When once ski holidays didn’t really start selling until the summer before, the pandemic has left ski companies much more adept at selling their holidays well ahead of the travel dates. We’ve seen up to two years ahead, but many are now selling at least a year ahead, many up to 18 months.
“Many last minute enquiries are finding they’ve basically missed out, and that contributes to those booking next year early, as a sort of consolation prize of of having something to look forward to next year instead,” says Richard Sinclair of ski holiday travel agency Sno.co.uk, adding, “We have booked almost double the amount for next winter, compared to our best pre-covid year.”
We asked two French ski holiday veterans, Cathy Rankin of Pierre and Vacances and Xavier Schouller, boss of Peak Retreats and Ski Collection for their views on how next winter will play out in French ski resort, with an eye to the quieter and cheaper weeks for those ready to book already.
The message is that anyone wanting to (or having to) travel in the busiest weeks should book as early as they can to secure the travel and accommodation they want.
“What I can add is that we are seeing very strong demand for the peak weeks as people know they will need to book those early,” says Xavier.
Winter 23-24 in France.
* Xmas / New Year Transfer dates better than last winter:
Christmas Day and New Year’s Day were on Sundays in 2022 meaning transfers on Xmas Eve/New Year’s Eve – not ideal. Next winter they’re a much more favourable Monday.
“The week commencing 16th December will offer those who break up early some bargains because most of Europe is not on holiday until 23rd December,” says Cathy.
* New Year back to peak week
“30/12/23 will be the mega week as last winter France was not on holiday that week, just the Belgians and for 30/12/23 the whole of Europe will be so sadly suppliers are adjusting prices from a low/mid season point to a high peak season price for that specific week. Demand will be massive so the week will fill early despite the much higher prices,” says Xavier.
* First week of February should be cheapest of the month.
“The first week of February 2024 (starting on the 3rd) is not a holiday week for anyone so this will be an excellent value and uncrowded week to enjoy Feb snow,” adds Cathy.
* UK’s main February half term week a bit better than this year.
“In February the UK’s main week will begin 10th February, 2024 and this is a little bit better than this year as there is only one area (out of three) of France on holiday that week, although it is the big Paris area’s first week so again it is likely to get booked up fairly quickly,” says Xavier.
* Price drop in March a little later than usual.
The first week of March 2024 will not see the usual price drop though as France will still partly be on holiday, prices will decrease from 9th March, 2024, Cathy says.
* Go on your Easter 2024 break early if you can.
“Many independent schools will be on holiday the week of 23rd March , 2024 and as no one else in Europe will be on holiday that week, not only it will be priced at a very low season point but it won’t be busy either. An excellent week to aim for, for those who have children already on holiday,” says Xavier.
* Those on Easter Holiday from 30 March 2024 can bag a bargain.
“April/Spring Holidays in France start on 6th April, 2024 and continue all month. Brits are expected to dominate the market Easter which is early – week commencing 30 March. Resorts will try and prolong the season to include all of April,” Cathy concludes.
“The week of 30/3/24 will also be a great week as reasonably keenly priced too and mostly before European holidays albeit half of Belgium,” agrees Xavier.
We have a regular Podcast called The White Out where we review the latest gear, talk about the latest snow forecast and updates on where is best to ski now, as well interviews with absolute ski legends AND we spotlight a resort every week and so much more. You can check out our regular podcast here Apple | Spotify | Podcasts or search The White Out on your chosen podcast directory.