half board for €870 for the 3 of us. Ok, we've got our own gear but it's very doable.

You do usually need to compromise on something if you need to go in school hols so you won't get ski in-ski out luxury catered chalet in Chamonix but look at Italy or Andorra. Much cheaper than France. I wouldn't do Bulgaria personally but there are lots of options. Just be prepared to trawl the internet!

massistar Wed 07-Nov-18 10:35:42

Should say that the €870 is for 5 nights, not 7!

memyselfandmoi Wed 07-Nov-18 14:06:11

That's hugely expensive. I work for an estate agency in a ski resort and for a family of four during half term or New Years I'd say you'd be looking at the following;

Accommodation - 1000€
Ski hire - 532€ (we're doing one set of ski hire for free so could only cost 350)
Lift passes - 648€
Ski lessons for kids - 350€

Total of 2532€ for peak week, if you wanted to do christmas week then you could save 400€ish on accommodation.

You can then drive or if you fly transfers will be about 80-100€ for the four of you.

memyselfandmoi Wed 07-Nov-18 14:07:02

I should add that I'm in Les Gets, which is not a particularly cheap resort very close to Geneva airport.

LIZS Wed 07-Nov-18 14:08:51

Look at the tour operators offering beginners packages. You often don't need a full lift pass as a beginner. Feb half term is peak season so look to go earlier or later. Pick a smaller resort with other activities in case you don't take to it or fancy a day off.

DustyOwl Wed 07-Nov-18 16:17:17

We have just booked a holiday with Sunweb ski.

For 4 of us it's just under £2000 for self catering apartment and a lift pass for a large resort. We could have booked ski hire too. They seem to do some good packages with flights too. It's not the cheapest we could get but we were tied to certain resorts.

stringbean Wed 07-Nov-18 20:22:26

We've never spent anything like £6k on a skiing holiday - we wouldn't be able to go if it was that much! We tend to go to French Alps at Easter, Eurotunnel and self-drive/self-cater. Driving costs will be about £650 (fuel/tolls and Eurotunnel - using Clubcard vouchers towards the tunnel); overnight stop in motel-type place on way down; small studio apartment is 400 Eu for the week; lift passes are the single biggest expense (about £1k for the 4 of us as it's a big resort) but it still means we get a week's skiing for about £2k for 4 people. We take a lot of food with us, book skis/boots for dcs on line in advance to get a cheap deal; dh and I have our own equipment and dcs no longer need lessons.

Some resorts will do a cheaper option of ski lessons which includes a lift pass (I think ESF may offer this), and some companies will do a beginners' package to include lessons and ski hire, beginners lift pass etc. It's unlikely you'll need lift passes for the first few days anyway, as these tend to be free; a small resort is better for beginners so you're not paying exorbitant lift pass prices for lifts you won't get much use out of. Borrow as much gear as you can, or buy 2nd hand - I bought dd a lovely Boden ski jacket on eBay very cheaply which she's had 2 years' wear out of (hoping to get a 3rd this year!).

memyselfandmoi Thu 08-Nov-18 14:10:44

Decathlon is very good for ski stuff. I get everything for my kids from there and it last them a season skiing at least three times a week.

Buttercupsandaisies Sun 11-Nov-18 09:56:30

We book Andorra independently for Feb half term and it works out spprox 4K for family of four inc lessons for kids and half board- plus lift pass inc lunch so it's basically full board. It's also cheap as chips there

Be careful with Finland - whilst cheaper to go it's very very expensive. It's £10 for a glass of wine and 4 pizzas and a drink each cost us £110! It's cheaper if you self cater but still the most expensive place I've ever been! Stunning tho!

Mary19 Sat 24-Nov-18 16:20:46

We never pay anywhere near that. Mind you we avoid half term. When the kids were young we used to take them out of school for the last couple of days of the Christmas term and benefit from one of the cheapest weeks. As the got older did Easter or Xmas but if you are bookingin advance you need to go high. Or wait for snow and go last minute.
We always book our own skis online as it’s often massively cheaper. Just been quoted £196 total for 4 adult size skis and boots in La Plagne.
Look out for family deals on lift passes and chalets or hotels with wine included and after ski cake as that saves a lot. Take picnics for lunch
Ski esprit sometimes has some good deals but don’t book any extras with them. Sort your own skis and if possible ski school. Lots of ski schools offer there own supervised lunch.
Some of the French hotels offer there own free crèches so also look out for this. However sil and Bol found this great for a baby but not age 4 due to language barrier
Check out iglu ski and if you ski,

Mumtofourandnomore Sat 08-Dec-18 22:04:32

Hi, we go to either Salen or Are in Sweden at either February, or even better, at Easter. For six of us, including accommodation, flights, car hire (easy driving), lessons, passes and ski hire it’s about £2,500 for the school holidays - obviously it would be less for a smaller family. We fly to Vasteras with Ryanair for Salen, or to Trondheim with Norwegian for Are (Are definitely snow sure at Easter and better than Salen). I can highly recommend both.

Mumtofourandnomore Sat 08-Dec-18 22:33:25

I meant to add to my post that is the website where all accommodation/passes/lessons etc can be booked for all Swedish resorts, then Norwegian/Ryanair for flights and we found Sixt best for car hire (there are no mountain roads, driving is easy).

namechangedtoday15 Tue 18-Dec-18 20:54:05

We've done skiing for a family of 5 for Christmas week twice (so 22/23rd Dec to 29/30th) for about £2.5k. We only have private lessons for the children, so it might be more for adult lessons too, but that includes all lunches and dinners out.

We fly to Geneva, drive to high resort (Cervina in the past), use Airbnb or the local tourist office to find reasonably priced accommodation. If you book private lessons with the ski school, or use a local for Airbnb accommodation, they usually have a contact who will give you a discount for ski hire.

This year we're off to Austria but after Christmas (1-7th Jan) as children go back later to school. Flights to Innsbruck, (1hr) train from Innsbruck to St Anton, plus accommodation is about £700 for 3 of us. Obviously got lift passes, skis and food to add onto that but don't expect it to cost more than another say £1500.

Absolutely agree with learning to ski -
at least the basics- before you go. Think my children had about 12 hrs of lessons before we went and they were doing red by about Day 4 of our first week. You might benefit from a cheaper lift pass for the nursery slopes but you will miss out so much on the beauty on the mountains and the thrill of skiing if you cant explore a little.

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