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April Skiing on a tight budget

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All,
I want to take my son skiing again this year, I took him to pejo last year in feb and he loved it !! Money is tight this year Sad We cant do the Feb half term so im looking at the Easter break 02 April - 19 April. he is 14 and id say is a good beginner level, I have skied quite a bit .. an ok amateur. We would like 6 days skiing and id like to do it for a grand all in ....!!

1 am i dreaming ?
2 any recommendations on resort ?
3 am i better to wait till closer the time and book last minute with a better view of where has snow ?

I have been looking and looking but seem to be going round in circles Laughing

thanks in advance for any advise
cheers
Jim
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
1 am i dreaming ?
bit tight but prob do-able

2 any recommendations on resort ?
Somewhere high and/or North facing for Easter, lots to chose from but if March is cold/snowy could be lots of choice if you wait.

3 am i better to wait till closer the time and book last minute with a better view of where has snow ?
Yes, if you want package, could prob sort now if you DIY with midweek (or inconvenient time) flights, shared transfers, cheapo AirBnB etc
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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?
Welcome to Snowheads,@jimbobM, snowHead

Two of you for a week for £1k is really not v likely, sorry to say especially as school holiday travel from UK is always expensive. With just two of you, waiting till the very last minute then hoping for a real bargain, is probably the best bet. You'd have to manage your son's expectations. It might not happen but perhaps you could have some more local treats up your sleeve?
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Look at Livigno. A few years ago we got a two bedroom apartment for 4 adults for 690 euros, including 4 six day lift passes. After a certain date in April most accomodation does free passes.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Sunweb and drive! Easy for £1k, I reckon. You will have to eat in and take a picnic to the slopes though.
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If you're talking about transport from your house, accomodation, all food and drink, equipment hire, lift passes, insurance, then you can MAYBE do it for £1k each, but not the pair.

I'm hoping to go with my 10yo son w/c 29th March, so I've been watching all the TOs and the prices are going up, so I'll be lucky if I get it all for less than £2.5k the pair.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
£1k does look tight but I wondered if you booked accommodation now in a town/village with a (long) gondola connection to a 'snow sure' high resort (e.g. Brides-le-ban; Orelle for 3V) you might find something? I'm sure other SH's would know/have alternative suggestions. However, flights, transfers, lift passes etc still stack up. But again if you booked now to a gateway airport with a low cost carrier you might get a good fare.
My personal concern with'wait and see' is the possibility of loads of bargains where you don't want to go (no snow) and non-bargain prices where you do (the few places with lost of snow). But I'm massively risk averse and maybe unrepresentative of the average SH
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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!
thanks for your fast replies !

yeah im kinda thinking its gonna be more like 1200 or 1300 ... ill have to scrape it up somehow !!

i have been looking at both package (sunweb ski) and DIY... thought i had it cracked with la Thuile.
pass 388
flights 205 - Italy
apart 298
gear 142
car rent 150
food 200
1383
i would have prefered to go from milan airport by bus to la thuile but it look like a nightmare, so i think i would have to hire a car

my fear for booking last min is... if the weather is looking good will the prices ramp up or will it all be booked up ?

cheers
Jim
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suec wrote:
£1k does look tight but I wondered if you booked accommodation now in a town/village with a (long) gondola connection to a 'snow sure' high resort (e.g. Brides-le-ban; Orelle for 3V) you might find something? I'm sure other SH's would know/have alternative suggestions. However, flights, transfers, lift passes etc still stack up. But again if you booked now to a gateway airport with a low cost carrier you might get a good fare.
My personal concern with'wait and see' is the possibility of loads of bargains where you don't want to go (no snow) and non-bargain prices where you do (the few places with lost of snow). But I'm massively risk averse and maybe unrepresentative of the average SH


thanks
ill check out those suggestions
like your thinking re getting the flight booked now

