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Where to do a 3 month trip?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all!

My wife and I are taking a 3 month sabbatical in Feb/March/April of 2020 to do as much skiing as much as possible! We're saving up so we won't have to work when we're out there. I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation and expect it to cost anywhere around £20-25k, does that seem about right? Ideally we wouldn't have to do everything on a budget (for example, it would be nice to have a spare room for family and friends to join us)

Our initial feeling is that we want to go somewhere in France but thats not set in stone. We've been to Val D'Isere a bunch of times and loved it. Skiing-wise we're perfectly happy to stay on piste and comfortable skiing most/all slopes so ideally we'd go somewhere with lots of great piste skiing. That said, I think we'd also like to take this opportunity to spend some time off piste too.

We are both closing in on 30 and probably don't party as much as we did when we were younger so a big nightlife isn't as important but I'd still like to go somewhere with some good pubs/ bars too if possible.

If you have any suggestions it would be really appreciated!?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@CallumDA, great plan.
Do you intend to stay in and ski one area, like Espace Killy or 3V for example?
Or are you thinking of moving around to different countries and areas?

Personally I’d be moving around. For example, during most of February, I’d want to avoid any of the big French circuits. Too expensive and crowded then.
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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?
If you liked Val d'Isere, why not go there? More than enough terrain for 3 months.
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CallumDA,

Welcome to Snowheads!

A great idea and one, I'm sure, you won't regret. However, my wife and I would be hoping to get a couple of seasons abroad for a £25k budget!

In France, season passes for the 3 Valleys (for example) would cost you approximately £2,300, leaving you with just under £23k for accommodation, travel & food...

On the other hand you could head for Austria and buy a Tirol Snow Card, covering 90 odd resorts and 5 glaciers. That would cost £1,400 for the two of you, leaving "only" £23.5k for your accommodation and travel... Doing that, you could sample a few different resorts - for example Zillertal, Oetztal/Solden/Obergurgl; or Ischgl/Galtür/Kappl & See - all areas big enough to keep you occupied for some time. Also, your budget would go further in Austria than France.

Then there's Italy - & the Aosta Valley or Dolomites....

Good luck with whatever you decide - and remember to let us know how things progress.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Espace Killy would be good for most of April I think, which includes Easter in 2020. Maybe 3V too, not far away?

Would be remiss not to see the Dolomites in early February. Maybe Alleghe and Arabba? wink

Somewhere in Austria back half of February, eg Saalbach-Hinterglemm?

Arlberg early March maybe? St Anton?
Chamonix/Megeve area later March?

Follow the snow, try to avoid the crowds.
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7-8k per month?? Shocked For both of you, based in one location in France, I would reckon more like:

- Flights say £200
- Small apartment somewhere like Espace Killy say £3500
- Transfers say £200
- Season passes (approx.) £2400
- Groceries, drink, occasional meals out, picnic lunches plus the odd restaurant lunch - say £2500

GRAND TOTAL £8,800.... wink
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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 all for your replies!

@PeakyB and @Bergmeister, until now we had only considered staying in one ski area. I guess we figured we'd save on accommodation and lift passes by staying in the same place - but by the sounds of it that might not be the case and you've both made travelling around sound like a winner! @PeakyB I think I'll be up all night researching that itinerary now Razz

@mountainaddict wow... that's a massive difference, I'm starting to wonder how I ever got to £25k...!

@telford_mike I think we'd be very happy to go to Val D'Isere again but it would be nice to ski somewhere completely new too -- perhaps even more reason to ski a few different places over the 3 months
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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!
@CallumDA, travelling around makes sense if you have a lift pass that covers many ski areas. This is common in Austria such as the Tirol card or the Salzburg Super card. I think the Dolomites card in Italy covers a lot of ski areas too.

Base yourself somewhere central to whichever area you choose and try a different place each day. It's pretty much what I have done except that I live here, and I have to work for a living...
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If you don't mind the traveling you could also do

12 x 1-week ski holidays

or 6 x 2-week ski holidays

Wait until the Wednesday or Thursday, book last minute wherever the snow is falling.

Should be able to come under the £1000 per person per week all in to fit in with the budget in your original post.

The benefit is you get to ski 6-12 resorts/areas with the best possible snow conditions.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
for £25k Id buy a camper van & chase the powder... or use it as a deposit for a place out there to use every year.. or go to japan

Even be tempted to make it a working holiday

infact new plan
buy a minibus & run a transfer business for 3 months. Only need to do airport runs 1-2 days a week.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
mountainaddict wrote:
7-8k per month?? Shocked For both of you, based in one location in France, I would reckon more like:

- Flights say £200
- Small apartment somewhere like Espace Killy say £3500
- Transfers say £200
- Season passes (approx.) £2400
- Groceries, drink, occasional meals out, picnic lunches plus the odd restaurant lunch - say £2500

GRAND TOTAL £8,800.... wink


Great resort but good luck finding a half decent apartment in Val d’Isere for £3500 for 3 months. And a couple living off £25 a day isn’t going to be much fun unless they are hermits.
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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.
@CallumDA, if you take a car, on that budget you could do a cracking road trip taking in some of the best resorts in Switzerland, France and Italy. For example, take your pick from Zermatt, Saas Fee, Verbier, Chamonix, Portes du Soleil, Grand Massif, 3V’s, EK, Courmayeur, Cervinia, Monterosa... use Airbnb for the acommodation. Lift passes would be the pricey bit.
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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
Last season JanetS and I did 3 months in Austria for a small fraction of your £25k. Drive there, Salzburger Superski Pass is only about £700 each, rent cheap apartments, and since the pass covers so many resorts you can ski the quiet obscure places on the busy weeks. Bear in mind that if out for the season your per day cost is a lot less than on a holiday where you will be partying/eating out proportionally a lot more.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@RobinS, does snow condition and extent in that part of Austria deteriorate much from late March through to the end of April?

