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How Late to Wait?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi folks,

I'm planning the annual trip for me and the OH and need to hold out for something last min.

The big question is...how late to wait for a good deal? (The later we wait the better idea we will have of our budget).

I presume for last min TOs are the best option?

About us:

2 confident mid-intermediates
Low season trip (ideally 2nd week Jan)
Fully flexible on accom type, country etc
Glasgow-based (but can depart from any uk airport if the price is right!)

Last year we stayed in La Tania but this year...an attractive price and a few challenging runs will be good enough. I've read a few last min threads so have a wee list of websites to check.

So...what do snowHead's think?

Thanks.

Skola
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Skola, Fancy a change??? How about Lake Louise/Canada Laughing . Jan'10 deals for £350-400.

Downside is having to buy all food Sad .

Upside...L/Louise boasting best snow to start the season for many years.
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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?
george owen, thanks, but I think (hope?) I'll find a better deal this side of the pond.
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Skola, tricky question. It maybe better to wait till New year to see where the best snow is or find a bargain and go for it.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Skola, if you are a little flexible about timing (mid January-ish) and a lot flexible about resort, you could wait till a week before - certainly wait till after New Year. The last ski trip we did before we bought an apartment we went to Courchevel 1650 with Le Ski - very good deal. I booked about 4 days before. I had had an option on 10 days to Colorado somewhere till I checked the price of the lift passes. Shocked
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thanks for the replies

pam w, we are fully flexible on resort, but not so on date - i need to book it with my employer and cant bank on them being able to change the dates at short notice

4 days? wow.

I like having something to look forward to but...I'll even more love a good deal.

Guess I'll be holding back till the start of Jan.

Anyone else have experience to share?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Just be careful. We are also in Scotland. We booked last minute (because we were disorganised after looking after ill parents) in January for a mid-January break and couldn't get the flights with tour operators. Went independent to Spain instead and found gallons of snow!
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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!
Quote:

couldn't get the flights with tour operators

there shouldn't be a problem with getting flights to the main airports in January - even if you book the accommodation side of it with a TO
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
pam w wrote:
Quote:

couldn't get the flights with tour operators

there shouldn't be a problem with getting flights to the main airports in January - even if you book the accommodation side of it with a TO


Unfortunately not so for flights from regional airports, I note the OP is from Glasgow. Sad The TOs have a lot less of them and so although they may have a big surplus of accommodation, most of the surplus flights will be from Gatwick. I just experienced this last week on my search, loads and loads of availability, much less from Manchester.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I was thinking of flights from the likes of easyJet, actually. Glasgow to Geneva.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
4 years in a row we (4-8 people) went last minute in mid jan, booking between 2 and 4 days beofre departure. alway got great deals in decent sized resorts (Val, L2A, ADH, St anton) so it's definitely possible.

Having said that, the last time was three years ago and I know TO's are cutting capacity this year, combined with people reducing costs by going with TO's, you could be unlucky Confused depends how good your nerves are.......

good luck.
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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.
Skola, you could do worse than book flights to Geneva and a hire car, then wait and see where looks good. You would be absolutely certain to be able to get an apartment, as it's very low season in French resorts - even if TOs had absolutely nothing.
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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
pam w wrote:
Quote:

couldn't get the flights with tour operators

there shouldn't be a problem with getting flights to the main airports in January - even if you book the accommodation side of it with a TO


But then that tends to work out more expensive.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
sarah wrote:
pam w wrote:
Quote:

couldn't get the flights with tour operators

there shouldn't be a problem with getting flights to the main airports in January - even if you book the accommodation side of it with a TO


Unfortunately not so for flights from regional airports, I note the OP is from Glasgow. Sad The TOs have a lot less of them and so although they may have a big surplus of accommodation, most of the surplus flights will be from Gatwick. I just experienced this last week on my search, loads and loads of availability, much less from Manchester.




This indeed was the problem. There was a huge choice on accomodation in many different resorts but the flights just weren't there. It was so frustrating.

But yes, we did have the option of Easyjet etc but as someone else pointed out, this can get expensive. It wasn't an issue for us but a low price might be for the original poster.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Book the flights now, and book the accommodation 48 hours before hand.

With a TO, 48-72 hours beforehand is the best, but you might find they cannot put you on their flights that late.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Wow lots more info snowHead

I meant last min packages including flights.

James the Last, I see. If you wait too late they might not be able to get you flights. Hmm...is there any rough time scale that you'd say after which, the TOs arent likely to be able to get you on their flights? Perhaps I could hold out till the week before, hope for a good deal, but also that its not too late for the flights? Shocked

sarah, Im not bothered about flying from down south. What we did last year was get the train to London, quick sleep at a friends house, then out to Gatwick in the morning. If we are booking last min tho, its more likely to be megabus to London...

pam w, I've only been driving since August Embarassed (Im 23) so Im not sure I'd be a. allowed to hire a car or b. its a good idea due to my lack of experience!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Skola, James the Last, I once booked the day before, Sat lunch for a Sun morning flight, and had to pay extra to pick the ticket up at Bristol Airport but got a great bargain.
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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?
Most large TOs and the aggregator sites can book upt o close of business the day before and have the tickets there in the morning- 2 years ago, booked Friday at 4.30 pm and on the plane 14 hours later!
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Used to work part time in a travel agents and you can actually pick up the air tickets at the airport, best deals used to be with chalets run by the tour operator themselves.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
snowHead Interesting....
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last season i booked around 5 days before i travelled. I got half board 3* in la plagne for £209 per adult with TUI.

