Booking a ski holiday for 2023/24 starts now, not in December. You can start planning for your ski trip by researching ski resorts and travel options that suit your preferences and budget or speak to a specialist ski travel agency. You can use travel websites to compare prices and find deals on flights, accommodation, and ski packages. If you do use the services and guidance of a travel agency it is only fair that you don’t tout the prices to lowest bidding alternative agencies as they have not done the work for you. In addition, you can also check out ski resort websites to see consider the activities and amenities they offer.
Snowfinders recommends booking your ski holiday for 2023/24 well in advance to secure the best prices and availability, as many popular ski destinations will fill up quickly especially during peak travel times. Ski and snowboarding holidays are more popular than ever for winter holiday breaks and there are many destinations around the world that offer excellent opportunities for both.
PLANNING YOUR SKI HOLIDAYS FOR 2023/24.
Choose a destination or destinations: Research ski resorts in the area you want to visit and look for ones that offer skiing or snowboarding activities that suit your skill level and budget – we all want to go to Courchevel, Zermatt, Megeve, Lech but the reality is that these ski resorts may exceed your budget. Popular destinations for skiing and snowboarding include the Alps in Europe, the Rockies in North America, and the Japanese Alps in Asia.
Book your accommodation: Once you have chosen your destination, book your accommodation in advance to secure the best prices and availability. Many ski resorts offer ski-in/ski-out accommodations, which can be convenient if you want to maximize your time on the slopes.
Rent equipment: If you don't have your own ski or snowboarding equipment, you can always rent it at the resort. This can be more cost-effective than purchasing your own equipment if you only go skiing or snowboarding a few times a year. The key is advance booking will save you up to 40%. Nowadays you can rent from beginner to expert equipment plus add ons such as Avi-bags and snow shovels.
Book your ski tuition: f you are new to skiing or snowboarding, you must take lessons to learn the basics and improve your skills. All ski resorts offer group or private lessons for all skill levels including off-piste and back country. Always book in advance as many dates sell out.
Book your lift pass: Always do this in advance as it will be cheaper.
Get comprehensive travel insurance: Skiing and snowboarding can be high-risk activities, so it's important to have travel insurance that covers any injuries or accidents that may occur on the slopes. Use a specialist winter sports provider that will cover you for inadvertently going off piste, as some will exclude this.
Plan for après-ski activities: Skiing and snowboarding are physically demanding activities, so it's important to plan for some rest and relaxation after a day on the slopes. All ski resorts offer après-ski activities such as bars, clubs, concerts, spa treatments, hot tubs, museums, sledging, husky rides, and restaurants etc.
IT'S ALWAYS BEST TO BOOK YOUR SKI HOLIDAY IN ADVANCE.
Availability: Ski resorts can get booked up quickly, especially during peak travel times for next seasons ski holidays such as school holidays and weekends. By booking in advance, you can secure the accommodation, flights, and other activities that you want, and avoid disappointment later.
Price: Booking your ski holiday in advance can often save you money. Many ski resorts and accommodation suppliers offer early booking discounts, and you may also be able to find deals on flights and transfers. Additionally, by booking in advance, you can lock in the price and avoid any price increases that may occur closer to your travel date.
Planning: Booking your ski holiday in advance gives you more time to plan and prepare. You can research the ski resort and the activities you want to do, book lessons and equipment rentals, and make any necessary arrangements, such as arranging for time off work.
Peace of mind: By booking your ski holiday in advance, you can have peace of mind knowing that everything is taken care of. You can avoid the stress of last-minute planning and enjoy your holiday knowing that you have everything you need.
Enjoyment: Booking a ski holiday in advance means you have something to look forward to and budget for incrementally. Many people that look to book last minute ski trip end up by not going owing to getting time off work, the financial burden of a single payment and then associated holiday expenses that ensue.
Overall, booking a ski holiday in advance can help you save money, avoid disappointment, and have a more enjoyable and stress-free holiday.
USE A SPECIALIST SKI TRAVEL AGENCY.
Expertise: Look for a ski travel agency with expertise in ski holidays, and a good understanding of the ski resorts, accommodations, and activities available. This can help you get the most out of your holiday and ensure that your trip meets your expectations. Make sure you are talking to a skier or snowboarder.
Price and value: Compare prices and value offered by the different holidays they offer you. They will have access to all of the best ski deals and promotions that the industry is offering and will double check what is included in the price (such as flights, accommodation, equipment rentals, and ski passes).
Customer service: Look for a ski travel agency that provides good customer service, with helpful and knowledgeable staff who can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. Also, check what support they offer during your holiday, such as 24-hour assistance in case of emergencies.
Reputation: Check the travel agency's reputation by reading online reviews or asking for recommendations from friends or family who have booked ski holidays with them before.
Ultimately, the travel agency you choose will depend on your personal preferences and budget. It's important to do your research and choose a travel agency that meets your needs and provides you with the best possible ski holiday experience.
BEST SKI RESORTS FOR BEGINNER SKIERS. *
Europe has many excellent ski resorts that are perfect for beginners, offering gentle slopes, easy-to-navigate ski areas, and a variety of amenities and activities to suit all ages and abilities. Here are some popular ski resorts for beginners in Europe:
Les Gets, France: This charming ski village in the Portes du Soleil ski area offers a range of gentle green and blue runs, as well as English-speaking ski schools and childcare facilities.
Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, Austria: Located in the Tyrol region of Austria, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is a snow-sure ski resort with easy-to-navigate ski slopes and excellent ski schools for beginners.
Alpe d'Huez, France: This large ski resort in the French Alps offers a wide range of gentle beginner runs, as well as plenty of off-piste terrain for more advanced skiers. It also has an excellent ski school for beginners.
Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria: This ski resort in the Salzburgerland region of Austria is known for its varied terrain, with plenty of gentle slopes for beginners as well as more challenging runs for advanced skiers. It also has excellent ski schools and a range of other winter activities.
Madonna di Campiglio, Italy: This ski resort in the Italian Dolomites offers a range of beginner-friendly runs, as well as stunning scenery and a range of off-slope activities such as ice skating and snowshoeing.
BEST SKI RESORTS FOR INTERMEDIATE SKIERS.*
Intermediate skiers have a wide variety of ski resorts to choose from in Europe, as many ski areas offer a mix of blue, red, and black runs to challenge their skills while still providing plenty of enjoyable skiing. Here are some popular ski resorts for intermediate skiers in Europe:
Val d'Isere, France: Located in the French Alps, Val d'Isere offers a vast ski area with over 300km of pistes, including many wide blue and red runs. It's also home to the famous Bellevarde Olympic downhill course.
St. Anton, Austria: This Tyrolean ski resort has a reputation for challenging skiing, with a range of red and black runs to test intermediate and advanced skiers. The resort is part of the vast Arlberg ski area, which has over 300km of pistes.
Zermatt, Switzerland: With views of the iconic Matterhorn, Zermatt is a picturesque ski resort with a range of intermediate runs and plenty of off-piste skiing opportunities. The resort also offers a variety of other winter activities, including ice skating and tobogganing.
Courchevel, France: Located in the Trois Vallees ski area, Courchevel offers a range of intermediate skiing terrain, including some wide and cruisy red runs. It's also home to a variety of upscale restaurants, hotels, and shops.
Alpe d'Huez, France: In addition to its beginner-friendly terrain, Alpe d'Huez also offers a range of intermediate slopes, including some long and challenging red runs. The resort is known for its sunny weather and excellent ski schools.
BEST SKI RESORTS FOR ADVANCED AND EXTREME SKIERS.*
Europe is home to many ski resorts that offer challenging terrain for advanced and extreme skiers. These resorts often have steep and narrow black runs, off-piste areas, and challenging terrain parks for those looking for a more extreme skiing experience. Here are some popular ski resorts for advanced and extreme skiing in Europe:
Chamonix, France: Located in the French Alps, Chamonix is known for its steep and challenging terrain, including the famous off-piste Vallée Blanche run. It also offers a range of other winter activities, including ice climbing and Via Ferrata
Verbier, Switzerland: Part of the extensive Four Valleys ski area, Verbier offers a range of challenging terrain for advanced skiers, including the famous Tortin and Mont Fort runs. It also has a reputation for its lively après-ski scene.
St. Anton, Austria: In addition to its challenging red runs, St. Anton also offers plenty of steep and challenging black runs, as well as off-piste skiing opportunities. The resort is known for its lively après-ski scene and vibrant nightlife.
Val d'Isere, France: The espace Killy (now renamed Tignes-Val d'Isere) is a mecca for advanced and off-piste skiers. Besides black runs and mogul fields it offers some of the most challenging off-piste skiing in Europe, with steep couloirs, wooded hidden valleys and glacial terrain.
Courmayeur, Italy: Located at the foot of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur offers a range of challenging ski terrain for advanced skiers, including steep black runs and challenging off-piste areas. The resort also offers a variety of other winter activities, such as ice climbing and husky sledging.
BEST SKI RESORTS FOR APRES SKI.*
Après-ski is an important part of the skiing experience for many skiers and snowboarders, and there are several ski resorts in Europe that are known for their lively après-ski scenes. Here are some of the best resorts for après-ski in Europe:
St. Anton, Austria: St. Anton is renowned for its raucous après-ski scene, with a variety of bars and clubs in the town and on the mountain. The Mooserwirt and Krazy Kanguruh are two popular après-ski bars on the mountain that are known for their party atmosphere.
Val Thorens, France: Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe and is known for its lively après-ski scene. The Folie Douce is a popular après-ski bar on the mountain that features live music and DJs, while the town offers a variety of bars and nightclubs.
Ischgl, Austria: Ischgl is a popular ski resort in the Austrian Alps and has the best après-ski scene in the world. The resort hosts an annual Top of the Mountain concert that attracts famous musicians and celebrities, and there are a variety of bars and nightclubs in the town.
Les Deux Alpes, France: Les Deux Alpes is a party town known for its lively après-ski scene. The resort offers a variety of bars and nightclubs in the town, and the Pano Bar is a popular après-ski spot on the mountain that features live music and DJs.
Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria: Saalbach-Hinterglemm is a ski resort in the Austrian Alps that is an avbsolute blast at night with throbbing après-ski scene. The resort offers a variety of bars and nightclubs in the town, and the Hinterhag Alm is a popular après-ski spot on the mountain that features live music and DJs.
*These are just a few examples of the many ski resorts in Europe that offer great après-ski and skiing experiences. As always, it's important to research different ski areas and choose one that fits your skiing level, preferences, and budget. It's also important to always ski safely and follow local rules and regulations.