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school ski trips

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Evening fellow snowheads, I have just recently read through an email from my eldest daughters school, it is a weekly bulletin type of thing. Anyway, near the bottom it mentions that the ski trip to Wengen for Easter 2018 which sold out in November (didn't even though it was on offer!!) has secured an extra few spaces, now 55 spaces instead of the original 40.

The cost of this trip is £990, this Easter they are going to Italy for a similar cost and last year they went to Canada for £1600.

does anyone else think that these are ridiculous prices for a school trip, or are these about the going rate nowadays?

I certainly wouldn't be sending my kids at those prices, or at all to be honest, as we would probably need to choose between a school trip or family one.
Even though they don't seem to have any trouble selling out, its a well off school, I am sure they could find more affordable resorts to go to and open it up to more students, or do the organisers not fancy a small Austrian resort if they do not have to pay for it??

would like to hear if trips are done a lot cheaper, or if there are more expensive ones out there.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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The cost covers the teachers trip too so they don't pay anything! That's why it's so expensive - not that I'd want the responsibility of all those children on a ski trip. ...
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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?
It depends on where it is and what's included (and remember, Easter is expensive):

- Full board?
- Evening activities?
- Lessons am and pm?
- Hire/Lift Pass
- Quality of accommodation?


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Tue 14-02-17 22:30; edited 1 time in total
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Paid £450 for a three night four (full) days school trip to Berlin. £1000 for ski week seems ok.
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When you take into account that it will cover lift pass, ski hire, lunches, half board, apres ski and transport, the company can't be making much out of it.
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Yeah it's crazy our boys school one is 1400 and they're going to Canada next year. We're doing it but it's mental how much it is.
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Seems to be about the going rate. My kids' secondary school charged £830 for a week in Les Menuires, Dec 16, and have just proposed £930 for a week in Serre Chevalier, Apr 17. Both weeks in the school holidays.

As Old FB suggests, that covers full board, lessons am & pm, lift pass & hire. Overnight coach travel to and from the Alps.
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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!
Dunno about current prices, but school ski holidays are lifelong memories. Snow, girls and beer all coming along at the same time for the first time, priceless. My old Dad always coughed up and I'm about to thank him again right now, he's 84yo. Madeye-Smiley
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£950 for Davos/Klosters for Little Miss Dosh. When compared with family ski holidays at half term it's on a par and I don't have to share the slopes with half of Europe as I go 2 weeks before and again 2 weeks after the French half term while LMD goes smack bang in the middle.
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@skilass, when my wife was teaching before we had kids, she was asked along to the ski trip and because I was friends with her colleagues who organised it I was asked if I wanted to go along as well. I had to pay £450, it was 15 years ago, and same price as kids whilst she went free, but to be honest it wasn't that stressful for the teachers on that trip.
The kids were in lessons all day, and the teachers were free to go off and do what they want, am not saying the kids were allowed to run riot, but we still manage to have a few decent evenings in the hotel.

@Old Fartbag,
the trip was to Alpendorf in Austria, and it was full board with lunch tokens at a mountain restaurant, flights, lessons, hire and passes were included.
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TBH @Mollerski, I never did it myself as a kid (started skiing at 44 couple of years ago) but absolutely everyone I've spoken to who went on a ski trip with school has said the same thing, so for us its a big reason why we're doing it.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@djf, Good on you. Madeye-Smiley
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I think it's a ridiculous cost for a kids ski trip, on face value....

But then the week away this year at Easter with the family is in the order of £1100 for our 11 year old. (accom/meals/lift pass, with discounts - we still have a young 4 year old and enjoy the convenience of the Esprit Ski package - next year we are looking at self catering/self drive)

A friend of mine has just paid £800 for his son's school trip week in Austria (with a 28 hour coach journey... go figure!)

I'm shocked at the cost, tbh, but i suspect "it is what it is" ... And i struggle to put a value on the life experience associated with it.

Next year will be the first year it becomes an option for my eldest son... Personally, I will endeavour to make room in my budget for it.

Thou this may become challenging when all 3 of our boys could go... At that point, I will hope they start to think about looking after us in our aged/decrepit years!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Richie_S wrote:
... And i struggle to put a value on the life experience associated with it.



