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So is this the year to do a season? No need to look for work, 3 ish months of skiing.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Before I start, yes I know I am fortunate

Husband and I are seriously considering doing most of the season. From post Christmas or maybe new year until mid/end March. The reason is that he has no work, and unlikely to get any until middle 2021, and if/when he picks up again we can’t consider it. Secondly the thought of one week skiing and 2 weeks quarantine seems mad, although I can possibly work from home. Thirdly it will be cheaper than normal, accommodation surely would jump at the chance of a long term let. We can afford it right now, and I might try to negotiate working remotely for 3 days a week (will need great wifi)

So my questions Very Happy

Is this feasible?
Any ideas on resorts (thinking 3V as we love it, but ideally want large ski area as some days we will ski all day. Other days only a bit)
As it’s less than 90 days I’m assuming brexit is not an issue
And Covid is, but self catering and caution we feel will be ok.

What am I missing?? Are we stupid to consider it
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Who knows what will happen over the coming months. I've heard that bookings in Cham are rising due to people in the same position as yourself.

I'd love to be 'stuck' in Courchevel for 3 months. Not sure my bank balance would Razz
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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?
What are you missing?

Insurance?
Prospect resorts get shut down by regional or national mandate?
Prospect resorts limit operations because fo reduced tourist trade?
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Insurance- good point. We have annual travel insurance, but will need to look at this.

Resorts shut down - absolutely we could get ‘stuck’ but so could anyone.

Resorts limiting operations - hence thinking of a larger resort even limited operations mean some. Small resorts may not be open at all.

Large will be more ££ but i am
Hoping to negotiate remote part time working, which means income is still coming in.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I don't think it's a daft idea, provided you manage your expectations. Planning to live in (or near) a ski resort for three months strikes me as more rational than trying to plan a one-week holiday, right now.

I'm not convinced by your argument that a big resort will offer more, in the case of a major shut-down, than small ones.

Worth looking at the EHIC-related arguments for starting your stay before the end of 2020.
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Lucywuk wrote:
Before I start, yes I know I am fortunate

Husband and I are seriously considering doing most of the season. From post Christmas or maybe new year until mid/end March. The reason is that he has no work, and unlikely to get any until middle 2021, and if/when he picks up again we can’t consider it. Secondly the thought of one week skiing and 2 weeks quarantine seems mad, although I can possibly work from home. Thirdly it will be cheaper than normal, accommodation surely would jump at the chance of a long term let. We can afford it right now, and I might try to negotiate working remotely for 3 days a week (will need great wifi)

So my questions Very Happy

Is this feasible?
Any ideas on resorts (thinking 3V as we love it, but ideally want large ski area as some days we will ski all day. Other days only a bit)
As it’s less than 90 days I’m assuming brexit is not an issue
And Covid is, but self catering and caution we feel will be ok.

What am I missing?? Are we stupid to consider it


It will be fine. We did this for years before we finally moved here. Get a good insurance policy (e.g. MPI) and find a nice place to live - don't scrimp on your accommodation, you want plenty of space and a good location relative to shopping, restaurants and of course lifts.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
There's also your expectation of what a "season" is compared to a "holiday".

1 Over a period of time you can get cabin fever in resorts, moreso if you have an extended period of shitty weather/poor snow conditions
2 Traditional "releases" like a good time at a bar, seeing a band, decent meals out are unlikely to be available to the same degree

I've thought about would I do it this year? If I was out of work anyway, sure why not roll the dice. If I had work, not so sure I would be asking for unpaid leave to do so given all the unknowable variables - it might turn out to be the best thing ever but equally could be an expensive bust.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

What am I missing??

Well lots from this post including what you are you planning to do with your home in the UK and of course the whole cost model, but I'm sure you are aware of all this but didn't want to include it in the post.
Check your annual insurance allows long trips. I think mine limits any single trip to 60 days. At which point you may have to leave France for a couple days - then your EHIC becomes invalid.
Quote:

Is this feasible?

