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Good value packages early April - Hard to find this Season?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
First week of April, before most schools' Easter hols, usually easy to pick up great value packages to the more popular late season areas of the Alps.
This season seems much harder to me. I'm wondering if anything has changed.

Obviously GBP is weaker v the Euro. Have airlines and TOs reduced capacity? Are more UK customers going late season? Am I not looking in the right places? Puzzled
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Suspect that with the crap Xmas 12 months ago, many people looked to half term and Easter hols. Suspect it will be worse next year
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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?
Hi @intermediate, we always go second week in march , normally book 3/4 weeks before hand and sometimes leave it as late as a week before ( crystal/ Iglu ) we've always felt we got a good choice of resorts and at a decent price , but have to say this year was different very little choice and little or no discount! Never done this before but we've booked for next year already!!!!
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Crystal are doing Tignes from Bristol next weekend for just over £500 half board which isn't too bad but not bargain bucket territory or sauze d'oulx for just for under £400.

I'm not sure if some schools are off from next week though and then go back straight after Easter as I've seen a few tour ops promoting next week as easter skiing.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Yeah I was surprised to find lots of schools off 1st week
in April. I'm school repping 2nd week. Still looking for a 1-8 April deal.
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Just booked Sauze , under £500 including half board lift pass and ski carriage.

Lift pass discounted to £113 through Crystal.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Paul334 wrote:
we always go second week in march , normally book 3/4 weeks before hand and sometimes leave it as late as a week before ( crystal/ Iglu ) we've always felt we got a good choice of resorts and at a decent price , but have to say this year was different very little choice and little or no discount!

This was our experience this year too. I have no idea why Puzzled
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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!
2nd week of March was very busy n Flachau compared to usual.
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I think TOs have reduced what they are offering this year especially from regional airports- we're having to head down to Manchester as couldn't get to where we wanted from Scotland.
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Thanks all for comments and ideas. I think also the prediction of decent snowfalls this week, especially in France, may have increased demand for first week in April.
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A feature of several major TOs websites. A late deal displays that meets your search criteria. But when you click to next stage, a message appears saying 'that package unavailable'. This happens regularly on Crystal, Total, Inghams, for example.
Poor technology or a ruse to keep you on their website longer and showcase other deals?
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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.
Our schools start their holidays on Saturday. But when I looked at booking for that week I found a lot weren't available - the tour ops have already packed up by the end of March. For example Crystal had no packages at all for Switzerland from April.
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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
@TommyJ, schools these days - no consideration for the needs of bargain hunting skiers eh? Do they return 18 April, or are they having an extra long Easter hol?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I think the deals were around but they were up about 4 weeks before rather than very much at the last minute. We found our deal about 4 weeks before we booked and while we wer away I was seeing deals for 1st April.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Paul334 wrote:
Hi @intermediate, we always go second week in march , normally book 3/4 weeks before hand and sometimes leave it as late as a week before ( crystal/ Iglu ) we've always felt we got a good choice of resorts and at a decent price , but have to say this year was different very little choice and little or no discount! Never done this before but we've booked for next year already!!!!


We booked our holiday for 11th march pretty much 4 weeks before. Didn't see any better deals or indeed any real deals after we booked.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I had an email flyer from Neilson last week touting "low cost end of season" ski breaks!

I've not got the details now <<delete>> but may be worth a try if you've not done so already.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Our LEA always has the Easter holiday for the first two weeks of April - irrespective of the dates of Easter. So this year back on Tuesday the 19th. This means that it often doesn't overlap with other areas for one of the weeks. Indeed last year they had the easter weekend, back to school for 4 days then the holiday!
If tied to school dates its worth looking at such factors. This year the first week of our holiday would be a lot cheaper. Last year a few friends got a cheaper holiday to the Canaries by going in the second week of the holidays.

Initially we looked at going to Saas Fee as it was recommended as a family friendly destination with reliable late season snow - but several tour ops had stopped by then. We're going to Banff instead in 5 days. Not that I'm excited.......
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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?
From experience, it is often better to DIY during April.
We have had some Easter bargains though, as our first trip to Serre Chevalier, with flights and transfers and a brand new 2 bedroom apartment for 2 adults and 2 children cost us just £600, although it was back in 2002. We did have to fly from Gatwick, although as we'd planned a visit to my sister in London it wasn't really a problem.
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Welcome to the Internet
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Have a look at some of the Scandinavian resorts and do it DIY.
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Just got email from silverski offering 2nd April for £349 if that's of any use to anyone.
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@Atomic_Mick, thanks. I looked at that Tignes deal earlier. Prefer to fly from Bham but extra £170 pp compared with Bristol.
Will check out Silverski.
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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!
@TommyJ, your LEA sounds great. Banff and Lake Louise area is very scenic. Watch out for those bears. Enjoy. Very Happy
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We went with Silverski two weeks ago. Absolutely fine and could recommend. That was in le praz
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@dan100, thanks, which chalet were you in please?
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@Hells Bells, @dobby, thanks both, looked at DIY in Alps. Prefer catered for this trip for various reasons, still expensive, even DIY separate components. Some decent S/C package deals if flexible on location and airports.

Scandinavia on our list for future but would want more time to plan and book well ahead.

