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How DO you do a Christmas ski trip?

 Poster: A snowHead
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Thanks all, some really good views on this and it’s kind of confirmed that crimbo in the mountains can/will be a relaxed affair.

Primed the kids last night and they basically said it sounds like a mega idea. My daughter’s proviso is that there’s ice skating and they’re both blown away by the fact you get to sit in a massive flying bench to go up a mountain Very Happy

The missus is indifferent but she basically has no opinion other than it better be a nice holiday and the digs can’t be one of those pokey little P&V places like we stayed in la Plagne… “No sofa beds” was uttered – that’s me warned Very Happy

I think for a more relaxed break it’s going to be self-catering; catered chalets have been great for us in the past but the reality for us is we’ve only been to catered digs when we’ve been without children, and that’s been mainly for the convenience of prepared food inbetween drinking sessions. I’m quite looking forward to cooking some nights, eating out others and generally having a version of our self-catered summer holiday but just in the snow. Some nights in chilling out, some nights out doing activities.

Was initially looking at Grandvalira. There’s a good choice flights, ski area is big, there’s lots of what look to be high quality S/C apartments, and Andorra is a bit cheaper than France. The villages all look a bit meh and are dominated by ugly apartment blocks…. Pas has all the services you need it seems it’s no looker. Soldeu/El Tarter look marginally better but they don’t look to have much in the village. Anyone done it at Crimbo? Thoughts, yay or nay, especially for the festive vibe for the kids? Of course, there’s Arinsal, which we loved, but again, not really sure how that stacks up for a kiddies holiday.

Flaine seems to be awash with places to stay but again, it’s not a looker. Does it actually have a centre?

I may just need to push the boat out a little to get us in a place that’s a bit more ‘magical’ and festive looking…. i.e. a traditional alpine village or at least somewhere that’s an attempt to recreate one, such as Arc 1950. The P&V Premium places in 1950 look mega but they’re pricey.

I’ll have a trawl through previous threads and see what’s been suggested for crimbo but feel free to give me the heads up on places that have worked.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@Specialman, re arc 1950, the Christmas prices are a lot less than the New Year, and you have quite a selection now of private owners (having left the PnV leasback scheme) who can probably do you a deal. The village is looking to introduce a new local version of something like booking.com for this winter, listing all private lets, but it's not live quite yet: in the meantime, have a look at

https://www.arc1950direct.com/ which is run by one of the owners - doesn't have everyone on it, but quite a few.


We're certainly out there for this Christmas: it is a blast, and the kids will love it!
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If there is snow to resort, I think El tarter might be better.
It has more of a family rep than Soldeu and has a bit more space (its not squeezed in to the slope above and below a road heading to the border)
Soldeu had a big make over for the recent world cup and IIRC is getting very chi-chi in the hotels immediate to the gondola (lots of russians and Spanish footballers last time i was there).

Couldn't say for festive vibe, done it at new year and the dribbling "infants" were all in large/adult sizes!
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@Specialman, Definitely when looking at apartments, look at sleeps 6-8 for the 4 of you to avoid sofa beds.

Have a look at Vallandry, it's in Les Arcs area but as a smaller village is a little cheaper and in my view family focused. We have had a few Chrimbo's there - never not been able to ski back to it either FWIW

WOuld agree self-catering will be more relaxing as a family, anywhere you book will be busy and in my book a bit stressful, in your own pad you can wear your PJs if desired and eat crisps/chocs etc and eat what you want when you feel like it. Accomponied by a glass or two of course.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Or just don't go to shoe-box based French resorts. We got a massive s/c apartment in Austria for reasonable money.
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ster wrote:
Or just don't go to shoe-box based French resorts. We got a massive s/c apartment in Austria for reasonable money.