Of course it is feasible, but do your costing
Quote:

Any ideas on resorts (thinking 3V as we love it, but ideally want large ski area as some days we will ski all day. Other days only a bit)

Just check that there are other things to do. I am not thinking of things like shopping or visiting nearby towns but actual activities. Is there a swimming pool, an indoor climbing wall, a company doing ice climbing, an ice rink, ski randonnee, an ice hockey team you can watch etc.?
Quote:

Are we stupid to consider it

No
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Had you considered being based somewhere in the valley but central to a number of resorts, with more in the way of local amenities? This would be a reorientation of your expectations away from 'doing a season' towards 'living somewhere different'. So, for example, in our area you might look at staying in Martigny or Sion, then a drive/train to resorts like Verbier, Crans-Montana, Les Diablerets, Champéry for the PdS, Chamonix (a bit far, perhaps), St.Luc and so on. You'd also have Lausanne and Montreux on the doorstep for non-ski outings, and even overnight excursions to Basle, Berne, Milan, and so on. Basically, like a summer holiday but in the winter with the skiing as an extra option, rather than the whole focus. There are many places across the Alps where you could try this approach. If you're both ski junkies then I can see you'd probably prefer to be in a resort, but if your interests are broader, then you might get more out of a 'summer holiday-in-winter' approach.

There's also the practicalities of possibly having to quarantine at the start and/or during the trip. I would doubt whether grocery home deliveries are viable up a mountain in most resorts, but I assume that they're more likely to be available in an urban valley area. I don't know and you might want to do some research on this. And if you needed any other supplies, then for many resorts, you'd have to leave the building and go and collect online order deliveries, breaking your quarantine.

And as mentioned, the danger of a resort is that you might simply be told to leave. This happened in 4 Vallées in March: all non-residents (including owners of residence secondaires) got about a week's notice to be out of the resort by the following Monday. Being in the valley would insulate you from this sort of action.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Mon 12-10-20 11:33; edited 6 times in total
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Depending on your employer/job, you may need to consider the regulatory and tax implications of working from a foreign country.
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LaForet that’s an interesting thought. I guess we thought one main resort means a season pass which is cheaper. I did think of bourg st Maurice as there’s the funicular straight to arc and easy access to other resorts. Plus practical for living, and cheaper.

JohnE our daughter (21 years old) will be home looking after the house and dog. So covered there.

Interesting about other activities. As long as we have decent TV and wifi we are pretty chilled out. Netflix etc and we are good to amuse ourselves.

And Dave. I have the right to ask for a sabbatical at work, but I also was planning on asking for reduced hours for 2-3 months. I am in a lucky employment position that I think they would consider it. They can only turn me down. Lol Very Happy
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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.
@Lucywuk, You have to do it now - you'll end up regretting it if you don't!
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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
Quote:

we are good to amuse ourselves

we spent many weeks in our 2 bed apartment up a mountain, and after my OH died I spent some time there alone, especially after fracturing my pelvis. I never suffered from cabin fever or felt any need to climb walls, especially icy ones, or go swimming. I had internet access and basic freeview TV, and plenty of books and music. When fit (not after the fracture, obviously) I went for walks, including snowshoe walks, in winter, or cross country skiing. After the fracture I had friends who did some shopping for me, and sometimes brought stuff and ate with me at night, which was lovely, but with two of you, there would be no problem isolating for two weeks without access to shops, if you were forewarned and had time to prepare accordingly.

In lockdown, and subsequently, we all got used to having access to a much reduced range of "entertainment" and living somewhere different for a few months wouldn't present me with any problems, provided I had internet access and could keep in touch. I could even keep up with my Zoom French and Italian sessions and various meetings!

Go for it! But I'd be wary of doing it without EHIC as I have pre-existing health conditions which would not be affordably covered by insurance.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Lucywuk, How important would be being in resort? As opposed to 'down the mountain?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Do it! Waiting for the ideal time just means it isn't happening. It will be different, for sure. And it will still be a fantastic experience, for sure.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
snowdave wrote:
Depending on your employer/job, you may need to consider the regulatory and tax implications of working from a foreign country.


