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Group ski trips

How to organise and book a group skiing holiday – top tips and ski group checklist How to organise and book a group skiing holiday – top tips and ski group checklist

Booking a ski holiday for a group of friends or family is exciting, but it can also feel like herding cats, so our group skiing specialists have produced this helpful guide to assist you in taking the pain out of the process and ensure that the process of choosing and booking your group ski trip is (almost) as much fun as the holiday itself!

Below we’ve tried to cover the main elements of organising a group ski trip but, most importantly, this is only a guide and our ski group experts can help you at any stage of the process. When you want help getting the quotes together and checking which ski accommodation has the best group discounts, don’t hesitate to call us.

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Getting started:

Being organised from the beginning helps take the stress out of the process and makes it all happen a lot faster.

  • Start early! The earlier you book, the more choice there will be, and often there are many more booking incentives like 2 for 1 skis or lift pass offers. You have the best chance of finding the perfect holiday deal meeting all your preferences, if you’re not looking after everyone else has booked the best group ski accommodation in the best group ski resorts.
  • Speak to your group and get agreement on the search criteria: budget, type of accommodation, type of room, location (country and resort), board and dates. Also understand the levels of skiing and boarding levels so that you can choose a resort appropriate to the group’s ability. What have they enjoyed before, as this is a good indication of what to look for and are there any must haves! Ie what is important, nightlife, a sauna, ski in ski out?
  • Make sure the team leader has the group’s support and that they have been given the authority to make decisions on behalf of the group. The most common cause of group bookings disintegrating is when every decision has to go to the whole group.
  • Do your research once the options are narrowed down, and manage the expectations of the group but giving a realistic idea of what the agreed budget will get and also what the ideal group holiday would cost. This way everyone understand the normal cost of a ski holiday and any discounts, deals and other financial incentives will be a bonus, making it easier to get the holiday booked.
  • Ensure you understand where the areas of compromise are within the group, is après all important or skiing hard all day. Is the country or resort absolutely set or is it just what people know and they would be happy to take a chance with something new. What may be easier is to know what is absolutely not in. We often have alternatives that could work well, and it may be worth keeping an open mind to a wild card option!
  • Holidays can only be booked when the full amount, either the deposits or final payment if under 12 weeks, has been secured. Often the perfect holiday has slipped by due to one or two parties not paying the deposit in time. The group leader who has the deposits ready to go has a better chance of securing the best property available for the group and negotiating a better group discount.
  • Get a committed group, especially if you want to have a sole occupancy Chalet. If the numbers change it can affect the price considerably, with under-occupancies adding to the cost and free places helping reduce the cost. If the number changes it usually means starting your search all over again to get the best deal.
  • Find out from your group what extras they need to hire or buy, as usually any deals on the extras are only available at the time of booking, like 2 for 1 ski hire. Having these pre-booked will make the first run a lot smoother. Also in peak season it is important to book any ski/board carriage as soon as possible, as often they will not be able to accommodate this carriage as they holidays get sold and the allocation gets used up.
  • Discuss the need for lessons and who and what levels are needed. If you are taking your holiday in the peak times of school holidays then it is imperative to book these ahead of time to ensure you get your spaces.

Some tips to make the most of your group ski holiday

Some final suggestions, that could make all the difference, when you are on your group ski holiday.

  • Discuss and understand as a group, especially if you are of mixed abilities, that you will probably not spend days skiing together. You may break off in different groups, some having lessons, some going extreme and some even wanting a day off. This is all par for the course, after all a group is made up of individuals. It may be worth considering lunch time meets, on the mountain, or at the end of the day for a great après session, where you can swap your day’s adventures.
  • If you are going with children, set ground rules about bedtimes and mealtimes and if they have to be different, explain carefully why. Otherwise each evening could turn into a battle ground.
  • For the chalet hosts night off book a restaurant at the start of the week, your hosts will be able to give good suggestions, and even make the booking for you. Especially with large groups leaving it till the day could mean that you end up not eating together, which may be disappointing
  • Use your chalet hosts, they are an invaluable source of information. They know everything about your resort, or can find out easily enough. They can certainly guide you with questions like, the liveliest après bar, where is the best skiing for the current conditions, good, mountain meeting points, what events are on, like tobogganing, night skiing and fireworks. Chalet hosts also do ski hosting, sort out your meals, clean up the accommodation and can even set you up your own bar! They are there to serve.
  • Last of all, but most importantly, RELAX, you’re on holiday!

What you need to be able to book?

Before we can book your group ski holiday we will need the following information for each passenger:

1. Full name as it is in their passport
2. Date of birth
3. Any dietary requirements
4. Preferred room
5. Any extras they would like to book.

We would also like a secondary contact in case we cannot get hold of the team leader

All booked up, now what?

It may be a while before you actually go on holiday and so there is plenty of time for unexpected things to happen. Changes are sure to be needed and you will probably need a checklist of things to remember to do closer to the time of departure.

Making changes:

Importantly, all changes need to be made through the lead passenger as they are ultimately responsible for the booking and the payment. Of course other passengers can email us, but the lead passenger must be copied on all communication, this prevents mix ups and unexpected costs being attributed to the booking.

Group Ski holiday checklist:

  • Verify confirmations as soon as you receive them
  • Double check names and spellings as corrections later can be costly
  • Be aware of when the balance is due and give everyone plenty of notice to pay, we send out reminders from a month before.
  • Remind all of your party that they must have travel insurance and valid travel documents.
  • Send everyone a copy of the documentation and eTickets, if you have those.
  • Make transport and parking arrangements if necessary to and from your departure airport
  • Arrange how you will go about check-in, as a group or individually, especially if you still have old style tickets.

Ski group top tips

  • Create a timeline and set deadlines for decisions and commitments
  • Get everyone to agree on whom will be the team leader and then leave them to it.
  • Collect money beforehand from your party, this ensures their commitment and put you in the best position to get the group ski holiday you want. Deposits are usually £135. Alternatively you can set aside a day for all the passengers to call in and pay their deposits.
  • Hiring a private instructor may be more cost effective, if you have fairly similar needs for a group of more than 4. You could even hire the private instructor for a week if you have enough needs within the group.
  • Allocate rooms and beds before leaving, to avoid discontent on arrival, especially for beds in shared living space
  • Distribute everyone’s contact and emergency information to the whole group, so that at anytime if you get separated you are able to get in touch.

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