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Package deal..book ski hire directly?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm looking at booking a package holiday for March. We've always just added the lift and equipment hire for ease.
Would it be generally cheaper to source these separately?
Do the resorts ever run out of equipment?
TIA
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think lift will probably be the same - maybe a few quid cheaper with the package. Haven't had package skis for eons so can't comment, but the 'net allows you to browse the local shops for prices.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@rachiem, I find that depends on the tour operator but definitely look at Snowbrainer and alpinresorts to get a rough price before committing to the TO. definitely with Esprit that was normally cheaper but when we went to Gressoney we couldnít book that shop through them or anywhere I could find online so I booked through the TO.
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I generally book lift pass with tour operator having checked price beforehand if arriving too late to ski the first day as it means you donít have to sort it out on the first morning. Skis I like to pick the shop myself and if you book online cheaper and can be more options if you want premium skis. Have just booked vial Alpinresorts for Badhofgastein as I wanted a shop near the lift station not in town as well as the price was better.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I generally find it is cheaper to book independently, plus with a TO you don't know which shop will be used or its location.

When I haven't had ski in/out accommodation for instance I've typically chosen a shop beside the lifts where I can leave them in lockers.

The links mentioned above provide great discounts and also help support this site.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Lift pass is pretty much always the same price.

For equipment hire, you can almost always find deals online, you should have a search around before choosing to go with the tour operator's offering
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thank you...hadn't thought about which shop will be designated. We must have always been lucky in the past as it's always been next to the hotel (which is usually on the slopes)
I'll take a look at Alpinresorts before I commit.. Little Angel
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@rachiem, never known equipment stocks run out. No chance of that in March.
I find better choice and price booking direct. Often use Skimium linked shops but search best deal and shop location. Just ask snowHeads once you know which resort you're going to?? snowHead
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
PeakyB wrote:
@rachiem, never known equipment stocks run out. No chance of that in March.
I find better choice and price booking direct. Often use Skimium linked shops but search best deal and shop location. Just ask snowHeads once you know which resort you're going to?? snowHead


Thank you
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
On the last few package trips we've done the ski hire offered by the tour operator was considerably more expensive than booking it yourself. You also have much less control of what you're booking. There's really no advantage of booking through the tour operator unless they're giving you a cheaper price than booking direct.

Likewise, I've found it cheaper to buy lift passes direct, either online or at the lift pass office. The guys in our group last week week who booked lift passes through the tour operator got a considerably worse deal than those of us who purchased direct.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Get your lift pass direct, not from tour operator. In Tignes at New Year we lost two days completely due to the storms, all those with a pass direct from STGM got the days refunded. But we bought ours through Crystal, and STGM wouldn't refund, while Crystal told us to go through insurance - which means losing the excess.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@sugarmoma666, I think generally youíre right. A benefit some TOs offer, when you book skis with them, is that they deliver/collect to & from accommodation.
Thatís never lured me, as Iím more interested in choosing a ski to suit and checking condition of them. But if you have 2+ young kids and yourself(ves) to kit out it can save a lot of heavy lugging and moaning.
To me though, all part of character and independence-building for the darlings.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@rachiem, just realised my post was only referring to ski hire. With Esprit (the only TO we have used in recent years) we have booked the list passes with them (though always checked what I can do directly) and havenít felt the difference was worth the extra hassle.

Also one year we were in Belle Plagne and the resort ended up doing discounted passes for that week. The staff (unknown to us) went and claimed the rebate for all the people who have lift passes and gave us an envelope with the cash back Happy giving us all the owed rebate. Very good of them.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I heard somewhere, it might of even been on here, that the TO's negotiate a hard bargain with the rental shops so they make very little. If you book with them direct they keep the money the TO would of pocketed and as a result are more responsive to any issues you might have ard perhaps let you have better gear.
Having said all that I don't know if that's fact or it just felt that way to me.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Thanks for all the great advice..I'll definitely be shopping around
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Yes, definitely shop around before committing to TO prices. Rarely do they offer better prices on equipment than booking it yourself either direct with the shop or through one of the specialist booking agencies. And if the TO have screwed the shop to the floor to maximise their cut, the choice of equipment may not be great. You can also find the shop closest to your acommodation or one that has storage lockers next to the lift station if that's a bit of a trek from your digs.

The only time I spotted a better deal on TO pre-paid liftpasses was in Banff Canada, where they were able to secure a group/operators discount and seemed to pass most of that onto the customer. I got a 4-day pass for about £120 at the time. If I had bought it myself at walk-up rates, it would have been over £160. In Europe, the prices seem to be more fixed.

One wheeze that I uncovered on liftpasses was that they said on the transfer coach that their liftpasses were exactly the same price as in resort, which they were, but they then applied a 'company' exchange rate and charged your card in sterling, which of course wasn't anywhere near the interbank rates and made them a tidy commission on each sale.

As others have said, although it may take 5-10 mins extra, it's definitely worth holding off and buying liftpasses in resort in case there are issues to do with partial/discounted openings/lift closures and refunds.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
PeakyB wrote:
@sugarmoma666, I think generally youíre right. A benefit some TOs offer, when you book skis with them, is that they deliver/collect to & from accommodation.

That's a "benefit" to be avoided. Most accommodation has a hire shop close enough that carrying the kit back shouldn't really be an issue. I saw these deliver to the chalet offers in action a couple of times recently. On the first, whilst people who'd booked kit at a nearby shop went and collected it, those using the delivery service had to wait while the shop delivered what was in some cases very poor kit. Changing kit during the week was a hassle as the shop wasn't that close but at least within walking distance. The tour operator I traveled with last week also offered an "in chalet fitting service." On the coach, all those using it had to fill in their weight and height so the rental shop could deliver gear. Our group all made their own arrangements and were on the slopes within an hour. From talking to our chalet host, the shop is actually quite a way away so in past weeks swapping kit had been hassle and not normally done on a sensible timescale.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
My pal has paid our TO £150 for top skis in La Plagne - a quick search of Ski-set site shows he could have booked same standard for £115...... Sad
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@sugarmoma666,
Quote:

That's a "benefit" to be avoided.

Yes, I generally agree, though think there are a few more reputable TOs than the actions of the one you describe imply.
My post did say, in the next line after the quote you extracted...'Thatís never lured me, as Iím more interested in choosing a ski to suit and checking condition of them.'
snowHead
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