Yawn rolling eyes rolling eyes rolling eyes
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Another one that has spent nearly every Xmas in the Alps since the kids were little. I tend to take the FC pressies with us – if we drive they are in one of the top boxes in bags all hidden away. If we fly I have taken a dedicated suitcase, that is plastic wrapped at the airport. I then top up from Carrefour or wherever for stocking fillers etc. We tend to leave the pressies from friends etc under the tree at home, so they have something to look forward to when we get back. Friends who ski in our resort at Xmas, leave the FC pressies at home – a family member has their key and drops them off (FC delivers) while they are away for the kids to come back to, and just do small stuff in resort. As to food, yep you can book in for the Xmas Eve meal, we never did as the kids were too little and when young needed to be in ski school on Xmas morning. Might reconsider this year as have my Mum with us. We do stockings and small bits and then ski, and then back for bigger pressies and a late meal. Over the year I have roasted chickens, veal, beef, wild boar, venison. In the past we used to take a few parsnips and brussel sprouts but can get most of those things now. As to location, well that is the age old argument and depends what you are after.
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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!
pack a load of kazoos for Christmas Carols loudly over dinner.
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What about going over the New Year? Most resorts are buzzing and do a big firework display. Christmas is at home and a New Year trip means something to look forward to once the usual Christmas excitement has died down. We did New Year with the kids in Livigno (self-catering) and Verbier (hotel) and enjoyed it, with no pressure on us to make it special. Both times exceeded expectations.
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Specialman, lots of interesting and possibly confusing stuff here.
I've not done Christmas Skiing for some years now (kids all grown up so can avoid holidays), but when the kids were young we did Christmas at catered chalet twice (Ski Esprit Courchevel 1300, Mark Warner Plagne Centre) and hotel once (Ski Peak Vaujany). All were just fine. We chose the resort and accommodation to suit the kids ages and ski abilities - they had been skiing since birth.
1. I don't think "the look" of the resort really matters. With snow all around, the view is the mountains, not the buildings. Everywhere looks good in the snow.
2. All our caterers did an excellent job of Christmas Day - indeed Mark Warner (10 years ago now) put on an excellent spread and decorated the dining room superbly. No disappointments.
3. Self catering less stressful? Disagree. Unless you are avoiding completely any special meal for Christmas Day, i would have thought self catering the ultimate in stress: trying to repeat a UK Christmas meal in a poky apartment with none of the usual ingredients is the source of nightmares. Either self cater and forget the Christmas Meal, or get someone else to go through all the hassle.

From my reading, your "problem" is your wife's (and possibly kid's too) reluctance to give up your usual Christmas traditions. Quite understandable and not unusual, but you will never really enjoy a Christmas Away in the mountains if you are always harking back to "our usual Christmas".
Break free. They may find a Christmas without presents, meal, booze and telly (especially no telly) a wonderful enlightening experience. You will all be the better for it.
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LaForet wrote:
What about going over the New Year? Most resorts are buzzing and do a big firework display. Christmas is at home and a New Year trip means something to look forward to once the usual Christmas excitement has died down. We did New Year with the kids in Livigno (self-catering) and Verbier (hotel) and enjoyed it, with no pressure on us to make it special. Both times exceeded expectations.


I've looked into it but It's more expensive and crimbo fits better for our time off from work when our offices are shut. If I had my way I'd be out there for the entire festive break but i may have to sell a liver or two to afford it Very Happy
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I loved Christmas in Austria. Not a manic bad tempered shop fest. A few drinks after dinner on Christmas Eve followed by carols at midnight mass, token presents and skiing after breakfast on Christmas day. Very Happy
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Jonpim wrote:
Specialman, lots of interesting and possibly confusing stuff here.
I've not done Christmas Skiing for some years now (kids all grown up so can avoid holidays), but when the kids were young we did Christmas at catered chalet twice (Ski Esprit Courchevel 1300, Mark Warner Plagne Centre) and hotel once (Ski Peak Vaujany). All were just fine. We chose the resort and accommodation to suit the kids ages and ski abilities - they had been skiing since birth.
1. I don't think "the look" of the resort really matters. With snow all around, the view is the mountains, not the buildings. Everywhere looks good in the snow.
2. All our caterers did an excellent job of Christmas Day - indeed Mark Warner (10 years ago now) put on an excellent spread and decorated the dining room superbly. No disappointments.
3. Self catering less stressful? Disagree. Unless you are avoiding completely any special meal for Christmas Day, i would have thought self catering the ultimate in stress: trying to repeat a UK Christmas meal in a poky apartment with none of the usual ingredients is the source of nightmares. Either self cater and forget the Christmas Meal, or get someone else to go through all the hassle.

