Fast Track Ski have the experience needed to organise your group ski holiday and ensure that everything goes to plan.
At Fast Track Ski we’re experts in group ski holidays, with access to the best deals in the business. Our experienced consultants are waiting for your call to put together a fantastic, value for money holiday, with the maximum additional benefits and flexibility.
Planning your group ski holiday
Taking a group on a skiing trip is usually a lot of fun and by booking together there can be collective savings to be had. But to ensure your group ski holiday is as successful as it should be, it is worth thinking about all the aspects of your holiday before you book together.
Groups should book as early as possible to ensure that there is sufficient accommodation available to take your group and so that you can all stay in the same accommodation, and so that all of the party are happy with where you are going.
Firstly you should consider if you do really all want to spend a week up a mountain together. If one or more of your group isn’t likely to stay positive throughout the trip, it may be worth politely dissuading them from participation, rather than allowing them to ruin the holiday for everyone.
Secondly you need to think about just how big you want your group to be. Unless you are just self selecting friends it can be that an advertisement at a work place or club generates dozens of potential group members. The discounts typically begin in low season for parties with at least eight members. We then operate a scale with savings that can be as good as the equivalent of one-in-every-four people in the group travelling free when a large group travels low season.
You should also consider who is to be the group leader, usually having a couple of people drive through decisions that need to be taken, collect in money due for the ski holiday from all participants and so on, works well. But the leader(s) need to be smart, trust worthy, efficient and reliable.
Next consider what kind of a group trip this is? Do you plan to ski together every day and party together every night? Or will you act as if you are a collection of separate skiers who just happen to be on the same plane and in the same resort together? Either approach can work, but it’s good to be clear from the start what members of the group can expect, and to let them know how they are expected to participate, or not.
Another point to think about is the ability level of the various members of your group. Although many groups contain skiers of a similar ability, all learning together or all experts together, there’s no reason why groups shouldn’t have mixed ability participants. But if groups contain mixed abilities from non-skiers to experts it is important to ensure nobody gets a raw deal.
Beginners need to be in a resort with good facilities for them, non-skiers need lots to do off the slopes (unless they’ve said they’re happy to put their feet up by the fire in the chalet and read a book) and experts need enough exciting terrain not to get bored. In fact perhaps half of all resorts we feature meet these diverse needs, so it isn’t a great problem, just something to be careful about.
A final point on group make up is that you need to decide how flexible everyone is on the date you want to travel. The more flexible the better for maximum discounts(see below), but it may be that some group members have restrictions on when they can travel, and it may be a juggling act and in some cases impossible to accommodate everyone’s preferred dates, in which case a decision has to be made that favours the majority.
For this reason, to allow group members to budget as painlessly as possible and to maximise what we have available for your group, the sooner you get organised the better. Many operators now publish their brochures at the start of the preceding season, so you can plan and book as much as 16 months ahead in some cases.
But first things first; once you’ve got your group right, it’s time to think about when to go? Groups can travel any time, just like other skiers, but if you’re trying to keep costs down you’ll find the biggest discounts for groups are usually offered in the lowest season, when you might get two free places for every 12 people booking or four for 18 if you travel before Christmas week or in April after Easter.
Where to go
Of course if you travel at the extremes of the season you risk snow cover not being so great and not all of the area being open, and perhaps some facilities in resort closed too, so you need to decide as a group if that’s a risk you’re prepared to take for maximum savings. If you decide it is, the best thing to do is look for the most snow-sure ski area that meets your criteria, depending on your group make up. It’s probable that advanced skiers will suffer most at the ends of the season as it is typically the steepest runs that will close first.
Top 10 group ski resorts
- Meribel & Mottaret, France
- La Plagne, France
- Bansko, Bulgaria
- Val Thorens, France
- Les Deux Alpes, France
- Tignes, France
- Val d’Isère, France
- Pas de la Casa, Andorra
- Livigno, Italy
- Sauze d’Oulx, Italy
Outside these ‘cheapest’ times, you are likely to get still quite good discounts through most of January (after New Year’s week) and the last week of February and first half of May. Christmas, New Year and Easter – all busy times in fact, simply means that group discounts are there to be had, but they’ll be less generous. The worst time of the season to get a good saving is the first half of February, the schools’ half-term holiday period.
In terms of accommodation the best group discounts are usually offered when you fill a catered chalet together, apartments also offer good value, hotel discounts are generally the least generous.
Discounts offered by us usually take the form of a number of free places (the number increasing depending on the number in the group) and you can choose to share the savings on the free places as a discount for all in the group. On ski holidays to North America the savings are more commonly provided as a percentage discount on the overall group booking cost, so that’s another way to do it.
Sometimes we may be able to offer the option to change names of group members on your booking up to four weeks before departure (useful if anyone needs to drop out – but it’s also wise to get insurance organised for all as soon as you book, to cover cancellations at short notice).
Call our dedicated group ski booking team to discuss any of the above points with them, and we may have a better deal than you expect available. We will ensure the whole process goes smoothly and can also be flexible on how your group discount is delivered – offering things like free lift tickets or private transfers instead of, or as part of, your savings.