The early bird gets the worm, and the early skier gets all the best bargains. If you’re organised about one thing this year, make it your ski trip. When you book up to a year ahead, you’ll secure fantastic locations and great value deals. Here Ski Solutions tell us why as early as possible is the best time to book a ski holiday.
Find the right resort 12 months ahead
Your first choice of chalet or hotel is more likely to be free the earlier you book. Booking early means you can choose from all the options to work out which chalet’s got the right number of bedrooms, a decent living space and is close to the ski lift and restaurants. Skiers with a favourite chalet who return each year will often book up to a year in advance.
You also get your pick of the slopes when booking early. It’s so important to find a resort that matches your needs and your ability, whether you’re looking for gentle nursery slopes, powdery off-piste runs, reputable ski schools or snow-sure resorts.
Beat the crowds for the best bargains
When you start looking for an early bird bargain, you’ll find lots of money-saving deals. With an all inclusive ski deal, you can get lift passes and ski hire, as well as flights, accommodation and transfers included in one price. Other deals might include big savings on lift passes, which can otherwise really push up the cost.
There are often buy-one-get-one-half-price offers on lift passes for huge areas like Espace Killy, while others may offer free lift passes or kids go free. You can also get discounted ski hire in many resorts – another saving to tick off the list. If you’re taking your own gear, ask for deals with free ski carriages, you’d be surprised how much this can save.
It’s also worth getting your friends and family organised early. There are many group offers available if you book ahead: for groups over six people, one goes free, for example. That means everyone gets a cheaper holiday, so no one will question your organisational skills.
Go in early season for extra discounts
Selected early season weeks in December or even November in Europe, are often discounted, and lots of North America ski bundles mean up to 50% off lift passes, transfers, accommodation and free room upgrades in Canada and the USA. Elk + Avenue in Banff offers combined deals with 15% off accommodation, seventh night free and free lift passes for children.
With some deals, you can also pay over time. Many tour operators ask for a small deposit up-front, with the full amount due 10 weeks before departure, giving you plenty of time to spread the cost.
Book in advance for convenient departure times
Booking as early as you can means the most convenient flight and transfer times will be available, and it’s also considerably cheaper than booking nearer the time. Over half term, for example, flights from London to European airports can rocket to over £800 per person.
Dragging your little ones out of bed at 4:00am is never a fun way to start a holiday, and means that the chances of tears and tantrums later on are much higher when they’re tired after a long day’s travelling. A mid-morning flight is much more civilised. You’ll arrive in resort full of energy just before dinnertime, ready to get a good night’s sleep before hitting the pistes in the morning.