From my reading, your "problem" is your wife's (and possibly kid's too) reluctance to give up your usual Christmas traditions. Quite understandable and not unusual, but you will never really enjoy a Christmas Away in the mountains if you are always harking back to "our usual Christmas".
Break free. They may find a Christmas without presents, meal, booze and telly (especially no telly) a wonderful enlightening experience. You will all be the better for it.


The missus is actually very indifferent to whether we go or not at the moment. She has this crazy ability to not get excited about the possibility of going skiing and only really thinks about things about three days before we go Very Happy Me on the other hand, I'm like a kid, far too excited in the middle of September ... she's already given me 'that look' that says calm dow dear , it's months away Very Happy

Like a few people have said, it's easy enough to pack some tinsel and decorations to at least attempt to bring crimbo to an apartment. I'm down with that, sounds fun and it's something for the kids to help with if we go that route.

After reading what others have written, with a bit of pre-planning and acceptance that you don't have a massive supermarket on your doorstep for loads of stuff, you can put together a cool day and as has been pointed out, you're there to ski so more simple meals and/or eating out solves the problem. To be honest, my turkey-cooking skills are woeful so I'll be glad to swerve that part of christmas Smile

Agreed on the surroundings; chocolate box villages aren't everything and TBH, it's more about the amount of facilities and activities for the kids than anything. We'll do some ski school sessions for them but evenings need to have some excitement... i've sworn that unless it's snowmageddon outside, we're NOT going to be on tablets and phones on an evening... riding things to do is key.

Looking closer into things now, cost is the big factor. Catered chalets sounds nice and all, but many seem to be a grand per person, more once you've thrown in the lift pass and i have to be realistic that self catering is where we can lower costs. Sun web does some decent HB deal in chalet hotels, I'll look more into that as it's an option.

I'm erring towards France now, resorts like Avoriaz that are drivable and we can either do a big shop on the way or just take food with us. Plus, it avoids having to adhere to potentially early starts for flights or late arrivals at resort after a long transfer. It's not going to knock £1000s off the total cost but it's free up monies that can be spent on other things.

Lechbob wrote:
I loved Christmas in Austria. Not a manic bad tempered shop fest. A few drinks after dinner on Christmas Eve followed by carols at midnight mass, token presents and skiing after breakfast on Christmas day. Very Happy


Sounds perfect. My missus is a big lover of church on Xmas eve,we go to our village church for the evening service usually and then the out with friends. All very wholesome but potential for hangovers is always high.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

I'm erring towards France now, resorts like Avoriaz that are drivable and we can either do a big shop on the way or just take food with us. Plus, it avoids having to adhere to potentially early starts for flights or late arrivals at resort after a long transfer. It's not going to knock £1000s off the total cost but it's free up monies that can be spent on other things.

Most of the big French alpine resorts are driveable. We drive to Les Arcs about 3 times a year. Don't underestimate the drive; it's quite a slog. The best we have done it in is just over 14 hours from Birmingham, but allow 16-18. The hard part is getting to the channel and that may become a nightmare with Brexit. I suggest you discuss sharing the driving with your wife. We do 3 hours on, 3 hours off until we get there. We are usually too tired to do a shop in the Super U in Bourg st Maurice and just want to get to the apartment either to start skiing if we've done an overnighter or to go to bed if we've driven during the day.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

Self catering less stressful? Disagree. Unless you are avoiding completely any special meal for Christmas Day, i would have thought self catering the ultimate in stress: trying to repeat a UK Christmas meal in a poky apartment with none of the usual ingredients is the source of nightmares. Either self cater and forget the Christmas Meal, or get someone else to go through all the hassle.