Seriously, if you can afford it, do it. I'd be better off today if I hadn't blown so much allowing my kids to ski as much as I did over the years. They're all in their twenties now and three are currently working in the industry in Verbier. I don't regret a penny of it. Would I swap those memories for a heftier bank balance now? No way. Madeye-Smiley
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Having recently spent a weekend in Wengen I know it's an expensive resort. Whilst £990 may sound a lot it won't go far there, so when you consider what's included it sounds reasonable. If they get lessons all day then normal ski school prices alone would be around £500!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My last school trip was in 1981, from memory it cost £330. That's got to be near £1000 in modern money. Interestingly, that included a long coach trip from Cornwall to Luton Airport and a Monarch flight to Verona. Now they appear to bus them there and back.
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"but to be honest it wasn't that stressful for the teachers on that trip"
@terrygasson, your OH was lucky, on our school ski trips we could see our teachers age by the day...
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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?
something around a grand seems to be about the going rate. Remember that the rest of the bus probably aren't as addicted to skiing. Minime#2 wanted to go last year until she found out that the second most experienced skiier had a whole week under her belt and they would be grouped according to ability. The cheque was signed before she decided that a week of nanny and blue runs wasn't really what she wanted from a ski trip.
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Jnr was by far the most experienced skier on his trip. A few had been doing weekly trips to MK (school ski club had a reduced rate) to plus a holiday or two but that was it.

He was the instructor's bitch for the week. He was used for all sorts of tasks including helping the some of the teachers when they had problems. He loved it. But then he always has been a bit of a show off.

The cost is pretty much the going rate. When you think about all that is included it's probably not too bad.
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I think that's about right tbh. The main difference though is that to cut costs, school trips always bus the kids instead of flying which takes so long. For that reason my kids have never fancied it. My son's school is off to Canada next year (by plane lol) for about £2000 which is out of reach for most of the boys there and many are disappointed. With so many excellent resorts "nearby" I'm not sure why they are going that far away.
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Why are t4achers taking kids to Wengen? Because they fancy a nice holiday themselves and, in doing so, price the poorer kids out of the market.
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Looking at roughly what each element might cost, a grand would seem about right.

Flights 200
Tranfers 80
Liftpass 150
Equipment hire 100
lessons 100
Insurance 30
Accommodation 200
Meals 120
Activities 40
Contingency fund 50

It might seem steep, but my school ski trips in the 80s were about GBP 330, and those amazing experiences are what has led me to living and working out her now.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Sounds fair; the trip I'm organising is £1075 for the first week in April to Les Deux Alpes, including full board, BA flights, lift pass, transfers, lessons with ESF, equipment, evening ents, 1:10 staff ratio, resident ski co rep in our hotel, winter sports insurance and a small contingency.
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Before working as a ski rep for school groups, I thought that school ski trips were expensive. Having done the job and seen what is provided, i still think they are expensive (in the sense that they cost a lot of money) but I do think they represent good value.

I think it is unfair to say that the children are paying for the teachers to get a free trip because :
1. Most ski companies will offer a free place if you take a group of 10 / 15 / whatever
2. Having seen it at first hand, the teachers are spending a good proportion of their time working, supervising, being on call

No, I am not a teacher
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Boy went last year, again even though was all in I thought it pricey compared to what we pay as a family. But we agreed he could go once so he did!
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JohnHSmith wrote:
Before working as a ski rep for school groups, I thought that school ski trips were expensive. Having done the job and seen what is provided, i still think they are expensive (in the sense that they cost a lot of money) but I do think they represent good value.

I think it is unfair to say that the children are paying for the teachers to get a free trip because :
1. Most ski companies will offer a free place if you take a group of 10 / 15 / whatever
2. Having seen it at first hand, the teachers are spending a good proportion of their time working, supervising, being on call

No, I am not a teacher


I am a teacher and led many school ski trips. Wengen is self indulgent. It is a really hard week, particularly if you go by coach which makes it cheaper for the students. To get a good deal for them you really need to be looking at Italy or Andorra by coach which makes it a long old haul.

When it became mandatory for states schools to have no free skiing and all students in lessons, it became a little easier as teachers got a lot of free ski time. You can do a course which allows tou to ski with students on Blues, but not many teachers have done it. Private schools often have teachers leading groups.