cheers
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To put it into perspective, you're going to be paying £200 - £300 each just for the lift passes.
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I would doubt you could do it self drive for that price. Self drive is only an economical option with four in the car and if you are the sole driver you would probably want to do an overnight stop. For two people I think Snow Express coach would be the cheapest travel option, particularly as they deliver you to the resort so you would not need transfers. Of the destinations they offer that are more affordable and high enough for Easter I would look at Sainte Foy and Flaine. Check the lift pass prices in each and see what offers they have late season. I still think you will probably need to spend more. I'd suggest creating a spreadsheet and putting in all travel costs (if driving include ferry, tolls, fuel, snow chains and?overnight hotels eg. F1), accommodation, ski school, ski hire and lift pass. Compare a few resorts as sometimes you can find accommodation is cheap in one place but the lift pass substantially more.
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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.
It's tight but definitely doable for your budget, just (without any lessons).
You could tunnel and drive down for about £500-600 and do one of the cheap Sunweb deals with basic apartment with lift pass included for around 200-250pp. Or find one of the resorts doing cheap end of season lift passes and then pick up a cheap studio or apartment. Couple of Easters ago we skied Le Corbier and they gave free kids lift passes with each adult pass. We had 4 days with fresh snow and all the lifts were walk on it was brilliant.

BA flights plus small car hire for 2 ppl to GNB the second week of Easter Sat-Sat can currently be had for just under 500.

Obviously the higher snowsure resorts (Tignes, VT etc) will tend to hold their pricing and be more expensive.
However if it's blessed with late season snow there'll be bags of cheap accommodation and probably lift pass deals in lower resorts.
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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
marodo2712 wrote:
I'm hoping to go with my 10yo son w/c 29th March, so I've been watching all the TOs and the prices are going up, so I'll be lucky if I get it all for less than £2.5k the pair.

Worst time to be buying for 28th/29th March. The TO's will have done all their early bird and sale deals and punters booking now will be those desperate to go those dates but not organised to sort it early or wait. 7-10 days before is the time to start looking.

For the OP the world is their oyster really because they don't need a big resort or anything flashy and they are only two so very flexible. Just be ready, with all your ducks in line and wait until a week before.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Some great advice which I'd just echo - to get a true bargain, you'll probably need to wait till the last minute but the potential consequence is that the bargain might not arrive, and you'll either have to be prepared to miss out or pay more.

Look for the lower resorts that have good links to the higher slopes - with Orelle a good example used above, with links into the Val Thorens area (and the bonus of coming into the quiet side of the mountain!). What you lose out in convenience you'll save in £'s.

Be wary of packaged trips that look a bargain - the story of the season so far seems to be good snow on the upper slopes/resorts, but the lower slopes/resorts have suffered - and that situation is unlikely (but not impossible) to improve as the season heads into March/April as they may not have the bases to survive the higher temps. So there may be a reason that the packaged trip looks a steal - check the snow conditions for any resort first!

I've got an expensive 2021 planned (wedding!) so the only way I'll be able to do the normal Easter family skiing trip is if we cut a few costs. So I'll be looking at last-minute Easter prices for 2020 to see how realistic that looks and what the compromises are.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@jimbobM, Good luck, and as @marodo2712, says, you will need it just to get lift passes. Depending on your car and living somewhere near the south coast of England you could do the drive for about about£400, you do not need to stop overnight. As @snowymum, points out the coach is a viable option if you can get to London or Folkstone cheeply. In fact leaving on Good Friday may be a good option, which will cost about £350 return from London to Les Arcs for both of you. It may be possible to do it cheeper, flying and using the train for transfers, but many airlines are switiching to summer destinations at the start of April and some tour operators, such as Crystal are not even doing the Easter holidays this year.

For self catering accommodation for two of you there are plenty available for perhaps £300.

Now the difficult bit - lift passes, do a lot of research and go for a high small resort (but there aren't many of those).

