How much will it cost for a family of 4?(11 Posts)
So we think we're going skiing next winter but I was horrified when I looked at how much a week in Feb half term this year would be,
DH and I used to ski every year. He's good, I was average but having not been near skis for 14 years think I'll be back to basics. Children age 12&15 have never skied but guessing they'll pick it up quickly.
DH wants to go to a good resort - he's a ski snob - so andorra etc is out.
I think the lift passes and additional extras shocked me how much they bump up the total cost.
Half term is THE most expensive and busiest week to go. Could you not do Christmas/New Year or Spring/Easter instead?
I hate how busy it is in Half Term.
Some resorts offer junior / teenager rates for lift passes at those ages so have a look around. The price of the lift pass is pretty much constant but accommodation / travel etc will all be more expensive at half term. We usually go as soon as the children break up for Christmas (but you need to go high) - Christmas week is surprisingly cheap & quiet, then this year, because the children went back quite late, we did 2nd-9th Jan (busy early in the week but not awful).
Lift passes in France are eye wateringly expensive!
We book everything independently and usually get all in, flights plus catered chalet etc for around 4-4.5 k at half term for a family of 4.
At that budget something gives and it's usually location. So we've been to Tignes but in Les Brev rather than Le Lac. We were in Les Arcs this year but had chalet minibus to lift.
Don’t go Feb half term. Christmas or the week before are usually cheaper as is Easter but for all of these options you need to go High to ensure snow,but that will suit your DH. Also I would say book last minute. There are often great bargains to be had. Illusion ski is always worth a look.Organise your own skis online. It’s much cheaper and often you can also find discount codes online. You won’t be able to get away without lessons and lift passes and unfortunately they do add a lot to the price. However look out for family deals. Resorts with some free lifts for beginners.
We usually try and do chalets as it can control costs. Full breakfast, cake after skiing and wine with the evening meal included. Unfortunately this year in France chalet staff seem to be having two nights off not one so that’s an extra night eating out. Not all operators are doing this. This year we went with rocket ski and got a very good price for xmas. enews.rocketski.com/linkapp/cmaview.aspx?LinkID=pageid100117961jn~zjfhhnq~rxxhh~nzzrnr~z~x~f~f~n
Check out how last minute bargains are there and also look at price for last week of the season which is school hols. This week isn’t discounted much yet.https://www.skival.co.uk/ski-chalet/val-disere/chamois-dor/25/ . You DH can’t complain about the resort.
Ski hire for that week. I have assumed DH has boots. Haven’t included helmets as you can buy then from decathlon cheaply or Aldi the right week..https://www.alpinresorts.com/en/ski-rental/products?endDate=2019-04-20&shopComp=precskiGB&shopId=2159&startDate=2019-04-14&startPeriod=2019-04-13
Lift pass with family discount www.valdisere.ski/en/ but the kids shouldn’t need lift passes on day 1 because there are free beginner lifts in town. For ski school check out esf and oxygene as the tend to be the cheaper ones. Not cheap
Don’t rule out Andorra - the reputation of the past has long gone and in size it rivals one of the biggest ski areas in Europe -210km. The World Cup in held there this march. They’re throwing money at it.
All 5 resorts make up Grandvilara and it’s covered on one lift pass. They’ve spent millions on upgrading lifts and hotels and now most hotels are now minimum 4 star. I went last year and it was nothing like my previous visit 13 years ago. I prefer it to many french resorts. My mate has skied all over Europe and said it was her favourite place to ski and can’t belie she’s never been. It has a full English ski school which is supposed to be the best in europe! However their loft pass is also one of the dearest in europe.
We pay £5k feb half term booking independently. That’s with ski school for kids aged 14&12 and 5 star hotel. Hotel is half board but Andorra lift passes have option if inc lunch and drink on mountain so that’s basically full board.
Andorra has fantastic skiing and Soldue is a great resort with high end spa hotels think we were £700 each but that was for everything! The pass is reasonable covers a huge area and we spent 3 days skiing off piste with ski club UK at no extra cost (we are platinum members).
Just have to comment that if your DH is ruling anywhere out he is not quite the skier he would like to think he is - a very good skier will find excellent fun to be had in most places! (I've had fantastic trips to places with only limited skiing because we've found fun stuff to do - one time when the winter Olympics was on my brother and I spent a whole afternoon on one run trying to improve our carving technique using the 'sitting on a little stool' movements that Ted Ligarty does! Was fab, especially fuelled by cheap vodka. There were only 3 runs in the resort so we made the most of what was there.) That said, he IS being a ski snob if he thinks Andorra is rubbish. As people above have said, Soldeu has over 210km of piste, some reasonable off-piste if you know where to look, a couple of very good snow parks, an igloo hotel, and is hosting the World Cup there this year. The ski school regularly wins awards for being one of the best in Europe, and if you look up hotels like the Sport Hermitage you'll see there are several swanky spa hotels there these days.
That said, you can get a budget holiday many places if you plan far enough out. You will need lift passes, ski school for your kids, and equipment hire. These are guaranteed costs and will not vary much. After that you need to work out how to get there. Undoubtedly the cheapest way at half term is to drive (you can use Tesco Clubcard vouchers to triple up points and get your Eurotunnel crossing) but you can book to any of the airports reasonably cheaply if you book far enough out - keep your eyes and ears open for when the airlines release their tickets. If you pick a resort that is served by a less 'ski-y' airport (eg Barcelona for Andorra,) or has a lot of low cost carriers flying in and out you will have a better chance of finding a deal. My sister got all of her family to Ostersund in Sweden over New Year for only £90 per person.
Accommodation is usually my last consideration. I didn't book ours until a few weeks ago and I managed to get a reasonable deal in an Austrian hotel. However, the earlier you book the more choice there will be. If you are on a budget, I'd go self catering. Your kids are big enough to go out to restaurants if you can't face cooking. We got an apartment which slept 2 families in Konigsleiten last year over half term (which coincided with a big Austrian holiday weekend) for just over £3000. Our drive down and tunnel ticket came in at about £700 (huge 4x4, we had 7 of us in it with all our gear on the roof,) private ski instructor was £200 our child, lift passes were about £250 per adult and £150 per child, and only DS needed kit. So for our family about £3000 before food. We also had a long week in Sweden, again sharing self catering accommodation with another family, for about £2000, and that included car hire and was over Christmas.
Loads of ways to do it, but tell your DH to be prepared to go where you book with an open mind!
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