Always a hot topic for debate and it's whatever works for you. I find cooking something up a very relaxing part of apres ski - if there at Xmas we will have had Christmas Dinner early at home and frozen leftovers to take with us - so very easy to have a mini Xmas dinner on the day
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

Break free. They may find a Christmas without presents, meal, booze and telly (especially no telly) a wonderful enlightening experience. You will all be the better for it

Quote:

Always a hot topic for debate and it's whatever works for you. I find cooking something up a very relaxing part of apres ski

This is a very positive thread - lots of people who like the way they do Christmas things. I've done Christmas lots of different ways, and for me the key is to be with people who love each other and want to be together. Provided you have that "core" you can add some other elements - including a few Christmas "waifs and strays" who might otherwise be alone. Playing down the material aspects is good - and certainly a LOT LESS TELLY. But another important element is not to be demanding about being with "all the people you love". Some mothers (including my eldest son's mother in law) simply can't see that having all their kids with them on Christmas Day every year can only be possible if somebody else's mother is less selfish!! It's a shame it can cause so many family tensions. Not to mention overspending, over-expectation, overeating, overdrinking.... yes, "break free".

Personally I wouldn't look for outside "entertainment" beyond the usual Christmas Eve resort spectacles, processions etc. A big round table game of some sort, with a lot of the debris still on the table and young and old joining in, is hard to beat.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@pam w, It's a great thread. Interestingly I don't know anyone who bothers much with telly on Christmas Day these days - there's so little on. We have it on in the background sometimes for the news and the Queen's message (or The Sound of Music for singalong) but we usually miss it anyway.

Totally agree with Break Free - one should not...IMHO ....be hostage to other people's wishes at Christmas or any other time. I never "called my mother every Tuesday at 6.00pm" - it sets up too much of an expectation that is sure to disappoint along the way and becomes a duty rather than a "want".

I'm not going to give up over eating and over drinking any time soon though....


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Fri 13-09-19 15:48; edited 1 time in total
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Specialman wrote:
The missus is actually very indifferent to whether we go or not at the moment. She has this crazy ability to not get excited about the possibility of going skiing and only really thinks about things about three days before we go Very Happy Me on the other hand, I'm like a kid, far too excited in the middle of September ... she's already given me 'that look' that says calm dow dear , it's months away Very Happy

To be fair it's a little like that in our house. And it extends a little bit even into the skiing day itself with me checking the weather reports and doing route planning the night before and then getting everybody up at a decent time in the morning so we get as full a skiing day as possible. It's not that the missus doesn't enjoy skiing... she's just a bit more chilled about it all.

Specialman wrote:
Like a few people have said, it's easy enough to pack some tinsel and decorations to at least attempt to bring crimbo to an apartment. I'm down with that, sounds fun and it's something for the kids to help with if we go that route.

After reading what others have written, with a bit of pre-planning and acceptance that you don't have a massive supermarket on your doorstep for loads of stuff, you can put together a cool day and as has been pointed out, you're there to ski so more simple meals and/or eating out solves the problem. To be honest, my turkey-cooking skills are woeful so I'll be glad to swerve that part of christmas Smile

Your thinking all along the right lines here.

Specialman wrote:
Agreed on the surroundings; chocolate box villages aren't everything and TBH, it's more about the amount of facilities and activities for the kids than anything. We'll do some ski school sessions for them but evenings need to have some excitement... i've sworn that unless it's snowmageddon outside, we're NOT going to be on tablets and phones on an evening... riding things to do is key.

Interesting one this. When the kids were younger they often went sledging and that was usually enough. But they've even grown out of that now (12 &14). And we tend to just have tea/cake/beer, put some music on, shower, prepare & cook dinner, card/board games, wine and cheese, bed. We all dabble on electronic devices but it's not as bad as at home. Occasionally we've gone to a swimming people but it's not something that has gone down really well - and certainly only once in the week.

Specialman wrote:
Looking closer into things now, cost is the big factor. Catered chalets sounds nice and all, but many seem to be a grand per person, more once you've thrown in the lift pass and i have to be realistic that self catering is where we can lower costs. Sun web does some decent HB deal in chalet hotels, I'll look more into that as it's an option.

Sunweb is OK but I tend to book either via tourist information websites/lists or direct via randomly finding stuff. But the first thing to sort out assuming you are driving is the channel crossing and any upgrade/winterisation you need for your car (servicing, winter tyres, chains, roofbars, roofbox, extension on Insurance to cover European driving/breakdown)

Specialman wrote:
I'm erring towards France now, resorts like Avoriaz that are drivable and we can either do a big shop on the way or just take food with us. Plus, it avoids having to adhere to potentially early starts for flights or late arrivals at resort after a long transfer. It's not going to knock £1000s off the total cost but it's free up monies that can be spent on other things.