Equipment hire - hire in advance 100 euros each, if booked in advance

Lessons - as a beginner your son needs them another 100

Food and drink. Even if you never eat out you will still need bread and water.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'd agree to wait until last minute ... You are totally flexible so ideal for a TO to fill an empty room.
Under £1k will still be very hard ... But I'd expect you to get package for less than £400 ... Plus lift pass so probably £1200
Hold your nerve ...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Once you start acknowledging it'll cost £1300 you can start planning. Coach is a good idea. We did coach with kids, several times. Driving yourself is expensive for two even if you don't stop. Find a friend and child to go with you and all sorts of possibilities open up! Same price car travel and very little difference in accommodation costs. Share cooking, take stuff with you from home. Beers from supermarket for cheap nights in. Much more sociable.
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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?
Thanks All !!!
loads of great info that ill start working through...

Great Forum ! wish id joined sooner

cheers
Jim
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The son will get a free ski pass in the ski amade

https://www.skiamade.com/en/Tickets/Ski-pass/Family-bonus
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
A tip I have heard is to always search using google's incognito private browser so the sites you visit don't remember you have been there. This is supposed to allow you to see the real cost not one you have previously viewed. Not sure if this is true but worth doing it just in case!
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Just having a quick look at Sunweb and I'm pretty sure you could get it fairly close to £1k if you're not looking for one of the big mega resorts. We've skied plenty of times in April in the Maurienne valley and had a blast.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@holidayloverxx, beat me to it. Ski Amade end of season - free lift passes for children.

Also the OP doesn't say where he is flying from, but Ryanair has returns from Stansted to Salzburg 28/03 - 4/04 for £68 pp.

Train to any of the Ski Amade areas from Salzburg - from €9 each way ( under 14s free).

Would cut travelling costs quite a bit.
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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!
Hi

Im in west Sussex so Gatwick is best for me as its 30 mins on the train but I have no issue with Stansted
i will have a look at Ski Amade areas

thanks
Jim
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pam w wrote:
Once you start acknowledging it'll cost £1300 you can start planning. Coach is a good idea. We did coach with kids, several times. Driving yourself is expensive for two even if you don't stop. Find a friend and child to go with you and all sorts of possibilities open up! Same price car travel and very little difference in accommodation costs. Share cooking, take stuff with you from home. Beers from supermarket for cheap nights in. Much more sociable.


Totally agree with that... have tried to find another 2 in same situation, but not been able to tie up dates with anyone.

cheers
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Eurostar from London+night train to Briancon is looking at around £230 each for the first week with no transfer or hire car needed.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
End of season bash?
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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.
Very Happy .... thats a good shout

thanks

Jim
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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
£1K for two is a very tough ask.

DIY - not many places have lift passes under €200 or ski and boot hire under €75. So that's around £500 gone straight off. There are no doubt cheap flights available if you are flexible and you can get away with cabin baggage only - but that leaves you with finding a transfer on a day/time few people use and booking accommodation that doesn't fit the usual weekend to weekend cycle, which might rule out the best deals for those.

Tour operators rarely seem to get down to the level of £250 per person which is what you need, unless they are trying to shift their own rooms last minute when the snow is poor, which defeats the object. But sometimes they include deals on things like ski hire which might just get you under the line, it is a possible strategy.

Move up to £1300 and a lot is possible. In the past we have often managed £650 a person in school holidays including half term, though being a family of 3 sharing the same room helps. But food and any ski lessons come on top of that.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hi, J B
Yeah hear what your saying, I think i need to be a bit more realistic and think 1300 ..... me and my boy have spent so much time talking about this there is no way we cant go ! Laughing have to hit the C Card harder

cheers
Jim
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@jimbobM, have a look at at Isola or Auron. Flights to Nice should be cheap. (I'm going in March and have paid £60 return)

Kids lift passes are free in April. Adult ones are approx 150 euro.

Transfers on the bus from the airport are 1.50 euro each way. Yes 1.50.

