If you’re planning on sloping off this coming ski season, you may be thinking of package deals, some of which can offer good, all-inclusive value.
You may not have considered the benefits of organising your trip independently. But by booking cheap flights and arranging accommodation and transfers yourself, you’ll have the flexibility and convenience of being able to choose your UK and destination airport, and the date and time of travel which suit you best.
Some fully inclusive deals, for example, look good initially but turn out to have long transfer times to the resort. Or they may not leave from the best UK airport for you, so that you have to travel from, say, Belfast to London, before you’re even on your way to Europe.
Along with the right flights there are some great hotel deals offering the chance to build your own outstanding value ski holiday, beating tour operators hands down on price.
Equally, going it alone is a great way of getting off the beaten track and away from the crowds. It may also be easier to take in more than one mountain resort in a single trip.
At the same time, you can often save money by only paying for what you need. For example, you may already have somewhere to stay, or have your own skis.
And, while doing your own thing may take a little more organisation than booking a package deal, the Internet has made it easier than ever to gather all the necessary information, and to book everything from accommodation and travel to tuition and ski equipment hire online. It doesn’t have to be a complicated business when everything’s just a few clicks away.
When it comes to finding somewhere to stay, making your arrangements independently means you get the freedom to decide what kind of accommodation and holiday base to go for, from apartments and chalets to hotels, and from party towns to intimate, cosy resorts.
You can often get some of the cheapest flights at quieter travel times by enjoying a midweek break for a few days, or even by sloping off for the weekend! You’ll need fewer days off work, but still get your time on the piste. You could even grab a few bonus snow days in addition to a main family ski break.
When it comes to choosing which airport to fly to, again it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Geneva is one example of an airport well positioned for most skiing areas of the Swiss and French Alps. There’s an international and French side, and the closest resorts include Chatel, Courchevel, Flaine, Val d’Isere, Chamonix and Verbier.
For onward travel, there are trains to the Swiss ski resorts, which you can reserve online. There’s also an Aero-skibus travelling between Geneva and the French ski stations. Book online or when you get there. You could also consider cab or mini-bus hire, especially if several of you are travelling.
Another good airport to consider is Chambery, in the heart of the French ski region and a smaller airport than Geneva, with easy transfers to all the resorts of the French Alps.
So, with your skis in the hold of the plane, and your accommodation, transfers and tuition all sorted, grab a flight and head off on a flexible DIY break this season. You’ll love the feeling of greater control over your holiday plans: no wonder this style of travel is increasingly popular! – Travel Feeder, your ultimate photo travel guide to Europe