Unlike regular beach holidays, ski holidays take a little more planning and co-ordination. If you do everything yourself, you have to put a lot of elements together to get it just right. Therefore, a little bit of thought and organisation is needed.
Knowing that everything is taken care of in advance will allow you to turn up at your accommodation without having to do anything but enjoy yourself. We will go through the things that need to be in place before you make the journey to the French Alps. But, we will also give you a solution to make the process much easier.
Getting To The Ski Resort
Getting to the ski resort starts with choosing the right flights and transfers so that you start your holiday stress-free and as fresh as possible.
Long haul flights are tiring, even if you are lucky enough to fly in the comfortable reclining seats in the first-class section. Therefore tiredness is an inevitable part of travelling. Still, you can get your holiday off to a good start by timing your arrival well.
Arriving several hours before your check-in time can leave you wandering around the resort with not a lot to do. Bars, restaurants, and shops are not usually open until 3pm. Also, you may be stuck with your bags if there is nowhere to store them.
Often, check-in time is around 4pm, so aim for your arrival to be as close to 4pm as possible to give you a seamless start to your ski holiday. You will be welcomed by the accommodation staff or resort rep and receive all the necessary information for your holiday.
It isn’t just your flight time you need to plan, but the transfer to the resort from the airport. A private transfer will get you straight to your accommodation. A shuttle transfer bus will be shared with other holidaymakers and will take longer, as there will be multiple drop-offs. The other thing to remember is that a private transfer will be at the airport waiting for you, while a shuttle may need to wait for other flights to land before leaving the airport.
The return journey also requires good timing. Check-out times usually 10am; therefore, you will need to think about what you can do if your flight time isn’t until later. You may get some hours on the mountain, but you will need to find a safe place to store your luggage.
By choosing to book with a travel professional, the task of organising ski holidays is made much easier.
Driving To The Ski Resort
You may be driving to your chosen ski resort from one of the surrounding European countries. By making your own way there, you have the opportunity to time your arrival perfectly.
You can split up long drives by stopping somewhere overnight on your way, or for a long lunch. When you do this, you will be able to time your departure time in the morning so you can arrive close to your check-in time.
Examples of common stop-offs for people driving from the UK is Dijon or Troys. Stopping off in these picturesque cities allows you to see a little more of France.
Shared shuttle/bus transfers have set departure times, take much longer to travel and don’t offer door to door service which is why we recommend private transfers only
Other Things You Need To Book In Advance
While you are booking your ski holiday, you need to look at what you consider essential to your holiday and what the resort offers to enhance your time there. During peak weeks, the amenities are booked up quickly, so we advise you to get everything booked as soon as possible. Here are some things you might want to think about:
Ski Hire – Ski resorts have many different hire shops, but most people are there for the same reason. Therefore, you should book equipment hire at the same time you book your ski holiday. Booking early will mean you will have suitable ski and snowboard equipment to suit your needs. Equipment is not just limited to skis, poles, boots and snowboards, but also helmets, goggles etc.
Lessons – Ski and snowboard lessons are not just for beginners; more advanced people can benefit from them too. If you are a beginner or want to work on a particular technique during your ski holiday, it would be best to book your lessons early. The guesswork will be taken out of it, and you won’t have to worry about getting a place in a ski school. However, if the snow is good when you get to the resort, book an instructor as soon as you get there, so they can take you to the best powder spots.
A great thing to do if you really want to get your bearings early on in your trip is to book an instructor for a first-day mountain orientation. It is the best way to get to know your way around the mountain in the current snow conditions. You will also get a good insight and some excellent recommendations for the best places to eat on the mountain!
Childcare – It may be no surprise to you that childcare is booked up incredibly quickly during the school holidays. Often, nannies are booked up a year in advance, so if you travel in a peak week, and want some adult time, get on it as soon as possible.
Lift Passes – Your first morning of a ski holiday is always a slow start. Organising the kids, getting them out of the chalet for their lesson, only to realise they have forgotten their gloves is frustrating enough. Already having your lift passes is one less thing to worry about on your first day. Booking lift passes online in advance will allow you to get on the slopes much quicker.
Activities – A factor in choosing a ski resort is what else it offers when you are not on the mountain. French ski resorts are always trying to out-do each other by providing visitors with a range of activities. Snowmobiling, paragliding, toboggan runs, ice-driving and dog sledding are to name but a few. If you or your group want to get a little something extra from your skiing holiday, book any activities in advance. You will be guaranteed a place and have something else to look forward to.
Special Evenings – High-end French ski resorts such as Courchevel are well known to have some excellent restaurants. If you want to finish your ski holiday off with a Michelin star meal, early reservation is essential. These places are high in demand and often have a waiting list.
Alternatively, some resorts host Savoyard evenings. These consist of a snowshoe walk to an igloo or yurt for local dishes such as fondue or raclette. Savoyard nights are great fun for all the family and worth booking early.