We love driving because you load everything, drive and unload at the other end. Door to door time wise there isn't that much in it. Plus self catering you can do a shop on the way/take more stuff. Plus there is a bit of inherent flexibility. If you own ski's it can save money.
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If you drive you can take pre-prepared meals for at least three days - they last ages, if frozen and packed in insulation of the kind afforded by, for example, salopettes.

But overall the big advantage of Christmas in the Alps is not having to have Christmas at home. For years, when we had our apartment, I cooked, pack, drove, cooked - once had 12 people for a fair approximation of Christmas dinner. I had cooked a big turkey crown, sliced in very good (if I say so myself) gravy, and froze it. A niece in another apartment brought along a massive tray of delicious roast potatoes, etc etc. Champagne was stuck in the snow outside to cool. We'd been skiing during the day. Last year was the first Christmas not in the Alps for a long time. I cooked an expensive joint of beef on Christmas Eve, with some family and one friend who would otherwise have been on his own (an occasion marred by total hissy fit from 8 year old grand-daughter, to whom I had carelessly given a glass of white wine instead of her elderflower cordial. She took one sip and had hysterics, screaming at me "I'm a CHILD!" as bemused friend looked on (the rest of us were used to her). It's what family Christmases are made of! All told it was a nice few days and I saw lots of family, but it was dull in comparison to the skiing Christmases.

I don't intend to do any thinking about Christmas this year for at least two months! Our family gave up adult presents years ago - a very good move. I would actually quite like to charter a yacht and sail in the Grenadines at Christmas, but I dare say that's not gonna happen.
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johnE wrote:
Quote:

I'm erring towards France now, resorts like Avoriaz that are drivable and we can either do a big shop on the way or just take food with us. Plus, it avoids having to adhere to potentially early starts for flights or late arrivals at resort after a long transfer. It's not going to knock £1000s off the total cost but it's free up monies that can be spent on other things.

Most of the big French alpine resorts are driveable. We drive to Les Arcs about 3 times a year. Don't underestimate the drive; it's quite a slog. The best we have done it in is just over 14 hours from Birmingham, but allow 16-18. The hard part is getting to the channel and that may become a nightmare with Brexit. I suggest you discuss sharing the driving with your wife. We do 3 hours on, 3 hours off until we get there. We are usually too tired to do a shop in the Super U in Bourg st Maurice and just want to get to the apartment either to start skiing if we've done an overnighter or to go to bed if we've driven during the day.


Recently done the trip from the Alps and it's certainly easier than doing that kind of distance on UK roads. But yes, still a big old slog and not to be underestimated, especially if Brexit-related delays happen at the ferry/tunnel. I've no qualms about going through the night with a few breaks (the missus won't share the driving, not confident enough on French roads) but I think the reality would be to do what we did on the way home from summer hols and do a stopover in somewhere like Troyes or outside Paris to break it up.

As for shopping on the way, the thought of being given carte blanche when it comes to buying cured meats, booze and cheese is enough to give me a wake-up shot Very Happy

Layne wrote:

Sunweb is OK but I tend to book either via tourist information websites/lists or direct via randomly finding stuff. But the first thing to sort out assuming you are driving is the channel crossing and any upgrade/winterisation you need for your car (servicing, winter tyres, chains, roofbars, roofbox, extension on Insurance to cover European driving/breakdown)


Only reason I was erring towards Sunweb was for the free lift pass/free ski materials, which does bring the overall costs down slightly. I'm assuming they're getting discounts due to shifting volumes? Noticed that some of the hols they do have smaller area lift passes, rather than full area passes like a fun Paradiski or PDS... not a massive deal, we're not mile-munchers on the slopes. Not booked anything yet though and there is always the chance of fining something through other websites and direct like you've said.

Car-wise it's a company vehicle so will be good to go in terms of servicing and taking out of the UK, and I have a roof box, which should come in handy because it's a V40 and not the biggest of boots. Chains - yes, gotta purchase some and do a practise, never fitted them before even when we've rented cars from Grenoble.

pam w wrote:
If you drive you can take pre-prepared meals for at least three days - they last ages, if frozen and packed in insulation of the kind afforded by, for example, salopettes.