This seems to be the big sticking point for people wanting to clear off for the winter. I've heard a lot of tales now of the "accountant says no".

If working 3 days a week is important clear this up (or don't tell the firm) and make sure you really can work 3 days per week. I'm in the outskirts of Grenoble - France's hi-tech capital and the landlines here really don't allow for stress free remote working where I live (4G is mostly fine and reliable though).

I did 8 months in a ski resort, November through to May (Davos) and skied all the time and never felt like I had to get away to do something else but I had good accommodation and it was a great place to live. I would go back in a flash. Other places would maybe be less fun for that length of time.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Lucywuk, we are planning to do exactly the same. OH has been made redundant but after 20 years service is getting big payout and has decided he can take winter off. I can work from home and am planning to do just that - taking advantage of my flexible hours. Means i won't be able to ski every day but might be able to get a couple of hours in some days before work and ski 3 days every other weekend as i work longer hours to get 9 day fortnights. I've also got 5 weeks leave still to use so will spread that out over the season too. We've booked a 2 bed apartment in Brides Les Bains to give us the extra space so that i can work/have friends visit. Brides works out much cheaper than the main resorts but still linked to Meribel via telecabin - have stayed there previously and liked it so we know what we're going to. Sorted insurance with HeyMondo but sticking point for us is the 90 day rule.......so won't be able to stay right until end of season (assuming it stays open that long). Happy to take our chances.......if we get locked down then at least we'll be somewhere scenic.
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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?
KathE what’s the 90 day rule? A few people have mentioned this.
Brides is on my list as is la tania. But I think there’s more in brides to do.

I have tentitively approached HR and she basically said to put in a request and will support me. I work for an international company with offices in Lyon so there is a chance to see how they do it
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@Lucywuk, are you a British passport holder? Brexit means that from 1st January 2020 brits can only stay in the EU/Schengen area for 90 days out of a rolling 180 days. So if you arrive on 1st Jan you will have to leave 90 days later, then you won't be able to return to the EU/Shengen area till July
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Lucywuk, once we leave europe - we will no longer be EU citizens so will only be able to spend a maximum of 90 days in any 180 days in europe without having to get a visa. We're going out on 12 Dec (hopefully) but will still be EU then so I'm assuming 90 days will start from 1 Jan (the date we are no longer in EU) - which takes us up to 31 March. We had hope to stay until 17 April - the only way round it I can see without applying for a visa is for us to come home for 18 days in Feb (avoid half term if it happens) and then go back out again - that will buy us the extra time we need to stay out until April........ but at the moment waiting to see how it all plays out. This might help - https://france-visas.gouv.fr/en_US/web/france-visas/long-stay-visa
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@KathE, @Lucywuk, if you are prepared not to work, and can present evidence of sufficient financial resources, accommodation and medical cover/insurance, couldn't you just apply for a 4-6 month visa?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
That’s really useful advice thanks. We probably would look to arrive early jan. therefore could stay until end March. Which is fine. I’m happy to do 8-12 weeks if needed

It will depend on my company if they will be able to do something. I prefer to work as I don’t want to take a sabbatical if I can avoid it
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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!
@ecureuil, would love to be able to not work but can't afford to...but sadly still have a mortgage to pay.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@kathE I might have to pick your brains about accommodation.

I could afford not to work if it came to that, but I was trying to find the most flexible solution. I think it’s an HR job. Lol
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@Lucywuk, we ended up booking with https://www.livetheseason.com/ but also looked at https://www.seloger.com/ and https://www.leboncoin.fr/ - lots of private rentals on those along with some of the local estate agents advertising accommodation. also worth checking out the seasonnaire sites on facebook or if you are thinking 3V then this page might be useful - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1243498865782377
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Lucywuk Go for it. Time is not a renewable resource.
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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.
mitcva wrote:
@Lucywuk Go for it. Time is not a renewable resource.


Words to live by!
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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
Quote:

Words to live by!

