From deciding where to go to thinking about whether you’d prefer a hotel or catered chalet, our guide will take the stress out of booking a group ski holiday.
The expression ‘the more the merrier’ could have been invented to describe group ski holidays. There is not much that is more fun than cruising down a piste with a group of friends, meeting up for long lunches on the mountains, or enjoying a bit of après-ski together.
But arranging and booking a group ski holiday can be anything but fun, especially when it falls to you to do all the organising. Here’s our guide to taking the stress out of planning a group holiday - follow our pointers and you and your friends should be in your own catered chalet and out on the slopes with the minimum of hassle.
1. Put Someone in Charge
As daunting as it may seem, it is a good idea for one person to be in charge of arranging your group holiday. This doesn’t mean that that person gets to make all the choices, or even has to do all the work (delegation is a wonderful thing), but it does mean that somebody out of your group is looking at the big picture and making sure that it all comes together.
2. Get Together to Work Out the Details
Emails and phone calls are all very well, but the best way to make the initial decisions about where to go and what everyone wants from their ski holiday are easier to make if you are all sitting down face-to-face.
Arrange a meal or meet for a drink, then write out a checklist of details that needs to be decided on.
Things to put on your checklist:
• Holiday budget
• How to get there
• What kind of accommodation (hotel, catered chalet, apartment)
3. Type of Accommodation
People often get hung up on choosing the destination for their group ski holiday but forget to agree on the type of accommodation they want when they get there.
There is a huge range of accommodation available in ski resorts, from luxury hotels to self-catering apartments, and you need to know at which level your group is going to be happy.
Of course, if budget is a factor (and let’s face it: it usually is), then a great option can be a catered chalet. With the luxury of coming home from a hard-day’s skiing and having an afternoon tea and dinner served to you, this is a great choice for those who want to save on the extra cost of a hotel.
Those concerned about budget need to factor in the cost of buying food for the group throughout your stay and the inevitable nights when no-one wants to cook and you end up eating out.
Deposits are a great way to make sure that everyone in your group is fully committed to the holiday. So once you’ve made all the decisions about where to go and where to stay, found out the costs, and are almost ready to book, it’s a good idea to ask people to confirm by paying a deposit.
5. Keep in Touch
There’s lots of information that needs to be requested and supplied during the process of booking a group holiday, so it’s well worth setting up an email, Facebook or Whatsapp group right at the start. That way you can easily send out requests for passport numbers, ski hire requirements etc.
The added benefit of communicating with the group in this way is that you will have everything in writing and no-one can come to you later and complain that they were not informed about anything.
6. Think About the Details
Once you’ve sorted out the big questions like destination and you’ve booked your catered chalet, then it’s time to start working out the details you’ll need to get your group on to the slopes.
Ask everyone in the group whether they want to arrange equipment hire, ski school and ski lifts in advance. Many ski tour companies, including my team at Ski Amis, will be able to arrange this for you and have it all ready when you arrive, if you let us know what you need.
So you’ve made all your plans, booked your holiday and have all your equipment standing by. Now all that’s left to do is get together with your group and have the ski holiday of a lifetime. Have fun!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. If you're looking for the best catered chalet accommodation in the Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans searching for the holiday of a lifetime.
Written by : Lisa Jeeves