Great idea. I'm definitely down with doing a bit of prep to make things easier.
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Specialman, if you drive (and we always drive now), then Christmas is solved.
Remember your oven - if you have an oven - will be small, so don't go for a big turkey.
Don't forget crackers - Europeans don't seen to have discovered them yet.
And care with screens for the final drive up the mountain: laptops/tablets/phones are great for the journey down straight motorways, but the final 20k or so will up be up multiple sharp hairpin bends which combined with staring at screens is bound to bring on nasty nausea and worse. Beware!
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Jonpim wrote:
And care with screens for the final drive up the mountain: laptops/tablets/phones are great for the journey down straight motorways, but the final 20k or so will up be up multiple sharp hairpin bends which combined with staring at screens is bound to bring on nasty nausea and worse. Beware!


Sounds like advice borne of bitter experience (but I’m not sure what the “and worse” alluded to could be).
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@ster, Actual vomming I expect
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I took subsequent vomiting to be part and parcel of the described nausea, but could well be.
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@ster, to me nausea just means feeling sick
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Quote:

And care with screens for the final drive up the mountain: laptops/tablets/phones are great for the journey down straight motorways, but the final 20k or so will up be up multiple sharp hairpin bends which combined with staring at screens is bound to bring on nasty nausea and worse. Beware!


The trip upto Arc 1600 is only 10km and has the grand total of 3 hairpin bends, not counting the 2 or 3 roundabouts. But definately dump the reading and look out the window as snow starts to appear at the side of the road and the vista open up.

Quote:

to me nausea just means feeling sick


To me as well
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Jonpim wrote:
Don't forget crackers - Europeans don't seen to have discovered them yet
.

Specialman, This is VITAL. The one thing my kids always remind me to pack, the crackers, as I have never been lucky in finding any once there.
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i dont have kids been away at xmas last 5 years its been hit and miss lack of snow poor health in my case a week ruined never forget it i dont do xmas really anyway but last year in obergurgl was great lovely hotel great skiing a fab week no cooking or anything like that just an enjoyable trip
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I drive when we get to the bendy parts - other wise I will be chucking - even of looking out the window
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The waters have been muddied somewhat…

Aside from taking crackers – I feel shamed that this wasn’t on my radar, I have admonished myself suitably as a result – and hoping that the kids actually look out of the window of the car/transfer bus, the other half has now said that No1 priority is flying “because the kids haven’t been on a plane”.

Where I am all for a bit of someone else doing all the driving on my behalf, that then means there are more stringent timelines to be followed, working transfers around flight arrivals and all that. Less freedom. Not a bad thing sometimes because it also means less responsibility, but I like having options open, something I’ve insisted on for our summer holidays by driving to France. I may have to concede defeat on this one though..

We may also be holidaying with some friends so that further complicates matters, although us suggesting a Christmas holiday is a huge departure for them, as they love a crimbo family get-together, it's their big meet-up of the year. I suspect they’ll pass on this occasion because family loyalties may take precedence.

Anyway, if we do fly (and get bundled transfers) it probably means a more ‘focussed' choice of accommodation; close to town, close to lifts, close to shops but these things usually means higher costs I suspect… I’m gonna keep flying the flag for a self-drive but I fear my powers of persuasion are no match for my other half’s ability to put her foot down Very Happy

Maybe we’ll end up somewhere like Bulgaria? I actually don’t mind the idea – it’s cheap and cheerful, and probably offers everything we need as relative beginners to skiing – and I suppose when cost is a big issue, you have to make compromises somewhere. The next few days will be intense negotiations that will knock the Cuban missile crisis into a cocked hat… Very Happy


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Wed 18-09-19 12:25; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Plenty of options if you fly but you need to get onto the flights ASAP. I've just got reasonable priced flights LHR to Geneva for my Mum on BA 23-27th Dec. (Easyjet would have been cheaper on those dates but she is 77 and prefers a bit better service) but the change over days are eye wateringly expensive. You need to make your mind up if you are flying as you have less flexibility but all still doable. And remember to check the airline rules on crackers - hand luggage or hold luggage I can never remember.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Specialman, consider hiring a car rather than transfer, depending on where you go. As you're flying anyway I'd consider somewhere like Ski Amade, it's only an hour from Salzburg. You can stay centrally and drive to different areas each day, plus the general Austrian village feel is quite festive anyway. And helpfully the ski areas are pretty decent too snowHead Don't be put off by the lower altitude than the French resorts, plenty of local snowheads will attest to that.