Should be able to get a studio for 300 euros.

Flights will be key. If you can find cheap ones, the rest can be done very cheaply as explained above.

I make that 228 euro pp for accom/transfers/lift pass. Add on say 100 euro pp for ski hire = 330 euro.

That leaves you quite a bit to play with for flights. So yes doable for under 1k total.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Maurienne valley is often excellent value and in my experience has pretty reliable snow at this time of year. Try valfrejus with sunweb.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Not quite what you wanted, but have you considered going on a shorter break? Travel is a fixed cost, but everything else is day related. Not just passes and kit, but meals and drinks, which adds up.
I'm doing a trip in April with 2 of my (old) kids and we're doing 3 days skiing with a days travel on either end. Given that the weather is normally good and the days are long, we'll get plenty of skiing in.
Austria is great for this sort of thing, as there are lots of small hotels who are perfectly happy to offer variable length stays. It's also easy to travel to the resorts by public transport throughout the week, meaning that cheap flights can easily be used away from the weekends.
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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?
We got really cheap but nice accomodation last year in Pralognan-la-Vanoise in April. It is a small ski area and nice town in its own right and we actually booked it by accident as it came up on Booking.com when we search on La Plagne. But it worked out in the end as it was a 10 minute drive to Champagny en Vanoise which is a backdoor into La Plagne. We had a great holiday. With a few minutes longer drive down to Bozel you can get into 3 valleys so if you have a car it's ideal.
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Maybe look at Samoens? Studio apartment around £300. One hour from Geneva. Can ski over to Flaine, which should be snow-sure at Easter.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@jimbobM, you've got a lot of advice there. You may even get close to the £1K if you research different resorts fully. In fact you may even be able to take into account secondary factors like size of area and proportion of blue runs for your son.

But do add up everything. I haven't been to Samoens, recommended by @charrison, but we have committed ourselves to St Gervais* a similar distance from Geneva. We sometimes find ourselves in the situation where the flight is cheaper than either the transfer or the airport parking!

(*Story elsewhere on this forum, recently bought our own small place but only after reaching a different point on the financial balance having received an inheritance).
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Do you know your flight options?
If venice or verona is still cheap, then a few resorts in italy do free transfers.


Otherwise its worth looking at valloire and valmeinier resorts that are both on the same mountain.
Each have their own tourist website offering cheap deals.
I bet you can get lift pass, ski hire and a basic studio for €700 for april 4th-11th
Thats about £600, so £400 to sort out flights (grenoble, chambery, lyon) & car hire. Food & drink extra.
Very doable.
If you can fly to turin cheap, then bardonecchia via train is cheap & sempre catered chalet is about £400 each. Add on ski hire...

look at snowtrex & sunweb for accomodation & lift pass deals.
Be aware in france the small resorts could mean car hire as they are not well serviced for transfers. Austria has lots of resorts you can easily get to by train/bus.
Italy from Turin to Modane, France has a regular train service, so worth looking on googlemaps for French resorts close to Modane - for italy there are 2 or 3 resorts with a train station.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Sat 15-02-20 7:07; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@jimbobM, I saw some Sunweb deals that included Ski hire for sub £250pp, add flights and car, plus the differential in food costs, if your really keen to make it less than £1k, cos you would be eating at home.
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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!
geoffknight wrote:
@jimbobM, I saw some Sunweb deals that included Ski hire for sub £250pp, add flights and car, plus the differential in food costs, if your really keen to make it less than £1k, cos you would be eating at home.


That will also include the lift pass!
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Les Menuires.
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Klamm Franzer wrote:
geoffknight wrote:
@jimbobM, I saw some Sunweb deals that included Ski hire for sub £250pp, add flights and car, plus the differential in food costs, if your really keen to make it less than £1k, cos you would be eating at home.


That will also include the lift pass!


They always include lift pass. I think geoff was highlighting the fact that it also included equipment.
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