I would wait and monitor the TO website every few hours a couple of weeks before you plan to go.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I usually book the January holiday a few days before we go - it usually works out at about £200 - £250 for 4(ish)star catered with transfers Cool
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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!
Wow - what a bargain.

I hope I am as successfully. Only thing is - how to fit several months of obsessing (webcams, snow reports, piste maps) into a couple of days.... snowHead
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I am looking to go on the 2nd jan and i was wondering whether to book now or not but maybe i will wait and see where the best snow is nearer the time and bag a bargain Smile
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I've got the final week of January off and am hoping to get a last minute deal. Dont mind where (within reason, but would love to go to Schladming for the Nightrace)

If i leave it until a couple of days before, what chance of a good deal for a singleton? Puzzled


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 1-12-09 23:46; edited 1 time in total
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I'd be a little wary about leaving it too late this year.

Most years, by this time, prices are falling for early January, but this year they have actually gone up over the last week or two.

Both accommodation and flights (particularly regional flights) seem to be filling up more than they have in the last few years.
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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.
no_snow_in_swindon, check out Admin's advice here.
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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
o11y wrote:
last season i booked around 5 days before i travelled. I got half board 3* in la plagne for £209 per adult with TUI.

I would wait and monitor the TO website every few hours a couple of weeks before you plan to go.




The trouble we had last year was when we looked at websites left right and centre with tour operators, the holidays appeared to be there but when you tried to book them, they couldn't book because the flights were not available, but accomodation was. We ended up ringing them direct and there was just nothing.

We were looking for a departure from Glasgow or Edinburgh on the 17th of January of this year. Nothing was left in terms of a Scottish flight with a tour operator the week before.

Even Easyjet and Globespan flights are down a bit in availability to what they used to be.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
careful leaving it too late this year... after having to offer huge discounts last year, most operators have cut down on inventory substantially in order not to have empty beds. if you are flexible about resort, etc, then it will be impossible not to find SOMETHING, but don't assume this year will be the same as last year.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
after reading these comments i went to check on a holiday i was going to book and it's gone up from £469 to £717 Shocked so time to look elsewhere i think
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
dbx, something sounds good enough to me!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
re: the ryanair £5 flights thread. its about £50 all in, return, stanstead to grenoble. i presume that, if i book a flight like that, and wait till last min to sort out transfers and accom, im lookin at a good deal? never done something like that before so a little wearly of putting the pieces together myself, im sure some people swear by it
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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?
chewy192,
Same, had a holiday on 'hold' yesterday for £339-00, didnt take the option & now its gone up to £535-00; didnt take it because want to be sure the snow is 1/2 decent , so will most likely leave till a couple of weeks before departure.
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As others have said, we've booked the last 4 yrs last minute, have left it up to 3 days before we want to go, although it has to be said, start looking a couple of weeks before departure and if you see something you want at a price you're prepared to pay , book it!
We are a family of 4 and I would have thought for a couple you'll get more choice. Even with the supposed cut backs I would have thought you'll get a good deal mid Jan. You can always drive there if worst comes to worst.

Don't rely on internet deals being available though, unless you can book them online. Best thing is have your PC on, ring up some tour ops/agents and look what they've got. You can check out the snow online but you tend to have to commit there and then. It's not for the faint hearted, great fun though. Especially that buzz when you book on Thursday to go Saturday Smile
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Dr George, thanks Smile

Ive actually booked flights to grenoble for 9th-16th Jan, planning to do the 'book accom at the last min' thing. nervous already! lol
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Skola, I once booked on a Friday to fly out from Gatwick to Geneva on a Saturday in early Jan 2003, result was £119pp for a week in a 4* Catered Chalet in Balcons de Belle Plagne, flights and transfers included. Jacuzzi bath en-suite. Excellent Chalet host, had chef training.

I mourn the passing of Airtours Ski, whose distressed sales were real bargains.

This was a booking for two from Gatwick at the last possible moment for a very slack week with excess capacity, all key points for getting the best bargains.

Can't promise the same for you this year.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
i agree, book on a friday afternoon, leave saturday morning
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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!
luigi, WOW.

I wont be gettin a deal as good...but, I've got my flights so I guess for now, all I can do is wait....
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Skola, all the best! I'm hoping something will turn up in Jan too, best bargains tend to appear after everyone's back to work after New Year, though last year I got a £215 deal to a catered chalet in Italy travelling 1st week after New Year, booked weekend before Xmas, 2 weeks before departure. I guess the TOs lost their bottle last year.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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Skola, I'd be very surprised if you found everything in LDA and ADH booked for that week - very, very, surprised. If there are no TO deals you'll be able to book a self-catering apartment from individuals, or through the big agencies, with no trouble (though probably at exactly the same price as you'd pay if you booked now).
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