A nice easy French place is Avoriaz which should have enough height to be fine (it was at new year last season) and SkiidyGonzalez do a decent transfer at a decent price...plus it's less than 2 hours from GVA.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Specialman, kids not been on a plane?
There are lots of things the kids haven't done. They have lots of time to discover flying is awful.
Stick to driving if you want Christmas (you can take it with you).
Tell your missus flying means Christmas will be left at home (or a fortune in baggage charges).
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Specialman wrote:
Aside from taking crackers – I feel shamed that this wasn’t on my radar, I have admonished myself suitably as a result – and hoping that the kids actually look out of the window of the car/transfer bus, the other half has now said that No1 priority is flying “because the kids haven’t been on a plane”.

You don't need me to tell you that this is poor logic. You take the mode of transport that most meets the requirements cost/convenience/efficiency wise. If you want to take the kids on a plan wait for the EasyJet sales and get yourself a £50 return to any European backwater on a low season weekend.

BTW, I am not saying the cost/convenience/efficiency answer is a straightforward one or falls down fully on the drive side - merely that you really want to try to make the decision on sound logic.

Specialman wrote:
Anyway, if we do fly (and get bundled transfers) it probably means a more ‘focussed' choice of accommodation; close to town, close to lifts, close to shops but these things usually means higher costs I suspect… I’m gonna keep flying the flag for a self-drive but I fear my powers of persuasion are no match for my other half’s ability to put her foot down Very Happy

It doesn't necessarily mean higher costs. Standalone flight prices vary massively compared to driving so if you get a really good deal.... unfortunately I suspect you've missed the boat for those. The alternative is a flight as part of a package. But for Christmas week you might struggle to get a deal that fits your budget.

Also, I would recommend being close to the lifts with kids whatever mode of transport you use to get there. Some think getting a bus or driving to the slopes is no big deal. Your call.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

Tell your missus flying means Christmas will be left at home (or a fortune in baggage charges)

good point. However, kids often do really enjoy a short-haul flight. Lots to see and do and talk about. My kids permanently preferred to fly rather than drive, though often they had to suck it up. I have a theory that kids these days have a worrying low boredom threshold. It does them a lot of good to learn to sit in a car for a day and not moan and grizzle. I attribute my high boredom threshold to hours spent in church as a child, mining the small print of the Book of Common prayer (does the "Churching of Women" still exist?) as I wasn't allowed to take whatever book I was reading at the time. wink
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And the 39 articles are almost as entertaining as the 39 steps....
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Of course the other problem with flying is that you're dragging kids through an airport at one of the busier times, which will likely be an experience that none of you enjoy.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
Of course the other problem with flying is that you're dragging kids through an airport at one of the busier times, which will likely be an experience that none of you enjoy.


Oh God, I can see it now... a jam-packed Luton at one end, an overcrowded Grenoble with 14 flights arriving at the same time or somewhere like Lleida at 10pm with a spirit-breaking 3hr transfer ahead of us. Very Happy
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
FWIW my kids have never flown until this year (aged 18 and 16 - long story as to why not). Every year I get the why don't we fly question for skiing.

After flying to Malta in summer they are all of the view that flying isn't that exciting (it's a coach with less space) and they see the benefits of being able to pack anything when driving.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
pam w wrote:
Quote:

Tell your missus flying means Christmas will be left at home (or a fortune in baggage charges)

good point. However, kids often do really enjoy a short-haul flight. Lots to see and do and talk about. My kids permanently preferred to fly rather than drive, though often they had to suck it up.


+1

Mine must have flown well over a hundred times each, and still love it.

As long as we leave plenty of time we find it's not remotely stressful - far from it, the whole thing is an enjoyable experience. £5 per child to spend in WH Smiths buys a lot of entertainment at the airport!
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