Whenever a conversation amongst friends gets round to the topic of skiing holidays, there seems to be a Marmite moment – people either love or hate them. So which camp are you in, and how do you get a good deal?
As someone who’s skied since they were nine, I’m definitely in the first category, and can’t put into words the excitement I feel when those ‘early bird’ ski brochures pop through my front door. This is usually around September, long before the first snowflake has fallen.
Just the thought of being outdoors on the slopes every day brings a huge smile to my face. I can picture the stunning white mountains, the breathtaking blue skies, and the ruddy pink cheeks I have by the time it gets to après ski time! Yes, for me, nothing can beat a week in the snow.
Would you swap sun for snow?
For others, though, the very idea of perhaps giving up a holiday in the sun for a week in the cold is complete and utter madness. Skiing holidays don’t come cheap, especially if you need to pay for all the gear and lessons too, so that tends to be my main holiday every year – and I’m perfectly happy with that.
But good friends are bewildered, especially those who have tried skiing holidays (normally as a result of my enthusiasm), then return from a truly miserable time, not understanding what all the fuss is about. And almost refusing to mention the ‘skiing’ word ever again!
Is it best to book early?
So, are you in the ‘love’ or ‘hate’ camp? Or perhaps you head down the slopes on a snowboard rather than skis?
For those who do look forward to playing on the slopes, how do you get a good deal? Booking early when significant discounts are being offered by ski tour operators sounds like a good idea, but then you are taking a bit of a risk – what if there’s not enough snow to ski on?
In February this year I visited Les Gets in France, and skied past sheep eating grass on my way down the slopes. The pistes were well groomed, and had some snow-making facilities, but you had no other option but to stick to them. This season, I’ve booked early again, saved myself £200, and am now looking forward to visiting Sauze d’Oulx. It’s a fairly high altitude resort, so I’m ever hopeful.
But my love for skiing means that I’m tempted to go on a second holiday this year, and want a cheap deal – anyone got any suggestions?