While you are booking your ski holiday, you need to look at what you consider essential to your holiday and what the resort offers to enhance your time there
Why Work/book With A Travel Professional To Organise Your Ski Holiday
All this may seem a bit daunting, however, it doesn’t need to be. By choosing to work with a travel professional, the task of organising ski holidays is made much easier. Here are a few ways they can help:
Knowledge Of The Resorts
You may have done lots of research on the many French ski resorts available. However, a travel professional will be able to advise you exactly which resort will suit your group the best. They will share their knowledge with you regarding the slopes, nightlife, transfer times, and activities. In addition to all this, they will have excellent knowledge about the accommodation options. By combining what they know about the resort and accommodation, they will find the best solution for you. They will also be able to advise you whether catered or self-catered accommodation is best for you, as they both have their benefits.
A travel professional will be able to do all the hard work for you and create a cost-effective, fully inclusive and seamless package.
A travel professional will be able to ensure that your accommodation location suits your group based on your preferences. It is extremely frustrating to turn up to your accommodation to find it is a long walk into the village or nowhere near the slopes.
Experience In The Finer Details
A travel professional will be able to find and organise the awkward parts of getting to a ski resort. For example, they will be able to book a trusted transfer company to get you to the resort, without you having to wait a long time for your ride. This works for your return journey too, as nobody want to be hanging around an airport for hours on end.
In addition to this, a travel professional will be able to ensure that your accommodation location suits your group based on your preferences. It is extremely frustrating to turn up to your accommodation to find it is a long walk into the village or nowhere near the slopes.
Travel professionals also recognise that parents travelling with young kids have their own specific requirements. They will ensure that high chairs, travel cots, kids plates and cutlery are all waiting for you on arrival. Also, they can pre-arrange the purchase of nappies and wipes on your behalf before you get to the resort to save you from bringing them with you.
A Fantastic Time Saver
Trawling the internet for the best prices for the essentials is very time-consuming. You can spend hours looking for the best prices. An example of a time-consuming task is looking for the best ski school or guide. There are often many to choose from, and the choice can be overwhelming. By the time you have chosen one, they may be already booked up.
A travel professional will know all the best ski and snowboard schools in the resort. They will be able to recommend the best one for you, check their availability, and book your lessons. Their knowledge of the resort will also allow them to make informed recommendations for reliable and quality ski hire shops. They will use customer feedback and experience to ensure only the best ones get your business.
By choosing the correct lift pass option, you will be able to have unlimited access to the resort’s ski area. But contrary to this, you might not need a whole area lift pass, due to the make-up of your group. Therefore, a travel professional will be able to advise you on which lift pass option to choose. For example, some ski resorts have passes for couples and for families. There may also be options just for the local area, the whole area, or even one that can be used in other resorts and countries.
All this will get you on the slopes much more quickly.
Organise Additional Services
When you book your ski holidays through a travel professional, you can ensure that other things are in place to make your trip more convenient or more pleasurable.
If this is your first-ever ski holiday, you might not have the appropriate clothing. Your travel professional can organise skin clothing rental through companies such as Les Petits Montagnards. By hiring your clothing, you have less to carry, which is not only easier but is better for your baggage allowance. Hiring is also beneficial if your ski holiday is part of a more extended holiday involving travelling around Europe.
When staying in a self-catered apartment or chalet, your travel professional will be able to add extra convenience to your trip. They can organise someone to do your shopping for you, so your kitchen is fully stocked with food and drink. Therefore, you won’t need to carry heavy shopping through the snowy streets, instead of enjoying yourself.
In most French ski resorts, the chalet hosts and other workers usually take Wednesday off. So, you should expect the bars and restaurants to be busy on Wednesday night. You would be wise to book a table in a restaurant in advance, so you are not disappointed. When you book your ski holiday, your travel professional will be able to make recommendations and book a table for you.
Most accommodation options in the French Alps give their guests access to spa facilities and treatments. If you plan on using your holiday as a chance to rejuvenate, what not book a massage or beauty treatment in advance? Having one of these treatments in the evening or during an afternoon off the slopes is a great way to unwind on holiday.
Sometimes your perfect chalet may be slightly out of the way. These secluded chalets are peaceful and offer privacy, but getting to the slopes may take a little more effort. However, your travel professional will be able to organise transfers to and from the slopes when you book your holiday. These slope transfers make getting around the resort effortless, which is welcomed when you have kids in ski boots.
Book Your Ski Holiday Through Top Snow Travel
At Top Snow Travel, we take all the stress out of booking ski holidays to France. Our team of experts will use their local knowledge and expertise to advise you on the best resort for you and everything it offers. They will be able to put everything into place to ensure you get there and back seamlessly. They will also organise all the essential and desirable elements to make your ski holiday the best it can be.
Please contact us with your requirements and allow us to help you book your perfect French ski holiday.