Or are there enough places with the altitude and aspect to be reliable for good snow?
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
have a look at https://www.livetheseason.com/ might give you some ideas

Marcellus is a Snowhead..
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
mountainaddict,

Apartment for 13 weeks (including the peak month of Feb) for £270 per week?

Hmmm... Shocked
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
With a budget of £20k for 3 months for 2:

Campervan winterised, second hand, but in good mechanical. Recent brake service
Insurance, tax, recovery service
Lift pass when the weather is good and in whichever resort you are in
Camp site fees where applicable
Fuel costs, ferry crossings
food and entertainment in the van (DVDs and internet access)

I suspect this would be easily achieved for that budget, with lots left over and a van to sell when you return to UK.
ski holidays     
 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?
Go with a car drive down to the dolomites why

The Dolomites ski pass covers 1,200 km of slopes in 12 ski areas

With a car you are not confined to the ski bus route so can find some cheaper accommodation.

Maybe not commit to April until you see the snow conditions. April in Chamonix is usually good so perhaps a move.
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@CallumDA, given that you don't want to be scrimping during the three months and that you want space for people to come and stay, three months may well cost you that kind of cash in a top resort. Rental in somewhere like the 3Vs will be more expensive than a smaller resort. However, five months isn't likely to cost much more.

Renting for three months is unlikely to cost less than a simple season rental.

The lift passes will be the same price. Go for a large ski area.

Food and drink are what you make them but you would need to pay for food at home anyway.

Are you fixed on Feb-Apr? Many areas are getting weak in late April. Better to go for Jan-Mar in some places. Alternatively a five month stay in Val Thorens from early Dec to early May would work well.

FWIW a full five months in VT cost me about £16K in each of 2004/5 and 2005/6, as a single chap in an apartment with a spare room for friends. My apartment was sourced on snowHeads and was very competitively priced. £16K in 2004 would have been £23K in 2017 according to the Bank of England inflation calculator. Mind you, I wasn't holding back Toofy Grin .

If you would like more information on how my expenditure actually went, PM me an e-mail address and I will be happy to assist.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@PeakyB, Salzburger Superski covers Kaprun, Obertauern, Dachstein glacier, Sportgastein, all with plenty of altitude - not sure about exact closing dates as we went Jan/Feb/Mar.
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We're doing exactly this for the third year running. Year 1 involved a massive two month road trip, which was awesome, but really rather expensive on the accom and ski passes front because you only stay in each place for a short time. Year 2 involved two months based in the Aosta valley (€1k ski pass for the whole valley, plus extra days in Verbier http://www.skilife.ski/en/skipass/rates/seasonal-skipass/) and a really good value Airbnb in Aosta. And we're doing it again this year, except for three months this time. We calculated last year cost about €10k plus normal living costs like groceries that you'd pay anywhere.

The Aosta Valley is great for avoiding crowds at busy times and weekends (you can go to the smaller places), for finding snow, as there's a great range of resorts at different altitudes (e.g. Cervinia will be snow-sure well into the spring), and for avoiding bad weather, since when it's cloudy at one end of the valley, it's often sunny at the other end. And if it's a really awful season you can always head to Chamonix on the other side of Mt Blanc which usually has good snow if Italy is suffering a drought.

Wherever you go you will have 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...
Shop around and you can do it for £5-10k for 2 persons.
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
CallumDA wrote:
Hi all!

My wife and I are taking a 3 month sabbatical in Feb/March/April of 2020 to do as much skiing as much as possible! We're saving up so we won't have to work when we're out there. I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation and expect it to cost anywhere around £20-25k, does that seem about right? Ideally we wouldn't have to do everything on a budget (for example, it would be nice to have a spare room for family and friends to join us)

Our initial feeling is that we want to go somewhere in France but thats not set in stone. We've been to Val D'Isere a bunch of times and loved it. Skiing-wise we're perfectly happy to stay on piste and comfortable skiing most/all slopes so ideally we'd go somewhere with lots of great piste skiing. That said, I think we'd also like to take this opportunity to spend some time off piste too.

We are both closing in on 30 and probably don't party as much as we did when we were younger so a big nightlife isn't as important but I'd still like to go somewhere with some good pubs/ bars too if possible.

If you have any suggestions it would be really appreciated!?


If you drive out then choose somewhere with a number of resorts close by. And don't restrict yourself to being in resort. How about Bourg St Maurice or Moutiers? Or if you want to be in resort, perhaps choose a less fashionable/cheaper option (eg Tignes over Val D'Isere; Tignes les Brevieres over Tignes Val Claret; Villaroger over Les Arcs)?
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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.
Certainly look for larger ski areas. Milky Way and Serre Chevalier area has a big concentration of resorts. The price for an apartment for a season is much cheaper than week to week, but choice is limited. Valley towns are chealer than resorts (many pros and cons). January and March are the quietest months to ski. Bear in mind that in France half term lasts for a whole month. £8k -12k for the two of you should be fine unless you dine out on Cristal and fois gras every night.
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