The market seems to have changed but still plenty time before the weekend!
Very Happy
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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.
In Birmingham, and my kids' school breaks up Friday, so I think the fact it is Easter holidays for many, plus tour companies dialling back a Bit on excess capacity, means there aren't loads of last minute deals.

That said, I was playing around with flight dates and times on skyscanner yesterday, already thinking about options for next year.
(Just looking at who flys from which UK airports to which European ones)
Obviously having to use April 1st 2017 as a departure date, as No April 2018 flights available yet - and was surprised how cheap you could still get flights.
If you can book accommodation direct with owners at the resort you're looking for, my guess is that there are still decent bargains to be had doing it DIY.

We booked ours for this coming week some time back, but saved about £700 on crystal package price for family of four, at same Val Thorens apartment, booking easyjet flights + hire car + direct booking with Montagnettes group on their website.
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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
One further point on DIY flights.
Although Birmingham is our number one preference for convenience, for some reason Manchester is always £50-70 a head cheaper... which adds up for family of 4.
No specific airline either, as have used jet2 and easyJet out of Manchester.
I guess airport costs must just be cheaper there?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@selly_skier, thanks. My one son at school in Brum but he, and mates at other W.Mids schools, don't finish for Easter until 7 Apr. Obviously Easter school hols spread out this year.

Yes, demand higher than supply, especially as melting snow pushing people to higher altitudes.

Your Val T deal this year sounds great. Ideal place for next week. Enjoy! We may yet get to 3V ourselves. Will look at DIY possibilities again.

With early flight booking, especially with Easyjet, booking early as possible on morning of release seems best. I got great deal on convenient BHX-GVA Saturday flights mid March last year. Prices doubled within a week.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@selly_skier, thanks again. Yes, a late package from Crystal to Tignes was £170pp extra from Brum compared with Bristol. Maybe higher airport costs, or just demand v supply? We're OK with E Mids and Man but Bristol crack of dawn not ideal.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
By "good value" do you mean "very cheap deals put up by companies desperate to try and cover costs after a winter of difficult trading conditions"?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@chaletcompanyconfidential, fair question but no, I don't mean that. Happy to pay a fair price for decent quality accommodation, food and service. Have been doing that for many late booking ski breaks for years.
Not looking for cheap but nasty!
Very Happy
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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?
intermediate wrote:
@chaletcompanyconfidential, fair question but no, I don't mean that. Happy to pay a fair price for decent quality accommodation, food and service. Have been doing that for many late booking ski breaks for years.
Not looking for cheap but nasty!
Very Happy


Good news, it sometimes feels like there is an expectation that ski holidays should be available for peanuts come what may. I'd say you can find some great deals if you don't mind putting a holiday together yourself. Try Chalets Direct Solutions room for some great deals with independents. They will be able to help you with transfers and last minute arrangements. The sun will be out and the snow higher up is in reasonable nick so it should be worth a trip!
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@intermediate, ....embarrassing conversation in snow train: us 'ah where are you going' - other couple: 'meribel.... ... ', Us '...ah us too, we booked really late and picked up an amazing deal - 199 each for a four star chalet...' Other: '...oh...we paid nearly 900 each..'. Us '...oh..which company are you with? ' Them: 'company XYZ' ; Us...'ah...we are the same...' (beginning to think we ought to shut up). Them 'which chalet are you in' Us: 'Chalet Melez++'. Them ... scowling ... 'us too...'. At that point..a frosty atmosphere descended on the sleeper cabin and we disappeared to 'look at the view', with rather red faces. On arrival, they had a broom cupboard while we had a large room with valley view and jacuzzi bath. Through the week the conversation at dinner was a bit stilted....
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Be aware if the prematurely spring conditions. Go high for late season holidays this year and pay close attention to aspect, above all.
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@chaletcompanyconfidential, thanks, will take a look at that option.
I lost hefty deposits this season after booking a year ahead, then forced to cancel after knee op. Not sure how much skiing I'll do, so reluctant to throw big money at a speculative trip next week.

Not expecting giveaways and appreciate operators need to survive.

Very Happy
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@valais2, ha ha, yes, we've been on both sides of similar conversations. Tend to keep quiet about how much paid these days. Very Happy
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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!
intermediate wrote:
@chaletcompanyconfidential, thanks, will take a look at that option.
I lost hefty deposits this season after booking a year ahead, then forced to cancel after knee op. Not sure how much skiing I'll do, so reluctant to throw big money at a speculative trip next week.

Not expecting giveaways and appreciate operators need to survive.

Very Happy


Absolutely appreciate that. If my tone was slightly spiky, blame end of season/toddler with cold based fatigue and apologies. As Pam W says access to higher slopes will be key but if this week's weather is anything to go by some sunny recuperation on a bar terrace wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
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@pam w, thanks, yes, keeping an eye on snow reports, webcams and forecasts from the weather guesswork sites. It looks very different to last May Day, when I skied in fresh snow all the way down to Tignes Les Brevieres. Still time for it to change before this May but the rocks must be warming up. I imagine Les Saisies slushy by now, or not much snow left? Very Happy
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@chaletcompanyconfidential, no offence taken, or apology needed! Hope your toddler recovers soon. Also that you get chance for some well earned sunny bar terrace recuperation yourself.
Just looking at that chaletsolutionsdirect site next. Very Happy
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