The big perk of the school trip business was the free inspection visits at Easter.
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I have also worked as a rep and would say that is offers fair value for money. Schools choose to fly or coach, it probably makes about £100 difference in the price but many schools prefer coaches as it is perceived to be easier to keep the students under supervision during the journey. You also have access to the bus in resort, allowing trips to other villages nearby for evening activities.

Typical costs might be:
Coach £200 or flight+transfers £300
Three meals a day (often hot lunch and dinner, 2 or 3 courses) £100-200
Lift pass £150
Ski hire £100
4 or 5 hours of instruction x6 days £300 (+medals, etc)
Evening activities £50

Regarding teacher places, yes the teachers get to ski for free. Out of the 24 hours they are supervising children, they may choose to spend 4/5 hours of this skiing away from the kids. Many schools have a risk assessment stating that the teachers must ski with the kids, so it is fairly typical that teachers then split up and try to ski with a different ability group each day. Not all schools do, depends on your LEA, etc. In addition, it usually ends up that at least one teacher doesn't go skiing each day as there is always a kid who is ill/hurt themselves and needs supervision in the hotel. Teachers also go to hospital with kids if there are injuries. One trip I repped for had a new injury every day, and it was a 1 hour trip to the hospital! Teachers are on duty the whole time the kids are not skiing, supervising them at meals, in hotel free time, during evening activities, night time corridor patrols and morning wake ups.
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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
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carettam wrote:
I have also worked as a rep and would say that is offers fair value for money. Schools choose to fly or coach, it probably makes about £100 difference in the price but many schools prefer coaches as it is perceived to be easier to keep the students under supervision during the journey. You also have access to the bus in resort, allowing trips to other villages nearby for evening activities.

Typical costs might be:
Coach £200 or flight+transfers £300
Three meals a day (often hot lunch and dinner, 2 or 3 courses) £100-200
Lift pass £150
Ski hire £100
4 or 5 hours of instruction x6 days £300 (+medals, etc)
Evening activities £50

Regarding teacher places, yes the teachers get to ski for free. Out of the 24 hours they are supervising children, they may choose to spend 4/5 hours of this skiing away from the kids. Many schools have a risk assessment stating that the teachers must ski with the kids, so it is fairly typical that teachers then split up and try to ski with a different ability group each day. Not all schools do, depends on your LEA, etc. In addition, it usually ends up that at least one teacher doesn't go skiing each day as there is always a kid who is ill/hurt themselves and needs supervision in the hotel. Teachers also go to hospital with kids if there are injuries. One trip I repped for had a new injury every day, and it was a 1 hour trip to the hospital! Teachers are on duty the whole time the kids are not skiing, supervising them at meals, in hotel free time, during evening activities, night time corridor patrols and morning wake ups.



It's bloody hard work and there's a lot that can go wrong - probably more than any other school trip. But if you mention in staff briefing that you're organising a ski trip, you've always got a full compliment of staff and a reserve list by morning break.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
For a group of 30+ kids there's no way ski hire should be costing anywhere near £100 per child.

I'd imagine there would be hefty discounts on accommodation/lift passes and lessons too with such a large group.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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These "teachers go for free" comments make me laugh.

Alternatively, they could choose not to bother going and to take their hols instead. But that would mean the kids missing out on what is undoubtedly one of life's great experiences. Instead, however, they choose to spend time doing their jobs - to the benefit of the pupils.

Of course it may be a pleasant experience for the staff but how many of us would agree to a scenario of the boss asking us to to lose a week's leave and, instead, have our job temporarily relocated abroad for a week? (Notwithstanding that your employer pays for your travel costs and covers the cost of all your meals and accommodation of course).

And as an extra sweetener you are on callout/standby, even after your shift finishes; and you have to spend all of your "free time" with your work colleagues, including dining with them....
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 Poster: A snowHead
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The discounts constitute the margins harvested by the commercial entity who deliver the service ( in my day it was Schools Abroad / Ski-Scope ) This is how then can pay their staff and run their operations.
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My dad first took school kids to the alps back in the 1950's. Ski trips started in the 60's and I was lucky enough to tag along in the 70's. Saving club all year long , discount clothing etc. This was from Wigan and Warrington so not your usual demographic. Trips in school minibus to rossendale as well. Hard work but the kids loved it. Hourmont I seem to remember being the major player. Had some great trips.
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Bergmeister wrote:
These "teachers go for free" comments make me laugh.