And especially relevant now. This emergency should be teaching us not to postpone and procrastinate. The fact that there is a dangerous disease flying around, which could well cut short the lives of older people (I'm 73) is not a good reason to stop doing anything with whatever time is granted to us. A classic case of allowing the best to be the enemy of the good!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
KathE wrote:
@Lucywuk, once we leave europe - we will no longer be EU citizens so will only be able to spend a maximum of 90 days in any 180 days in europe without having to get a visa. We're going out on 12 Dec (hopefully) but will still be EU then so I'm assuming 90 days will start from 1 Jan (the date we are no longer in EU) - which takes us up to 31 March. We had hope to stay until 17 April - the only way round it I can see without applying for a visa is for us to come home for 18 days in Feb (avoid half term if it happens) and then go back out again - that will buy us the extra time we need to stay out until April........ but at the moment waiting to see how it all plays out. This might help - https://france-visas.gouv.fr/en_US/web/france-visas/long-stay-visa


Eh? We're already no longer in the EU.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Tom Doc wrote:
mitcva wrote:
@Lucywuk Go for it. Time is not a renewable resource.


Words to live by!


Exactly. It just the practicalities that are a bit dull abs slightly daunting. I have spoken to HR and my work husband’, was mire worried about leaving him to pick up the crap if I did go off for a few months. Tomorrow I’ll put in an official request to see if it’s possible. Work is the big thing as I’m the breadwinner, but I’m at a senior enough level for them to make some special exceptions or a test case.

I’ll be stressing about location next, up the mountain v in the valley. Cost v comfort. I need a good bed. Everything else I can manage. I’ve camped and cooked on an open fire for weeks before. But the bed needs to be good and I think perhaps a bath!! Lol
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Lucywuk, working for an international company with a french office should make the working arrangements easier if they're ok to support you. But will you need a working visa after Jan? I think you'd be fine without it now, but I'd guess you/your company would need to apply for a visa once the transition period ends (barring some kind of deal that allows movement of workers). I'm not very clued-up on this though...would be interested to hear what the bureaucracy looks like (you know, just in case...).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
How do the French authorities define "working in France" for tax and related purposes? If someone is paid by a UK company, in £sterling, into a UK bank acccount, with correspondence / payslips going to a permanent UK address, isn't that sufficient to determine that it is "UK work"? That's what effectively happens all the time for people on overseas business trips. (And why you are advised to say to border control officals "I am here on a business trip" rather than "I am here to work").

In those cases does it matter where someone is physically located? (And even if the authorities can actually determine that ....)
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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?
@ecureuil, You'd think right .... but then you'd be wrong.
I work in Switzerland as a frontalier.
Pre-covid, cross border workers had to work 75% of the time in Switzerland and could only work in France 25% of the time.
Anymore than 25% and the French authorities impose social charges (NI) on the employer.
Unlike NI in UK (10%) in France its 67%, so your modest (by Swiss standards) 7.5K Chf per month would cost your employer an extra 5 grand per month.
What makes it all the more irksome is that the employee already has to pay additional social charges to CNTFS of 10%-16% of their salary in France to boot.
During the pandemic, this rule has been suspended by the French authorities.
It was due to end on July 1st, then September 1st, and it has now been extended until Jan 1st.
Hopefully it'll get extended again, but don't assume if you work for a UK company in France, you are not subject to French tax law.
This (along with Covid) has bitten the British chalet industry in the back bottom - not Brexit.
For years chalet companies and TO paid the staff on UK contracts even though the staff were 100% working in France.
The authorities started insisting that staff were French contracts (only 35h, and with 67% charges), and all of a sudden operating a chalet "legally" became a wholly unviable proposition, for all but a few who had already got their ducks in a row and adopted a different cost model - but then Covid came along and saw to them too Sad

Good luck, but be warned.
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@windofchange thanks useful. I wonder how it would work over a short period though. Im only planning on working a max of 8 - 10 weeks out of the year, its not really a placement even, its me 'working form home' only for a short period home is a ski resort.

If I cant make it work from a work perspective, then I am prepared to take a sabbatical or agree extended unpaid leave. But I work in sales and this will be way more detrimental to my company in lost revenues (current climate they wont want that) so I am hoping they will be flexible.

