by Frank V. Persall
Ski holidays are an amazing experience - but trying to organise a trip, especially booking it independently, can be time-consuming. There are some great deals out there, but it can take a lot of patience to trawl through websites and make decisions for a group.
Probably the most important decision when researching a ski holiday is where you actually want to ski. There are hundreds of resorts across Europe and each one offers a different experience.
The first question to ask yourself revolves around your specific ski group?
Do you want child-friendly villages or late-night party towns?
This will quickly help to narrow the resort search.
The ski level of your group is also important...
What level of skiers and snowboarders are you?
Would you prefer somewhere with a focus on learning, or where black runs and off-piste dominate?
As is what type of resort atmosphere you prefer...
How do you feel about crowds?
Do you want to be in one of the well-known big and busy resorts or would you feel more comfortable in a smaller village where lift queues are less likely?
Once you’ve chosen where you will be heading, you’ll need to select your accommodation and what type of holiday you are looking for.
Some groups prefer self-catering apartments which keep the budget down but are going to be more basic. Wooden chalets with log fires are what many people think of when they imagine skiing holidays - but these come at a price and may not be feasible for smaller groups. Alternatively, there are hotels which provide comfy beds and regular meals, but do tend to restrict you to larger resorts.
The major considerations are:
What is your budget?
It’s an unfortunate reality but money will be a large factor here.
How much time do you plan spending in your accommodation?
Those who see themselves outside for the majority of the time may not mind sparse settings to sleep, whereas others will want to enjoy home comforts.
Where will you be within the resort?
Some accommodation may be further away from ski lifts and bars than others which means a cold walk - keep in mind where you will be staying within the actual town.
With budget airline timetables readily available online this can be one of the easiest elements of a ski trip to book. However, be sure to do your research about which airport is the most convenient for your chosen ski resort. We say ‘convenient’ rather than ‘closest’ because depending on transport links the closest airport may not actually be the best for onwards travel.
The Snowcompare Resort Guides provide a useful guide to Europe’s best resorts and the corresponding airport and travel links.
Flight timings can also be important if you want to get a good deal on an airport to ski resort transfer. Arriving or departing very early in the morning or late at night may limit your onward travel options. We see time and time again that people book the cheapest flights they can get only to find that the airport to ski resort transfers cost them much more than they have saved.
We would always recommend looking at flights and ski transfers together to make sure you are getting the best deal for both - which brings us on to...
When landing at an airport in a foreign country it is vital to organise reliable airport to ski resort transfers well ahead of time. There are plenty of ski transfer options out there, but the key questions to consider are:
Do you want to travel in a private or shared transfer?
While cost will probably ultimately decide this for you, it’s still important to check all the ski transfers available to you.
What is your group size?
The majority of private transfers are in 8 person minibuses. So for a group of 8 sharing this cost should be fine. If you’re a group of 2 though you still have to share the same vehicle cost, and if you’re a group of 9 you will be looking at either two vehicles or a larger mini-coach.
What day and time do you arrive / depart?
If you’re aiming to get a shared transfer to keep costs down this questions will be key. Companies tend to run shared transfers on the busiest days of the week - normally Saturday and Sunday - and will have a cut-off time. So if you arrive at 10pm you may find that only private transfers exist for you.
Previously, the best way to find your ski transfer was to trawl the internet and contact the numerous companies for quotes and availability. Snowcompare.com has changed all that though.
By compiling the best private & shared transfer companies in Europe on one website, Snowcompare.com ensures you can search, compare & book the best airport to ski resort transfers - saving you both time & money.
About Frank V. Persall
Originally from the UK, Frank has a passion for skiing and anything snow related. He is currently on a never ending mission to visit the best ski resorts across the USA and the the World. Frank is happiest when he is on ski slopes with his wife and three children.