Alternatively, they could choose not to bother going and to take their hols instead. But that would mean the kids missing out on what is undoubtedly one of life's great experiences. Instead, however, they choose to spend time doing their jobs - to the benefit of the pupils.

Of course it may be a pleasant experience for the staff but how many of us would agree to a scenario of the boss asking us to to lose a week's leave and, instead, have our job temporarily relocated abroad for a week? (Notwithstanding that your employer pays for your travel costs and covers the cost of all your meals and accommodation of course).

And as an extra sweetener you are on callout/standby, even after your shift finishes; and you have to spend all of your "free time" with your work colleagues, including dining with them....


The most difficult part was always dealing with the ski school who were, quite often pretty useless and often left kids on the mountain. Reps were often dreadful too and could be Dr be found on a powder day. At half term many companies use temporary reps who see it as a free holiday.
Most bad accidents occurred on the sledging run.

To be honest, most of the hard work is done before the holiday, letters, forms, risk assessments, medical stuff, trips to the dry slope.
There s usually one who gets travel sick, which sparks off five more. Then there's the horizontally disproportionate kid who 'doesn't like skiing ' then the ones who hate the food. Then the ones who call home moaning so the parents lay in to the staff when it arrives back. Then there's the alcohol, balcony jumping between boys and girls rooms, lost skis and gloves, ill fitting boots, lost lift passes, Pervy coach drivers, recr4ational shoplifting, smoking, damage to hotel rooms, food poisoning, trying to get 30 b4ginners up an advanced drag lift as the chair lift has broken.....

I used to love them. The greatest pleasure was always watching the kids and how they learnt to ski. Magical times....
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Lots of strong opinions. I really didn't mean to get people annoyed! Sorry.
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@cameronphillips2000, whilst Wengen might be self indulgent, the cost is still comparable to a trip elsewhere. Jnr's trip was £900 to Kuhtai. They stayed in a village lower down and bused to Kuhtai each day.

Jnr's new school trip is to Flaine. Just over £1,000 but they fly.
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:
Then there's the alcohol, balcony jumping between boys and girls rooms, lost skis and gloves, ill fitting boots, lost lift passes, Pervy coach drivers, recr4ational shoplifting, smoking, damage to hotel rooms, food poisoning, trying to get 30 b4ginners up an advanced drag lift as the chair lift has broken.....

Magical times....


Sounds fantastic!!
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hammerite wrote:
@cameronphillips2000, whilst Wengen might be self indulgent, the cost is still comparable to a trip elsewhere. Jnr's trip was £900 to Kuhtai. They stayed in a village lower down and bused to Kuhtai each day.

Jnr's new school trip is to Flaine. Just over £1,000 but they fly.


Just wait until they get there...
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kids ski trip for my son's comp is £810 Mayrhofen over New Year.
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A thousand quid for a week in Wengen is good value assuming it covers everything that the kids need. Judging by the amount of kids that are here at the moment a lot of parents think the same.

The school could probably save a hundred pounds or so per head by staying at one of the budget places down in the valley, but then the kids would have to spend a lot more time 'commuting' and they'd miss out on all the other stuff you can do here like curling, tobogganing etc. Add to that the safety aspect (no busy roads) and it's a good destination for a school trip.
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have run a school trip fro 10 years now and its the highlight of my year. It was through school trips I caught my love of skiing and its great now hearing from pupils who have continued with it. my school serves a not very affluent area id Dudley and so far have not come across one child who has been on a family ski holiday. Price is everything and this year we have the Zillertal Arena for £730. Every year the price creeps up and I worry i'll price my kids and parents out of the market, but we have 49 this year again. Once price is sorted its about ski area. Canlive with hotel in the valley if it keeps price down but as long as got good snowsure beginners area and enough variety of slopes for all pupils its a winner- keep returning to Zillertal arena as it ticks all these boxes.

I've seen the trips where its like the staffs personal holiday and little care and attention is taken to the pupils but most want to be with the pupils, ski with the pupils, have lessons with the pupils and watch them progress- that's how mine works anyway. Its an early start, late finish every day and by the end of it we are all proper done in, but wouldn't change it...
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