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Skiing on the cheap.

Mad Cyril

Proud sponsor of Mark Molesley's white trainers⭐
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
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I know it is never a cheap holiday but does anyone else arrange their own trips and has any good tips?

We are looking at February half term and want to avoid Eastern Europe.
 

Pubey

Guest
Driving to French resorts may well be cheaper and it's ok if you have someone to share the drive with - you can get a super-early ferry and get to the resort early evening. Plus having your car is helpful if you decide to self-cater because you'll need to find a local hypermarket to stock up. We drove a couple of times to France and you're looking at maybe 9hours from Calais. The transfers from Geneva can be over 2 hrs anyway so it's probably not much longer door to door.

Look at secondhand/rental/decathlon for cheaper skiwear stuff - just don't skimp on gloves and socks. Ski resorts can be quite expensive for 'essentials' and even things like hats/goggles/sunglasses etc.

Personally I think the all inclusive chalet-type holiday is the best way to ski but it is expensive, private rentals of large apartments are a good option but feb half term will probably be hard to find.

Also different resorts are good/bad for beginners so worth doing a bit of research.
 

Mad Cyril

Proud sponsor of Mark Molesley's white trainers⭐
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Happy to consider driving, flying or train.

I understand eating out can be very expensive in France but happy to go self catering...
 

Sammy Shrimper

Youth Team⭐
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
496
Perhaps consider going end of season rather than February half term. Italy can be cheaper than France if you pick up a late deal.
 

rigsby

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 12, 2014
Messages
15,121
The best money I've ever spent on skiing was buying a copy of where to ski and snowboard. It tells you the main basics of each resort, which for families is really important.

I will be off to Morzine in March. Flying from Southend to Geneva and its only one hour transfer after that. So flying is the best option but obviously it may be very expensive during half term. As other have said consider the Easter holiday as half term gets crowded on the slopes.

I have also made the drive out to the alps but you can be unlucky with the weather......A friend of mine with a young family had to spend 2 hours digging his car out after an overnight dump (snow) on the last night. Then 2 hours to get down and out of the resort. The 9/10 hour drive to Calais become 16 hours with a missed ferry etc. The big plus point of driving is you can leave skis in the car and drive to the lifts as its normally free parking. This of course means you can stay out of town in cheaper but sometimes nicer accommodation. I have also flown and then hired a car as it was cheaper than paying for transfers and we had use of it for a long weekend.

As Pubey says I would go for the catered chalet. Don't be put off by the fact you might be sharing with other families, that's part of the fun and can make the holiday. People who ski are 9 time out of 10 good company.....No sunburnt Northeners with a Leeds sun hat to annoy you in the alps.

Pick a resort that has easy access to the slopes and plenty of beginners, green, easy blue, runs available. For example Alp d' Huez would be suitable but Chamonix not so. Look for accommodation that is well positioned, you don't want have to walk to far with kids with soar feet and carrying their skis. Buses are free but those Europeans take no prisoners....No women and children first, so again be careful staying out of town if you don't have a car.

Definitely try out the dry slop or the snow dome a coupe of times before you go. Just having the basics of putting on skis and using the drag lift etc will make your holiday that much better.

Don't hire skis on the web in advance. You can always get abetter deal in the resort and in some cases they will come to you in the comfort of your chalet to fit you out.
 

GNH

Fish House Ultras⭐
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
3,122
Location
Rayleigh
Happy to consider driving, flying or train.

I understand eating out can be very expensive in France but happy to go self catering...

In that case you should travel John Candy style while getting involved in hilarious sub plots on the way and teaching the rest of Europe how to be funny :clap:
 

South Bank Hank

👍⭐
Joined
Nov 4, 2003
Messages
15,079
Location
Rayleigh
16119655-man-between-two-planks-of-wood-Stock-Photo.jpg
 

Mad Cyril

Proud sponsor of Mark Molesley's white trainers⭐
Joined
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Messages
19,396
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We can all ski to some degree so are not complete novices. La Plagne self catering by ski train is the current favoured location.
 

Mad Cyril

Proud sponsor of Mark Molesley's white trainers⭐
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
19,396
Location
Flavour country
The best money I've ever spent on skiing was buying a copy of where to ski and snowboard. It tells you the main basics of each resort, which for families is really important.

I will be off to Morzine in March. Flying from Southend to Geneva and its only one hour transfer after that. So flying is the best option but obviously it may be very expensive during half term. As other have said consider the Easter holiday as half term gets crowded on the slopes.

I have also made the drive out to the alps but you can be unlucky with the weather......A friend of mine with a young family had to spend 2 hours digging his car out after an overnight dump (snow) on the last night. Then 2 hours to get down and out of the resort. The 9/10 hour drive to Calais become 16 hours with a missed ferry etc. The big plus point of driving is you can leave skis in the car and drive to the lifts as its normally free parking. This of course means you can stay out of town in cheaper but sometimes nicer accommodation. I have also flown and then hired a car as it was cheaper than paying for transfers and we had use of it for a long weekend.

As Pubey says I would go for the catered chalet. Don't be put off by the fact you might be sharing with other families, that's part of the fun and can make the holiday. People who ski are 9 time out of 10 good company.....No sunburnt Northeners with a Leeds sun hat to annoy you in the alps.

Pick a resort that has easy access to the slopes and plenty of beginners, green, easy blue, runs available. For example Alp d' Huez would be suitable but Chamonix not so. Look for accommodation that is well positioned, you don't want have to walk to far with kids with soar feet and carrying their skis. Buses are free but those Europeans take no prisoners....No women and children first, so again be careful staying out of town if you don't have a car.

Definitely try out the dry slop or the snow dome a coupe of times before you go. Just having the basics of putting on skis and using the drag lift etc will make your holiday that much better.

Don't hire skis on the web in advance. You can always get abetter deal in the resort and in some cases they will come to you in the comfort of your chalet to fit you out.

What sort of price is the transfer? Do you book in advance or get a cab?
 

rigsby

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 12, 2014
Messages
15,121
What sort of price is the transfer? Do you book in advance or get a cab?

There are numerous mini-bus transfer companies that run between resorts and the airports/train stations. They are worth booking in advance and are cheaper than cabs......For example Geneva to Morzine is 1hour and cost about £30 per person. May get a discount for a family ?

If the train is to Bourg St Maurice it should be easy to get to La Plagne, there may even be a bus service?
 

Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
23,031
Location
NY Parks Dept
What sort of price is the transfer? Do you book in advance or get a cab?

Did Geneva to Morzine for the Tour de France. Got a minibus with several others (who we didn't know, they just take bookings until they are full) and it worked out about £20 each.

Had to wait a while at Geneva airport though, where I had my most expensive ever pint outside of Scandinavia.
 

Pubey

Guest
We can all ski to some degree so are not complete novices. La Plagne self catering by ski train is the current favoured location.

La Plagne is the resort I've been to the most times (3 or 4 times) and it's fantastic. There are good chalet 'ski to the door' options and now it's connected to Les Arcs is a massive area to ski.
 

Mad Cyril

Proud sponsor of Mark Molesley's white trainers⭐
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
19,396
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Booked La Plagne and am driving.

Cheaper but not cheap. You really get striped up in half term.
 
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