@ecureuil i am hoping its what you say Smile
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Lucywuk wrote:
@windofchange thanks useful. I wonder how it would work over a short period though. Im only planning on working a max of 8 - 10 weeks out of the year, its not really a placement even, its me 'working form home' only for a short period home is a ski resort.

I


You have two choices: wing it, tell no one and hope you get away with it
Inform work about what you plan. From what I've seen so far most UK companies are refusing their staff work abroad because it is too complex for them.

As for getting caught, things to consider:
1. can you work reliably?
2. what happens if you are called into work for a meeting?
3. what happens if you have an accident?

It is very unlikely you will come up on the French radar if you are staying a limited time but the tax authorities are putting a big effort into tracking long staying teleworkers. The company I work for develops software for this. It is used when someone is already a person of interest for tax purposes. In that case loyalty cards, cash machine withdrawals, phone records, strava, facebook, twitter, instagram, electricity use etc will all be used as a basis to determine where someone is located. However I would expect more fishing expeditions as wfh becomes more prevalent.
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davidof wrote:
Lucywuk wrote:
@windofchange thanks useful. I wonder how it would work over a short period though. Im only planning on working a max of 8 - 10 weeks out of the year, its not really a placement even, its me 'working form home' only for a short period home is a ski resort.

I


You have two choices: wing it, tell no one and hope you get away with it
Inform work about what you plan. From what I've seen so far most UK companies are refusing their staff work abroad because it is too complex for them.

As for getting caught, things to consider:
1. can you work reliably?
2. what happens if you are called into work for a meeting?
3. what happens if you have an accident?

It is very unlikely you will come up on the French radar if you are staying a limited time but the tax authorities are putting a big effort into tracking long staying teleworkers. The company I work for develops software for this. It is used when someone is already a person of interest for tax purposes. In that case loyalty cards, cash machine withdrawals, phone records, strava, facebook, twitter, instagram, electricity use etc will all be used as a basis to determine where someone is located. However I would expect more fishing expeditions as wfh becomes more prevalent.


I cant wing it and am discussing with the company today, I have to go official or take extended leave. Its up to the company if they will entertain the idea of it. But given my role I think they will take pains to find out if it is possible. I sound like I am Ms Bigboots but ive been there 14 years and am pretty senior and make the company a shed load of money. They would be stupid not to at lease consider my request

1. yes I can - I spent 6 month WFH during lockdown and smashed all sales targets.
2. wouldnt happen as all meetings are MS Teams/Zoom as are all sales meetings.
3. Same as per UK, depends how serious and if needs be come home to recover
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Like @Davidof says, initially you'll be off the radar.
People like me are in the game as I make my declarations to the French tax authorities.
10 weeks brings you under the 25% threshold anyhow, so you have nothing to worry about there.
It's worth keeping some proof of your movements though in case you are asked to show it was less than 25%.
Here in Le Biot we have 50Mbps internet and a strong cell phone signal, so WFH is pretty easy.
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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!
Lucywuk wrote:

1. can you work reliably?


1. yes I can - I spent 6 month WFH during lockdown and smashed all sales targets.


I'm not thinking of you personally, I'm thinking of having a reliable and stable home office setup. One of the reasons I went back to work in June was that my internet access is unreliable where I live unless I use 4G on my phone. Nothing more stressful than having drop outs during zoom meetings. WoC above gets 50mbps where he lives so is golden but something to check. There are loads of threads on this already.

I would live in a resort, not down in some smoke filled, polluted, grey, cold alpine valley if I were you. I wouldn't go to some big swanky place but one of the 2nd tier resorts but with a range of activities but prices should be more reasonable this season for rentals - negotiate hard.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Lucywuk, I would stay in resort and drive out there, so you have a car for variety. Valley towns are pretty miserable during Winter IMO. Go high and stay until end April - accom and lift pass probably won’t cost you any more and April in places like Val Thorens is wonderful.
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@BobinCH, Places above the tree line are pretty bleak too.
VT & LM are Fugly to boot.
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